Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Belleek Newslettre (# 21.1)


Wishing you all a most joyful Holiday Season with my
best wishes for a healthful, peaceful and prosperous
Belleeking New Year !!

2017 Holiday Fenton Penguin Display !!
      A Collection of my Fenton Glass Works Holiday Penguins !!


This is more of an intent to force me to quit with my
procrastinative tendencies and publish my Current
Newslettre in a timely fashion and enthusiastic attempt
for all you Belleekers out there, hopefully enjoying a
SPLENDID Festive Season, to Receive this PRIOR to
our Holiday Recess !!

** Scholar Lincoln's Progress !!

IF you've been following his 'progress', here's my
Grandson Lincoln studying an interesting book during
a chilly Autumn Evening in front of a nice fire !! 
I believe that he's reading 'SHOP CATS of New
York' (City) as he has a couple of pet cats and is
therefore, very interested in these ambitious cats
whom, take up management positions in Borough
stores and are eventually 'adopted' by the local
shop owners of New York City not only as colourful
employees, but also occasionally performing proper
pest control measures !!

Enjoying a Good Book by the Autumn Evening Fire !!
  Scholar Lincoln enjoying a fine book in front of an Autumn Fire !!

** Ms Edith Kathleen McDermott !!

Fergus Cleary, a.k.a., Robert Armstrong, penned
in his Journal :

'Things you may not know about Belleek Part 14' :

"Edith Kathleen McDermott

"A number of years ago a visitor to Belleek Pottery
brought a most unusual piece of Belleek.  It was a
second period earthenware bowl decorated with Celtic
scroll work and with the name ‘E.K. McDermott’
written on the base of the bowl along with the words
'Irish Arts Workers Guild’ - being intrigued by this
some research cried out!

"In 1887 the 'Arts and Crafts Movement' in England
was founded by William Morris (1834–1896). 
Influenced by the writings of John Ruskin
(1819–1900), it urged the return to using simple
forms and a medieval style of decoration.  It
advocated truth to materials, traditional
craftsmanship and economic reform.

"Eight years later a similar ‘Arts and Crafts’ group
was founded in Ireland by a number of like minded
artists and was greatly influenced by the revival of
interest in the Irish language and the promotion of
goods manufactured in Ireland.  Its founders were a
diverse bunch of people from all social backgrounds.
The Earl of Mayo, Dermot Robert Wyndham Bourke,
7th Earl of Mayo, is credited with founding the group
in 1895 although it was operational perhaps more
informally before this date.  The group would also
included William Butler Yeats who was friendly with
William Morris while he lived in London.

"Belfast Art College seems to have been a late
arrival to the Arts and crafts movement.  This
was possibly because it was viewed as an institution
that was there to support industry in the greater
Belfast area.  This was to change when a new head
of College called Robert Dawson arrived from England
in 1900.  He actively encouraged the interest in
current art trends including Celtic design. This was
to be seen in the work of John Campbell who became
well known as an illustrator of books of that period.
He is listed as a member of the Irish Art workers
guild in 1917 other members of this guild included
Rosamund Praeger the Sculptor.

"The Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland became
the Guild of Irish Art Workers in 1917 lasting
until 1925.  It seems that Belleek Pottery supplied
the Belfast Art College with blank shapes for
decoration but did not participate in any other
way with the artistic endeavours of the students.
These bowls are listed in the earthenware section
of the 1904 catalogue as Plain Milk Bowls 24s.

"What do we know about E.K. McDermott.  She was
born Edith Kathleen Mc Dermott in Co. Armagh in
1877.  At the 3rd Irish Arts & Crafts Exhibition
held in 1904 she exhibited a carved Walnut panel.
She is not listed as exhibiting at the subsequent
exhibitions of 1910 and 1917.  In the Census of
1911 (she) is listed as an Art & Crafts teacher.
We can presume that she continued as an Art
teacher for the rest of her life and we know she
died in 1950 aged 73 at 84 Malone Avenue Belfast.
Unfortunately at this juncture we do not know
anything more about her work but would be very
interested to know more about her life and career."

If you're interested in the actual Census Information,
I've included Links to BOTH the 1901 and 1911
Census as follows : 

EK McDermott Family Census 1901 Census !!

EK McDermott Family Census 1911 Census !!

I'm SORRY for the 'quality' of the information,
but considering that these important documents,
transcribed in pencil or pen on paper, have survived
through the Years, in any condition is a wonder !! 
In any case they are presented here to provide you
with information regarding Ms McDermott's
immediate family !!

The following three photographs are reprinted
from the Belleek Pottery Photograph Collection,
courtesy of Fergus Cleary, Head of Design,
Belleek Pottery Ltd !! MANY THANKS !!

Belleek Pottery EK McDermott Bowl SIDE View !! 
The above picture displays a Side View of a finely decorated bowl,
           displaying a beautiful collage of Celtic Design !!

Belleek Pottery EK McDermott Bowl TOP View !! 
     Another angle, displays a Top View of this same bowl,
      again, displaying unique and intricate Celtic Images !!

Belleek Pottery EK McDermott Bowl MARKS !! 
      Above, we can visualize Ms McDermott's 'Signature'
            on the Bottom of the 2nd Period Bowl !!

NOTE : She Also Indicates Her Connection to the
Irish Art Workers Guild (Belfast) !!

Further correspondence with Fergus provided
numerous amounts of illuminating information,
most important, his concluding statement :
".. .. but she (EK McDermott) was very much
involved in the Irish Arts & Crafts movement
which, in turn was linked to the revival of the
Irish language which was taking place from the
1890's to the period before the First World War.
It also linked into the Irish Nationalist movement
for Home Rule but many of those (especially in
Ulster) who were actively involved in the craft and
language movement were not sympathetic to the
Home Rule ideals and in the period after 1912
the fault line of Irish politics between Nationalism
and Unionism increasingly submerged the craft and
language idealisms."

The Earthenware Celtic Decorated Bowl, previous,
and the Gaelic 'house warming' Bowl, following,
were both included in a very fine presentation during
our 2017 Belleek Pottery Anniversary Gathering !!
Since, unfortunately, many of our Belleekers were
unable to join us all at our Anniversary Gathering,
I will hopefully reterate some of this material anew
as well as expanding on a few core principles of
the Gaelic language !!

I'm REALLY indebted to Fergus' historical knowledge
for assisting me innumerably in my quest for a basic
understanding of Translation from Gaelic to English !!
Seriously, I was well aware of his magnificent
accomplishments as a designer and potter, but I
had NO idea he was also an (Irish) Gaelic Scholar !!

Before I present any further beautiful artwork,
I believe, a 'bit' of understanding of the Gaelic
Language is appropriate !!  The Gaelic Alphabet
contains only 17 letters, represented or written
in the Roman (English) Alphabet as :

a b c d e f g i l m n o p r s t u

Editors Note : The Roman Alphabet or Western
European Alphabet, i.e., OUR language, is utilized
since we have no equivalent representation for the
Gaelic Character Formation on type writers or
computer keyboards !!

Editors' Note : There MAY be a 'subset' Gaelic
Alphabet available on Apple Computers ??!! 
Various versions of Windows also have capabilities
of entering characters with 'diacritical' marks,
the simplest being that of selecting [Insert] and
[Characters/Symbols] !!

Similar to many other languages, Gaelic utilizes
'diacritical' marks !!  A diacritical mark is simply
a glyph, i.e., elemental symbol, added to a letter,
or basic glyph !!  In Gaelic type, we are interested
in only a PAIR of diacritics !!  First, an acute accent
appearing over vowels indicating the lengthening of
their sound !!  Second, a dot over a consonant
indicating 'lenition' or sound change, actually a
'softening', of the consonant in question !!  I will
discuss the linguistics of lenition later in this article,
as its utilization was 'eliminated' with the advent of
Modern Irish or Gaelic and as the 'saying', on the
inner rim of my bowl, appears to be written in
Modern Gaelic !!

This linguistic acute accent, is referred to in Gaelic
as a síneadh fada [SHEEN-oo FAH-duh], or 'long
accent' !!  Most Irish speakers and learners simply
refer to it as a 'fada' !!  The fada is a right-slanting
line placed over a vowel (as in the í in síneadh,
above) !!  It indicates that the vowel is to be
pronounced 'long' !!

Thus, we 'add' an additional five 'Characters' or
'sounds' into our original Gaelic Alphabet !!  Namely : 

á  é  í  ó  ú  !!

Diacritic marks aren’t just there for decoration !! 
They supply a lot of information about the word in
question, including how certain letters should be
pronounced and often which syllables should be
emphasized !!  Similar to other languages, the
presence of a fada over its vowel is considered
to be a different letter from its unmarked
equivalent, and words that are supposed to have
fada mark(s) and don’t are considered to be
misspelled !!  Sometimes the only difference
between one word and another is the presence
and placement of that little accent !! 

Here are several Irish words that can take on very
different meanings if the fada is omitted, added
where it isn’t needed, or misplaced :

Céad (kayd): “Hundred”
Cead (kad): “Permission”

Bríste (BREESS-cheh): “Trousers”
Briste (BRIS-cheh): “Broken”

Seán (shawn): A man’s name; a form of “John”
Séan (shayn): Noun: “sign/omen,” Verb: “deny/refuse”
Sean (shan): “Old”

And these just scratch the surface !! As you can
see, it really is a major deal !!

The following four pictures, display the complete
'saying' from my bowls interior :

NOTE : I've expressed the lettering on this bowl
as ALL capital letters, as BOTH the 'R's and the
'S's appear in a capital Gaelic 'form' !!

My EK McDermott Welcome Bowl SIDE View !!
                  We Envision My Bowls Interior,
        with the Beginning of our 'Welcome' Message !!

The 'Starting' Point is the Little 'Baseball' Diamond,
i.e., 5 Dots !!  This symbol is actually referred to as
the Five Dot Mark !!  VERY 'intuitive' ??

My EK McDermott Welcome Bowl 1st Panel !!
        First Two Words of My Bowls Saying :  IS  FEARR  !!

My EK McDermott Welcome Bowl 2nd Panel !!
          Third Word of My Bowls Saying :  CAIRDE  !!

My EK McDermott Welcome Bowl 3rd Panel !!
          Final Two Words of My Bowls Saying :  NÁ  ÓR  !!
          NOTE : the fada's on BOTH the 'A' and the 'O' !!

I purchased this wonderful Earthenware 'Friendship'
Bowl from a very nice lady Years ago !!  She had
previously had the Bowls 'saying' professionally
translated from Gaelic into English as :

(Modern Irish) Gaelic : IS FEARR CAIRDE NÁ ÓR

English : Is Better Friendship than Gold

I asked my Computer to perform an On Line
Google Translation of this phrase and it responded
with :

'Best Friends than Gold'

Since this Gaelic phrase is what I refer to as a
'welcoming' or 'house warming' phrase, I would
believe that the interpretation of 'Is Better
Friendship than Gold' is probably the 'proper'
interpretation ??!!

My EK McDermott Welcome Bowl MARKS !!
            And, Lastly, E.K. McDermotts Signature,
              By a 2nd Period Belleek Pottery Mark !!

This completes the provenance I wished to provide
regarding my little 'Welcome' Belleek Bowl, signed
by Edith Kathleen McDermott !!

Prior to my Newslettres 'Special Introduction', I
believe it necessary for a very brief discussion of
the second diacritic mark utilized in Old Gaelic !!

Utilized in OLD or ‘ancient’ Gaelic script, properly
referred to as Ogham script, ‘fricating lenition’,
called simply lenition in Modern Irish grammar
contexts, is indicated by a ‘dot’ above the affected
consonant !! The placement of this dot, above its
consonant, ‘softens’ the pronunciation of that letter !!
Lenition is referred to in Gaelic as Séimhiú
[SHAY-voo] !!.

The Irish name for this little dot is buailte
[BOOL-cheh].  Fergus refers to this ‘dot’ as a
Shibhú, although the ONLY reference to this I was
able to discouver was the translated meaning into
English of ‘Shift’ or ‘Power’ !!  UNFORTUNATELY,
I cannot locate these definitions again ??

As you might imagine, writing with all sorts of dots
and acute (accents) sporting about with the letters
got pretty confusing to read !!  Not to mention to
include the invention of the type writer !!  Hence,
since the letter ‘h’ doesn’t (actually) appear in the
Gaelic Alphabet, the Irish introduced the convention
of using ‘h’ to show this ‘softening’ or aspiration of
a consonant in spelling and writing Modern Irish !!
Thus, in the Roman script, the convention is to
suffix the letter ‘h’ to the consonant, to signify
that it is lenited !!

ONLY the nine following consonants can be affected
by lenition :

b c d f g m p s t, which, as lenited, would appear as :

ḃ  ċ  ḋ  ḟ  ġ  ṁ  ṗ  ṡ  ṫ  and converted properly,

into Modern Gaelic or Irish, become :

bh  ch  dh  fh  gh  mh  ph  sh  th, respectively !!

Thus, a ṁáṫair, in Old Gaelic, is equivalent to
a mháthair (mother), in Modern Gaelic or Irish !! 
Therefore, in converting from Old Gaelic to Modern
Gaelic we 'eliminate' the lenition and thus the only
diacritic mark remaining is the fada !!


I have PROMISSED so many of my WONDERFUL
Belleeker friends and acquaintances regarding this
article, I'm SO pleased and relieved that I've
FINALLY completed my 'special' presentation !!

I was extremely fortunate in acquiring the following
Decorated Bowl in a ‘barter’ transaction involving a
very true and trusted Belleeker friend of us all,
namely, Lady Marion Langham !!  I forwarded several
pictures on to Fergus and, as with other ‘finds’, he
expressed his excitement !!

It's an approximate 10" diameter WOOD bowl, again
with an inscription around its upper rim !!  In addition
to the inscription which, appears to be figured from
'wire', there's splendid artwork as well as three
metal discs which, appear to be 'coated' in some
form of 'kiln fired' enamel ??

My EK McDermott WOODEN SALAD Welcome Bowl Enamel Disc !!
Here We Envision the Starting 'Mark' of our Welcome Expression
             Along with a SPLENDID Enamel Disc !!

My EK McDermott WOODEN SALAD Welcome Bowl 1st Panel !!
       Followed by the First Word of its Expression : Atas !!

My EK McDermott WOODEN SALAD Welcome Bowl 2nd Panel !!
           Along with the Second Word : ar !!
          As well as Another Bright Enameled Disc !!

My EK McDermott WOODEN SALAD Welcome Bowl 3rd Panel !!
                Then the Third Word : do !!

My EK McDermott WOODEN SALAD Welcome Bowl 4th Panel !!
      And Finally, the Remainder of Our Expression : teac !!

Anyhow, I believe that, over the Years or thru
‘unfortunate abuse’, some portion of the wire
characters were either damaged or in some other
manner ‘disappeared’ !!  Therefore, I have presented
my bowls welcoming expression reading, ‘initially’,
LESS any fada ‘marks’ (acute accents) and séimhiú
(lenition), in Gaelic script as :

⸭ Atas ar do teac

Fergus, of course, recognized immediately, several
problems existing with character representations of
this expression !!  As he states : “However I think
the grammar and spelling is wrong .. ..” !!  He
concluded that several ‘important’ diacritic marks
were definitely missing, not only to ‘produce’ valid
Gaelic words but more so for this expression to
translate into anything meaningful !!  His corrections
produced a saying as :

⸭ Áṫas ar do ṫeaċ

which, ‘expanding’ the lenition properly leaves us with
a Modern Irish expression of :

⸭ Áthas ar do theach

He finally states : “My grammar is a bit rusty but
I believe this expression literally translates as :

'Happiness on Your House' (or) 'Your Happy Home' !!

I accomplished my 'feeble' attempt at Gaelic to
English Translation on the Internet, and arrived at
a VERY similar translation, that of

'Joy to Your Home' !!

As (my) Internet translation was, by default, Google
'powered', they appear to utilize fairly 'simple'
interpretations ??  They DO provide several
'alternate' translations, to include both (Fergus')
'Happiness' as well as 'Bliss', among many others !! 
Personally I'm rather drawn to the selection of
'Bliss' as this implies, to me, not only happiness,
BUT additionally, peace and tranquility !!

My EK McDermott WOODEN SALAD Welcome Bowl MARKS !!
          Edith's Moniker along with Her Shop Sticker
              on the Bottom of Her Wooden Bowl !!

My EK McDermott WOODEN SALAD Welcome Bowl CLOSE UP of Shop Sticker !!
          A Close Up of EK McDermott's Shop Sticker !!

The MAJOR importance of this bowl, to ME, is that
it was Decorated by E K McDermott, containing not
only her Name on the bottom 'Edith K McDermott',
but also a 'sticker' from EK McDermott,
22 Willington Place, Belfast, as we can visualize
from the photographs above !!

Wooden Napkin Ring # 1 !! Wooden Napkin Ring # 2 !!
Concave Napkin Ring !! Convex Napkin Ring !!

Above, I've pictured the 'matching' napkin rings !! 
The convex (curves outward) ring has NO expression
on it, just the Celtic Design you see encompasses it !! 
Its mate, the convex (curves outward) ring has a
Gaelic Welcoming Saying on it !!  Hopefully, I've got
the expressions concave and convex defined properly ??!!

My EK McDermott WOODEN SALAD Welcome Bowl DISPLAY !!
My EK McDermott Wooden Salad Bowl and Matching Napkin Rings
         Sitting on Display Atop One of My China Displays !!

Following Months of studying these items, I realized
that the 'Saying' on the Napkin Ring and Bowl are
IDENTICAL !!  As Fergus added : “The napkin ring
shows all the indications that it was created in the
period of the Irish Arts and Crafts Movement.”
Therefore, I would say that we can easily assume
that Ms McDermott modeled both items !!??  One
mark of a TRUE artist, working with multiple mediums !! 
We now know that she painted on BOTH Ceramics
(at least Belleek) and 'dabbled' with wood !!  She
expanded her expertise with the 'metal lettering'
on her (wood) bowl, as well as the enameled disc
decoration !!

Personally, I would be HAPPY to receive a house
warming gift with ANY of these 'from the heart'
sentiments !!

AGAIN, I wish you ALL the most SPLENDID and
FESTIVE Holiday Season !!  And may Success and
Happiness follow you during your 2018 Belleeking
adventures !!


For those of you I've 'lost contact' with, if you
WERE receiving my Newslettre and have NOT
received one in a bit, it's MOST probably due to a
Change in YOUR E-mail ID !! Post me, i.e., E-mail,
your current ID and I'll get you back on my list !!

If you read my Newslettres regularly and DID NOT
receive an E-mail notification of this Newslettre,
PLEASE just drop me an E-mail and I’ll be sure to
get you BACK onto my Circulation list !! THANKS !!

Of course, if you’re NOT currently on my List and
would LIKE to be in on my Mailing List, ALL you need
do is to drop me a SHORT note indicating 'that you
would like automatic notification of new Newslettres' !!
And, BINGO, I'll ADD you to my list and you'll begin
receiving upcoming Newslettre notifications !!


Del E. Domke, Belleek Consultant
16142 N.E. 15th. Street
Bellevue, WA 98008-2711

Telephone : 1 (425) 746-6363
Message :   1 (425) 746-6363
FAX :       1 (425) 746-6363 (Télè first !!)
E-mail :    delyicious@comcast.net
Web-site :  The Beauty and Romance of Irish Belleek (or) :