Artwork by artists Lorraine Whelan & James Hayes


The Bronze Age 4,000 Years On

Umha Aois is an ongoing voluntary project, with approximately annual summer projects. Upcoming opportunities will be advertised here, so check back regularly.

Umha Aois 2022
Glendarragha Studio near Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow from June 17th to 26th
Details can be found HERE
"Umha Aois" (Irish for "Bronze Age") is an ongoing experimental project organised on a volunteer basis by a committee formed of artists & archaeologists. Through research and experimentation we are attempting to rediscover our Bronze Age ancestors' casting methods, and in the process empower the artists involved with unique approaches to working in bronze.

The experimental process itself allows the artists involved greater freedom than any bronze foundry would ever allow. Although the material (bronze) is familiar, the method (stone and clay moulds) is new to most. Participants have found that this was an exciting and empowering experience because of the simplicity and directness of the techniques. Every artist has an opportunity to participate in all aspects of bronze casting including the pour and to see their work develop technically and conceptually.

Umha Aois is a unique celebration of the Bronze Age. Using the ancient techniques of stone and clay moulds, artists and archaeologists collaborate to make new artwork and replicate ancient forms in a symposium context. Bronze is melted and poured in the open, using experimental charcoal-fired pit furnaces.

Past projects:
2022 Glendarragh Studios, Co Wicklow, June 17th - 26th
2021 Coolattin Studio near Tinahely, Co Wicklo, September 4th - 11th
2020 The Combined Aos Dara and Umha Aois Symposium, August
2019 UCD Experimental Archaeology Dept, Co Dublin, Aug 12th - 17th
2018 Dromid Gaeltacht, Co Kerry, August 25th to September 2
2017 Aug 19 - 20, Allihies, Co Cork
2016 July 23 - August 1, Skibereen, Co Cork
2015 July 24 - August 3, Skibereen, Co Cork
9th Experimental Archaeology Conference 2015, Jan 15 - 18, University College Dublin
Umha Aois 2014, 25-30th August in Cúil Aodha Co Cork

Of Tea Pot Stands and Perforated Slabs - Article by participant Giovanna Fregni
An Lab, Ionad Ealaíona na Gaeilge, Sraid Eoin, An Daingean, Ireland, April 28th - May 6th 2013
An Lab, Ionad Ealaíona na Gaeilge, Sraid Eoin, An Daingean, Ireland, April 29th - May 7th 2012
Muckross House , Killarney, Co Kerry, August 14th - 21st 2011
Doolin Crafts Gallery, Doolin, Co Clare, Aug 21st - 30th 2010 Article by Kate Dennett
Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton, Aug 27th - Sept 1st 2009
Lejre Centre for Experimental Archaeology, 13th -19th July 2009
Áras Éanna, Arts, Culture and Heritage Centre on Inis Oírr, 29th Aug - 7th Sept 2008
Lejre Centre for Experimental Archaeology, July 19th to August 1st 2008 - VIDEO
World Archaeology Congress Fringe Exhibition, 30th June to 4th July 2008
Fungannon Artists Collective, Castle Hill Dungannon, October 2007 - VIDEO
Áras Éanna, Arts, Culture and Heritage Centre on Inis Oírr, 16th-26th July 2007
An Creagán Visitor Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, June 19th - 30th 2006 - VIDEO
Strata Florida, Pontrhydfendigaid, Wales, July 8th - 10th 2006
Kells, Co. Kilkenny, August 12th - 13th 2006

Artwork by artists Lorraine Whelan & James Hayes