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 2023
Glendarragha Studio near Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow from July 10th to 15th
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, Liss Ard Estate, Skibereen, Co Cork
2015 9th Experimental Archaeology Conference, Jan 15 - 18, University College Dublin
2014, 25-30th August in Cúil Aodha Co Cork

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

Artwork by artists Lorraine Whelan & James Hayes