History of IONA

IONA or “Isle of the Druids” as it was called in Ancient times, is an Island between Ireland and Scotland known in Gaelic as the Isle of Colm Cille, or Saint Columba .
Colm Cille was an Irish prince and priest who settled on the Island in the year 563 and became revered as Saint Columba. Scholars suggest that the book of Kells was written on Iona around this time.

The Island has a deep Celtic history. It is the burial place of Scottish and Irish Kings including King Duncan, Donald and Macbeth.
It was a principal seat of Celtic learning in the British Isles and was attacked regularly by the Vikings. Throughout this time skilled crafts using Metal, Wood, leather and Glass were practiced. It is said that Iona was one of the first places on the British Isles, that the skilled craft of working with early glass was practiced. 

In 2005 with all this history and craftsmanship in mind, Eugene Young Master Glass Cutter and designer left Waterford Crystal after 28years and set about building Iona Crystal, believing that the most important goal is to continue the craft of Mouth Blown, Hand Cutting and Hand Engraving traditions, and to nurture and celebrate the art of producing Crystal. Eugene's Family are steeped in Craftsmanship from Wood Carving to Stone Carving and thatching going back over the years and today thatching is a slowly developing craft again here in Ireland. 

Eugene often tells the story of his grandfather, who was a renownd sailor. He remembers being about 8years old and being taught by his dad, to carve wooden sailing ships from a plain block of wood. He was intrigued by the skill that his father had, when he asked the question how did you learn to do this, there was a moment of silence before his father told him the story of the voyages, his dad made long ago, on sailing ships from the Port of Dungarvan located in County Waterford, Ireland, to the likes of St. John, New Foundland. On the long voyages he would pick up a piece of driftwood and gradually carve all the details of the ship out and add sails and rigging. By the time he was back into Ireland, the model would be completed.This was then sold to help feed his family as things were not at all good in Ireland at that time. Eugene always remembers his fathers words of how its most important to celebrate the craft and hand down the skills from generation to generation otherwise they will be lost forever.

Over the years Eugene has built up Iona Crystal, to where it now designs and produces a vast range of crystal products and World Championship Trophies in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Iona Crystal ships to all parts of the world.

Iona Crystal is dedicated to superior artistic and technical standards in hand cut crystal. The quality of our crystal and perfection of Iona Crystal's hand cutting and engraving are unsurpassed by any other crystal.

History of Crystal.

The history of Crystal stretches back over the millennia to its origins, around 5000 BC.
It is believed that the travelers of the time who crossed the deserts had to carry fuel (Wood) with them to keep themselves warm at night.
Early one morning they noticed that in the embers of their camp fire, the sand appeared to have changed in appearance. When the sun had risen enough, to pour its golden rays on the area, the light from the sun began to reflect and sparkle.
This was the beginning of a natural phenomenon known as fusing, where certain raw materials fuse together, change and become one.

In fact what happened that morning was that the sand of the desert had fused with the potash from the wood and together with the extreme heat from the fire, the raw material had become crystallized. This was later developed and used to form objects that carried water and precious liquids like perfumes. Thus the whole concept of using crystal to carry liquids and later for ornamental purposes came into being.

Long before diamond wheels were available, craftsmen used other methods for their era.
They started hundreds of years ago using stone wheels, and cooled them by pouring water over them, this prevented the crystal from breaking.
This job fell to the apprentice who also had to use pedals to keep the wheel rotating as the Master was working.

With the introduction of steam power a hundred years later, the wheels were turned using piston power and cooled by using a water stream to prevent the crystal from overheating and breaking.

Iona Crystal

Bringing the process forward in time to today only the location has changed.
Iona Crystal, is an Irish Company, based in Dungarvan,County Waterford, along the southeast coast of Ireland, producing exclusive crystal handcrafted products using traditional methods.

Iona Crystal, customers have the opportunity to own an exclusively designed, totally mouth blown, and hand-cut piece of Irish Crystal. This may take the form of an exclusive limited edition Lamp, Centrepiece,Vase,Bowl, Chandelier, or Bespoke Suite of crystal. Each limited edition piece is created to the highest quality standards and also accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity. As our limited edition pieces have low numbers produced, these unique pieces are very sought after. Each piece is also certified and numbered.

We also provide for our customers a range of crystal timepieces and flat glass awards for corporate events and presentations . These items have to be bought in on special request and are available for personalised hand engraving.

Today in our production facilities we use the most advanced Manual Cutting Technology
to achieve the highest quality finish.

Eugene Young is a Master Craftsman/Designer with over 39years experience in the Crystal Business and is a fully registered client of the Craft Council of Ireland .

Click on Link to C.C.O.I. Website:  Craft Council of Ireland C.C.O.I.