Jerpoint Glass Studio is an Irish handmade glass company and a true family business. Established in 1979 by Keith and Kathleen Leadbetter, together with their small team of glass blowers, they have built Jerpoint into an internationally recognised name.
Keith initially worked in pottery and in laboratory glassblowing in the UK. In the late sixties, he attended the prestigious Orrefors Glass School in Sweden to formally train as a master glassblower. After travelling extensively throughout Europe to develop his skills as a glass maker, Keith returned to Ireland. Kathleen is a self-taught artist who is passionate about aesthetics and design. She has created the unique colored glass palette now synonymous with Jerpoint Glass. Together they started Jerpoint Glass Studio in December of 1979, from the converted Dutch barn at their home in Co. Kilkenny.
The Leadbetter Family
Their skill and passion for glass has now been passed onto their four children, who are all actively involved in the business. Rory has been a glass maker at Jerpoint for over a decade. He brings a new flamboyance in design that harmonizes with the Jerpoint Tradition. Eoghan is a glassblower by day and musician by night! Roisin, a painter, is very involved with the gallery at Jerpoint Glass and Sally coordinates the marketing for the family business. The Leadbetter Family have been making handmade glass from their studio for over thirty years. With the unique Jerpoint colored glass palette, Jerpoint will make a welcome addition to any home.
Speed and skill needed to get the perfect finish
For almost 40 years Jerpoint Glass has created beautiful handmade glassware from the family run glassblowing studio in the heart of Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. From the fiery furnace to your table, at Jerpoint Glass each piece is individually made by hand. The skilled glassblowers form the Jerpoint shapes from red hot molten glass using simple tools and methods that date over 2000 years.
Working with a material over 1100oC the glassblower’s day ranges from the balancing act of shaping a paperweight to the intricate dance that forms a wine glass, involving 5 separate gathers of hot molten glass. Yet the simple hand tools of the glass blower have hardly changed since their origins 2000 years ago when glassblowing was introduced.
A master glass blower, using movements that are deceptively minimal develops the desired shape by strategically heating, cooling and manipulating the red-hot liquid glass, until the magical transformation takes place.
Dipping into color beads to infuse the glass
What is the Pontil Mark?: The mark under the base of handmade glass is known as the pontil mark. During the glass making process the cup part of the glass is closed and attached to the blowing iron. In order to open the cup the glass is transferred onto a second iron, the pontil iron, at the base. The glass is then reheated and opens out at the rim. The pontil-mark is the hallmark of a truly handmade glass. It is because of the traditional techniques used at Jerpoint that each piece of glass is so unique.