Hands Series

I was delighted recently to obtain a copy of the fantastic box set ‘Hands’.  It is one series that I have been talking about for years and was always on the look out for.  If anyone hasn’t seen this series on RTÉ then you are in for a treat.  It is a collection of 37 documentaries produced by Sally and David Shaw-Smith for RTÉ  – “A series of fascinating documentaries on traditional Irish crafts and lifestyles, where the emphasis is on the skills of human hands rather than on machines”. A full list of the crafts covered are: Wool Spinning Irish Lace Donegal Weavers Donegal Carpets English Silk Irish Patchwork Irish Embroidery Woolen Mill Tailor Carriage Building Cavan Cabinet Makers Cavan Cooper Dublin’s Viking Longship Hurl Making Shannon One Design Chairmaker John Surlis Harp Making Irish Spinning Wheel Making Carlies Bridge Potteries Belleek Potteries Pipeworks A Dublin Silversmith Powers of the Metal Stone Dublins Workhorses Shoemaking A Dublin Bookbinder Currachs The saddler Rushwork Wexford Thatcher Basket Making Fermanagh County A Dublin Candlemaker Lightshouse Crafts Stoneground Of Bees & Bee Skeps In my opinion this footage is a national treasure, many of the crafts and skills showcased have been lost to the sands of time.  This footage remains as a testament to artisan craft, quality and tradition in a world obsessed with cost and convenience.    The core footage is skillfully shot and blended with portraits of the people and unspoiled countryside from a time long gone.   Lilting, traditional Irish music weaves its way through the scenes and the enchanting stories of these people are beautifully narrated. The series is not available on general public release just...