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"UMHA AOIS", The Bronze Age 4,000 Years On
"Umha Aois" (Irish for Bronze Age) is an ongoing experimental project organised on a volunteer basis by several sculptors, myself included (James Hayes). 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. Although the material (bronze) is familiar, the method (stone and clay moulds) is new to most. Participants found that this was an exciting and empowering experience because of the simplicity and directness of the techniques.

I have been involved with the project since the 1996 event, and have organised and participated on many of the events. I have witnessed a blossoming of a useable small scale technology, overcome many hurdles with my fellow artists & archaeologists, and made many good friends as a result. I created and manage the UMHA AOIS WEBSITE and hope to turn it into an online repository of useful information for sculptors & archaeologists.

The Umha Aois Project has come to influence my work as a sculptor. Examples of work directly related to or created from the Umha Aois projects are linked to the right. For more info and a better view of the images right, simply click on them

Over the years this experimental bronze casting project has been held at:

Muckross House , Killarney, Co Kerry, August 14th - 21st 2011
Doolin Crafts Gallery, Doolin, Co. Clare, August 21st to 30th, 2010
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 island , August 29th - September 7th 2008
Lejre Centre for Experimental Archaeology - July 19th - August 1st 2008
Áras Éanna, Arts, Culture and Heritage Centre on Inis Oírr island, 16th - 26th July 2007
An Creagán Visitor Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, June 19th - 30th 2006
Strata Florida, Pontrhydfendigaid, Wales, July 8th - 10th 2006
Kells, Co. Kilkenny, August 12th - 13th 2006
An Creagán Visitor Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, June 19th - 30th 2006
Roundwood Co Wicklow, part of 'Celebrating the Bronze Age in Wicklow', October 22nd 2005
Casting Workshop, Coolboy, Sunday Sept 25th, 2005
Oileán Cleire (Cape Clear Island) Co Cork, June 20 - 2 July 2005
Birr Castle Demesne, Co Offaly, 18 - 22 September 2004
Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim, Aug. 11th - 21st 2003
The Brantree Bard Centre, Co. Tyrone, Nov. 23rd - 25th 2002
The Celtic & Prehistoric Museum, Co. Kerry, Aug. 30th - Sep. 9th 2001
The Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Co. Down, Aug. 2nd - 13th 1999
The Ulster History Park, Omagh, July 17th - 31st, 1997
The Navan Centre (Eamhain Macha), Co. Armagh, Aug. 1996
The Firestation Studios, Co. Dublin Nov. 1995

For more information and images on this exciting project visit the UMHA AOIS WEBSITE.
Click on the thumbnail images below to see larger images.
Anticipation by James Hayes Comfort by James Hayes
Kneeling by James Hayes Swaddling by James Hayes
Ball by James Hayes Ball by James Hayes

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