“The craftsperson develops a knowingness about the work he does that bears its own fruit, the fruit of being present, or attentive. The craftsperson learns that within the work he does there is a jewel hiding below the surface. That the thrill of the craft is to discover the jewel. And that there is only one way to discover it: to practice the craft mindlessly. To become one with the work. To polish and polish, as though with one’s heart. That there is no way to know when the jewel will show itself, but to trust with all one’s heart that one day, when it is least expected, the jewel will be there! It will appear.”
The production of a hurley is a traditional process. A lot of time, care and labour goes into the making of a hurley from the time the trees are harvested to achieving the end product. The following is a step by step guide to how we do it.
The best trees are selected during the harvesting season from sustainable, managed woods both in Ireland and throughout Europe.
After the timber is milled, at the on-site sawmill it is graded for type and quality before it is stored for drying. Drying conditions will vary depending on soil, climate and growing conditions in a particular wood and this is where the skills and knowledge of master hurley makers come into their own.
The milled timber may be stored for as long as fifteen months during which time samples will be taken from different batches to see if the timber has matured sufficiently for crafting in our workshop.
In our workshop the prepared timber once again passes through quality control, where it is graded for size and style.
The different styles and sizes are cut out using a bandsaw before they pass through our specially designed lathes. Hand held planers and spokeshaves are the essential tools then used by our team of crafting specialists to find the balance and beauty of each hurley.
The final touches to the hurley will be done using the crafting and finishing sanders to produce the consistent product that our customers enjoy time and time again.