Westmeath, and in particular Mullingar has a long tradition of arts and crafts. This is still the case today with the craft of pewter-making one of the best examples.
Pewter is a type of metal which is mostly made out of tin but which also includes copper and sometimes lead. The history of pewter in Ireland goes back over 800 years. It was first used to make items such as tankards and candlesticks but only the upper classes could afford them.
Pewter became more common after that but fell into decline in the 18th century. This was due to the introduction of pottery and developments in glass-making.
Mullingar Pewter helped to re-create an interest in pewter-making in the 20th century with their collections of statuettes and figurines.
Genesis Fine Arts
Genesis Fine Arts is also based in Mullingar but instead of pewter, they deal with sculptures made out of bronze.
The company was founded in 1986 but uses the same techniques of bronze-sculpting that were common over 2000 years ago. As well as making limited edition sculptures, they also produce items such as picture frames and mirrors.
The range of items that Genesis make shows how talented the artists are when making products from bronze.