Eddie Doherty is a weaver operating his business, Eddie Doherty Handwoven Tweed, in Co. Donegal.
He learned to weave by hand at the age of 16. Now, 60 years and two long stints with large Irish fabric companies later, he uses Donegal wool to handweave pure wool blankets and tweed at his home in Ardara.
What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?
I have a weekly schedule so Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursdays are the days of the week I spend producing work and I do this in stages depending on the day.
The other days of the week are for admin, computer based work and social media. Tuesdays I spend cutting the wood shapes and/or cleaning + sanding. Wednesdays is a Post day so I spend a portion of time in the morning getting packages together and then the rest painting the wooden shapes and / or adding earring posts/backs.
Thursday is the day I resin and clean + assemble / package each piece. There are times when the schedule goes completely out the window if there’s a show on or if I have a big wholesale order so I go with the flow. I always have my dog with me and a coffee, sometimes people pop by for chats and on the odd occasion I’ll have an open studio.
What do you like most about your work?
Well I’ve been working at this since 1956 and still don’t want to stop so I like all parts of it! I look forward to it. Anything involving thread I love doing it, and I like sorting out colours and threads. I like doing new things too; straight-forward things.
I enjoy working with different colours and thread, we have our own colours, we buy a lot of colours from Kilcarra Yarns. You just take it as it comes, and work at what needs to be done, as long as the thread is good, and not breaking up when you’re working with it.
What advice would you give someone who is considering this craft career?
I would recommend it to any young person who would want to start. The only thing is that it’s piece work, you have to keep working at it. You have to work hard, get to the end of the piece on the loom or else you won’t get paid.