Celtic Valley Ceramics came into being when visual arts teacher Louise Shaw and her husband Andy Shaw, decided it was time to leave Hong Kong to be closer to their family and realise their dream of starting a craft based business. Ireland, with its inspirational rural setting, strong art and craft traditions and Celtic culture, was the perfect setting.
In 2013 Louise and Andy and their four children relocated to County Louth in Ireland and set up home in a country cottage with suitable outbuildings to convert into a workshop. Here they established Celtic Valley Ceramics and started creating a range of handcrafted tiles, giftware and plaques..
Louse, a graduate of University for the Creative Arts (UCA,) is the creative genius behind Celtic Valley Ceramics while Andy with his background in science and banking is the business brains and a master of glazing.
In creating tiles, Louise takes her inspiration from the countryside around her and draws on the traditions, artistry and legends of the Ancient Celts to produce original beautiful tiles and plaques. The creative process begins with Louise carving her design into clay, they are then made into plaster moulds. Wet clay is pressed into these plaster moulds, turned out and dried. After drying, the raw tiles are bisque fired in preparation for glazing. Glaze is then applied by hand and the finished tiles fired to over 1000 degrees. With the commemorative plaques details are hand painted.
The Celtic Valley Ceramic collection includes a series of tiles inspired by legendary creatures, birds, insects and animals all framed with traditional Celtic patterned borders.
Since its founding, Celtic Valley Ceramics has been commissioned to produce several birth and commemorative plaques for local clients, including a series of tiles for the Irish dancing community. It is now looking to expand its business to the UK and beyond.
“We love creating our tiles. To us, they are more than just patterned tiles. Each tells a story or celebrates a particular aspect of Ireland’s rich culture, traditions and even landmarks. We hope everyone who visits our website will look beyond the pattern and appreciate the story behind each tile.”
Louise Shaw, Creative Director, Celtic Valley Ceramic