Breaking the mould


Posted on: 5th October, 2017

Category: Features

Contributor: West Cork People

There aren’t many places where you get to pick up a paintbrush in one hand and a really good cup of coffee in the other. When Sophie Miall and Suzanne O’Connor set up Cré Pottery Studio in Skibbereen town last March their aim was to create a friendly ceramics painting studio and coffee house where young and old could come to unwind and get creative. There is also a selection of delicious home baking to complement the fine roast coffee.

Once word spread, it wasn’t long before families and friends from all over West Cork started calling in to spend some quality and fun time together.

West Cork’s first paint-your-own-pottery studio has hundreds of pieces of blank pottery in all shapes and sizes to choose from and lots and lots of stencils, sponge shapes, glaze colours and brushes to help with inspiration!

With prices starting at just €10, you can paint your own piece of art, the studio will glaze and fire it for you, and it will be ready for collection in just three to four days.

“Fabulous studio and way to spend an afternoon, for children or adults alike!” commented one happy customer. “Wonderful variety of things to make and paint, great value and owners are very helpful and friendly. The decor is very pretty and relaxing too. Thanks for a lovely afternoon…my mum really enjoyed it. Wishing you both many years of success.”

As well as pottery painting, the studio runs ceramic and pottery wheel classes. It’s a wonderful venue in which to celebrate a birthday, hen party or special occasion with lot’s of party packages to suit individual needs. The perfect place to get a group of friends together, adult parties are welcome to bring their own wine, with food provided by the studio on request. There are a number of party packages available.

On the first Friday of every month, the studio is open between 6 and 9pm and adults can bring their own bottle of wine and nibbles and enjoy a sociable, fun and creative evening.

Children’s pottery classes run on a regular basis for four-week blocks and take place on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Adult classes run for four-week periods on a Wednesday evening or Tuesday morning.

Private tuition on the potter’s wheel is also available.

“One lady visited us regularly over the summer. She made
an entire dinner service from pressing her wedding lace into clay,” says Suzanne.

Why not create a unique and wonderful keepsake of your baby. Call into Cré to make prints and impressions of your baby’s little hands and feet. Cré will personalise your piece and glaze and fire it for you in studio.

Clay Play takes place every Saturday morning between 10am and 12pm and costs just €5 per person. “It’s a lovely activity for families to do together on a Saturday morning,” says Suzanne. “You can enjoy a quiet coffee while your little ones get stuck into the clay.”

Sophie Miall has a degree in Ceramics and will be familiar to many from her previous business in Skibbereen – the fabulous Toto’s toyshop. With four children, ranging in age from three to 11, the artist is well aware of the enjoyment that children can get from a relaxed activity like painting pottery. And it’s not only children who benefit. “It’s a wonderful tranquil, almost meditative activity to share with your child or grandchild,” explains Sophie. “It’s amazing the quiet that descends once the paintbrushes are picked up.”

It’s an idea that Sophie had been mulling on for years, even before setting up Toto’s, but it wasn’t until she started seriously talking about it with close friend Suzanne O’Connor, that a business plan started taking shape.

Suzanne has a FETAC level VI qualification in Professional Arts Practice from Rossa College in Skibbereen and lots of experience teaching in schools and working with children.

Over the past 11 years, the friends have worked on many projects together, from providing party entertainment to pottery classes.

After identifying a suitable premises in a central location in Skibbereen, it wasn’t long before Cré Pottery was born. “Everyone’s been so supportive and hands-on,” says Suzanne “and both our partners have been champions behind the scenes.” Jessica Challcoombe painted the playful tree mural on one of the walls of the bright and attractive studio space.

Cré has disabled access and groups from Cope and CoAction have already enjoyed numerous visits.

“It’s an excellent activity for children with Autism,” says Sophie. “To see a child who doesn’t say much usually, get on the potter’s wheel and start talking non-stop, is a wonderful sight.”

There are Halloween and Christmas workshops coming up and bookings are now being taken for Christmas parties.

Cré Pottery Studio is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm and Sunday, 12-4pm. Keep an eye on facebook ‘Cré Pottery Studio’ for details of upcoming classes and events or check out Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look at Cré.

Phone 028-22913, email

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Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu virus.

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
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8th January, 2018  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Cope Foundation's Happy Christmas from Cope Foundation. ... See MoreSee Less

What makes Christmas special? Children and adults we support, our incredible staff, families and supporters - these are the people who make our organisation so special every single day, but especially at Christmas! Meet some of them here... Thank you to the wonderful team at AV3 Media who kindly produced this video for us as a Christmas gift! To make a Christmas donation today, go to We believe that together we can do great things and with your support we can do so much more! Please SHARE our video so that more people can learn about the amazing things that happen at Cope Foundation! Evening Echo; Irish Examiner; The Southern Star; The Avondhu; Cork Independent; West Cork Times; West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork; Bandon Opinion/The Opinion; Vale Star; East Cork Journal; Cork Chamber - Faces of Cork Business; Cork City FC; Cork Institute of Technology - CIT; University College Cork; Corks RedFM 104-106; The KC Show Corks 96 FM; Cork's 96FM; Cork's Best; C103 Cork; Cork Airport; Cork Opera House: The Everyman; Cork County Council; County Cork; Cork City Council; CorkLike; CCCahoots; Cork On Ice; Glow Cork; CIT Cork School of Music; RTÉ Today; Ciaran Bermingham - Actor; Rob & Marian Heffernan; John Spillane; Ger Wolfe; Eimear O'Brien PR; Jack O Rourke; Theo Dorgan; Mahon Point Shopping Centre; Blackpool Shopping Centre & Retail Park

18th December, 2017  ·  

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
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15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

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