Jerpoint Irish Glass
We grew up with Jerpoint glass on our table and have been curious to visit the Leadbetter family, who have been producing it, for a long time. In the last month we had to cancel twice and this time we were lost and about an hour late, not cool. However once we found our way through the villages and lanes of Kilkenny, past Jerpoint Abbey and took the correct left-hand turn, things got decidedly better.
Kathleen, mother, was there to greet us, tea and scones were brought in on a tray and introductions began. It was an introduction to the whole family, Jerpoint really is a family business in the truest sense. Kathleen is married to Keith, Keith is the craftsman, they met locally on the roadside, she was looking for a lift and he had a car.
Rory, the eldest son, does most of the blowing these days and Sally, their daughter, is about to help them plan out the next moves. The hot glass studio was built by Keith in 1979.
Prior to this Keith had been working with his friend and fellow glassblower Simon Pearce and had just set up the hot glass department in the National College of Art and Design. Bravery and some well-timed support set him out on his own and brought about the founding of Jerpoint Glass. After a few hours exploring the hotshop and store we all sat down for coffee and a chat.