Open Day Programme 2018 – Last Minute News!

Celtic Tigers – real ones

There has always been a “Celtic element” at our Yard – Fest and – increasingly during the last few years – the Open Day.

We never focus on “Celtic” when selecting the artists for the concert, rather on “best quality”. But there are many top of the range musicians and poets on this island who are deeply rooted in the traditions. Tim O’Shea (Killarney), Eleanor Shanley (Roscommon), Marana Mc Closkey (Dungiven) and during recent years Irish Harp player Dearbhla Mc Taggart (who is on the bill again this year) are but few examples who have taken the stage at the Fest.

 The Open Day (and the concert) has featured Seamus O’Kane, this island’s top maker (and indeed player) of traditional Celtic instruments – not only but foremost bodhrans…we could continue this list.

  • Last year we welcomed Toni Whiteside for the first time. She owns the “Abonos” jewellery company. The name is taken from the Gaelic for bog – oak and indeed for the best possible reason: For the jewellery she designs and makes she uses bog – oak which is dated -6.000 BC (in other words: Over 8.000 (!!) years old). Her delicate creations aren’t just Celtic by design – the raw material “breathes” the spirit of the twilight. Great to have Toni again this year!
  • New at our Open Day and in a unique way carrying on the old art of pottery (in the true sense of the word – pots he makes) is John Martin. He uses ancient designs of pots from this area some of which he puts the patterns on by working strands of Flax into the clay. John’s stall and demonstration will be amongst the highlights of the day beyond doubt.
    Perhaps the most spectacular of crafters who will have a stall in 2018 is one we took on board just after the programme had been written, you may class him as “last minute news”:
  • Charlie Mallon, owner of the County Tyrone – based “Mallon Foundry” is a lot more than living proof that the craft (or art) of casting metal has not disappeared from the North of Ireland when Mackie’s and their ilk flitted off to China. That’s just one aspect – more important probably is the material in his melting pot: Bronze!In Ireland, the first evidence of copper being alloyed to tin to make bronze comes from the flat axes dating from 2.000 BC. Bronze was widely used across Europe for weapons and decoration as well as everyday tools in the home. Irish craftsmen became particularly noted for the horn shaped trumpet, which was made by the cire perdue, or lost wax process.

The Sculptures start with Charlie Mallon the metalworker and his interest in the Celtic myths and stories that permeate Irish history. Those ideas led to designs that draw from the symbols of Ireland’s ancient past.

The bronzes are cast in the foundry in County Tyrone, the family home.

“Each Mallon bronze embodies our past belief and life spirit….” (From Charlie Mallon’s internet page).

Other Tigers, maybe not as “Celtic” but certainly real!!

  • Yoga – Session in the garden

Yoga is returning to the Open Day and with it two of the most profiled teachers, Erin Douglas and Tony Hiley!

The masters who run the Bikram Studio in Lisburn will be running a session in the relaxed atmosphere of the mill garden (in the marquee).

One session only – directly after the Fashion Show (approx. 2.30 pm).

Beginners are welcome but interest is so large that you must book your place!

Give us a ring or send a mail.

  • Bronagh “the weaver” Skett and Jim Mather running 2 of the looms!

The weaver from Draperstown who spent a lot of time in New Zealand will be taking the pilot seat at one of our looms during the Open Day. She will be joining Jim Mather from Portadown. The legendary master-weaver who used to manage Blackers Mill is far from being really retired and will make the shuttle fly on September 8th!

This supplement only makes sense in connection with our full programme!

Should you not have it, drop us a line and we will forward it to you. Hard copy – versions are available.

2 Replies to “Open Day Programme 2018 – Last Minute News!”

  1. Could I have a copy of full programme please – email copy or a link would be great (I can’t seem to find it on your site)

    Also, what is the entry fee?

    1. Hi Lynne,

      links for the pdfs of the programmes for the concert and the Open Day are available in the news articles of these events. I’ve put the links below as well. Entrance to the Open Day is free but you’ll need to book for entry to certain events. Details are in the programmes.


      Open Day Programme:

      Concert Programme:

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