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Lichen Ceramics

Throwing Clay in Leitrim with Lichen Ceramics

Bairbre Kennedy operates her business Lichen Ceramics from the Leitrim Sculpture Centre in Manorhamilton.   

One of 11 children, she was raised in Carrick on Shannon and grew up exploring the waterways of south Leitrim on her parent’s restored Guinness barge. The River Shannon and its wildlife still inspire her work. Bairbre studied pottery with the Design & Craft Council of Ireland in Thomastown, Kilkenny. She worked with Judy Greene pottery in Galway as well as working in England where she helped design pottery with Kerry Hastings Ceramics in London.

In 2016 Bairbre decided to follow her dream and return to Leitrim to set up her own business Lichen Ceramics and design for herself. She realized she had to learn about the business side of the operation and contacted the Local Enterprise Office Leitrim, where she completed a Start Your Own Business course which enabled her to set up her company. Since then, Bairbre has attended a number of courses delivered by the Local Enterprise Office including Innovation, Marketing and Finance all of which she found to be invaluable. Most recently she attended the Trading Online Voucher Workshop and availed of the Voucher which she stated has been a great help in getting her website off the ground, which is important for boosting her online sales, .   

Being based at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre among other artists and craft workers has created a working atmosphere that suits Bairbre. She draws inspiration from her surroundings, with even the name of her company “Lichen Ceramics” prompted by the lichen-covered trees in her mother’s garden. Bairbre relishes the different landscape of north Leitrim where she is now based, with its abundance of hills and heathers which are reflected in the distinctive colours on her pottery. As well as functional mugs and bowls, she also designs decorative pieces such as a selection of ceramic paintings and quirky ceramic pumpkins.

It’s important to Bairbre that people are attracted to the look of her products – but that they also quickly realise that her handmade pottery is strong and lightweight. People notice the difference as soon as they pick up her mugs. The question she is most frequently asked is whether her tableware can go into the dishwasher and not surprisingly given her practical side, the answer is a resounding yes. “I like the idea of people being able to use it rather than have it sitting on a dresser,” 

Her pottery is available to buy in the Leitrim Design House in Carrick on Shannon, the Quayside gallery in Westport and the Butterscotch gift café in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny. Bairbre has also designed the distinctive soup bowls and matching plates for Shells, a seaside café in Strandhill and with the help of Leitrim Local Enterprise Office and her Trading Online Voucher all her products can be viewed on her website

Bairbre is very proud of creating her pottery in the county that she grew up in and states how buying and supporting local is so important and reiterates that this was all possible with the fantastic support that she received and continues to receive from Local Enterprise Office Leitrim. She would recommend anyone thinking of setting up a business, expanding a business or seeking any business advice through mentoring to make contact with Leitrim Local Enterprise Office.

For further information on Lichen Ceramics

Contact:   Bairbre Kennedy


For further information on Local Enterprise Office, Leitrim

Contact:    071 9650420


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