Watch: Cork Crystal's George creates unique glass pieces 

Watch: Cork Crystal's George creates unique glass pieces 

George Duggan cuts a piece of glass to create a form on it. Pic: Mostafa Darwish.

"There were times when I was over home with my partner, Máiréad. I was fed up. She said 'You aren't you, just go to the factory and pick up a bit of glass and start cutting glass again'."

For over 30 years, George Duggan's most significant break from cutting glass was for three weeks. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, he had to be away from his beloved job for a long time due to it not being deemed essential work.

George Duggan is a second-generation glass cutter from Cork who has created his own unique style.

Georgie Duggan shows one of the crystal pieces he has created in his workshop. Pic: Mostafa Darwish
Georgie Duggan shows one of the crystal pieces he has created in his workshop. Pic: Mostafa Darwish

Mr Duggan's dad started the business, Cork Crystal, but he wasn't involved in creating pieces. George, on the other hand, has a passion for art and crafting rather than managing. Now, however, he manages and creates in the factory alone.

"I've always wanted to have my style of cutting. I wanted to be recognised for something special. And that's what I wanted throughout my whole career.

"I do love my job. 

"There has not been one time that I've been at the wheel cutting and designing glass that I would have rather been somewhere else.

"No matter what is on your mind beforehand, the machine starts the lights go on and I'm happy. It's a very cathartic feeling," Mr Duggan said.

There are only a handful of craft crystal companies left in Ireland and Mr Duggan believes that it's important to keep the craft alive. 

"I've seen craftsmen - they packed it in, and they said they couldn't do this anymore. And they go away, and they get a job that maybe is more lucrative for them.

George Duggan, a crystal maker, poses for a portrait in his workshop in Cork. Pic: Mostafa Darwish.
George Duggan, a crystal maker, poses for a portrait in his workshop in Cork. Pic: Mostafa Darwish.

"Because [of that] they've been taken away from what they loved. So, there's a hollow ring to any success that they have after that, whether it is financial or otherwise."

Mr Duggan's products are shipped worldwide, but most of his customers are local.

"99% of my customers are Cork people. 

"They know what I do, they come into me, and you notice, luckily, people keep coming back," Mr Duggan added.

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