Waterford Crystal was founded in 1783 on land next to Merchants' Quay in the heart of the Irish harbour town of Waterford, just a stone throw away from the present-day House of Waterford Crystal. Brothers George and William Penrose established with the mission, "create the finest quality crystal for drinking vessels and objects of beauty for the home." Over more than 200 years later, the reputation they built for producing luxury crystal of supreme beauty and quality has transcended the intervening centuries. Their Master Craftsmen are required to complete an eight-year-long apprenticeship to acquire all the skills required for Waterfords production process before mastering these techniques through decades of perfection. Waterford is one of the few crystal manufacturers that still practices the ancient craft of mould making, a technique that has changed very little over the centuries and takes years to master. Once the glass has been blown and hand-marked it is ready for cutting.
Though the precise facts of Ireland’s glass-making practices are lost in the mists of time, there are significant archaeological artefacts that reveal glass was regarded with respect from as early as the Iron Age, around 500 BC, along with medieval documents also proving that glass-making took place in Ireland back in the middle 13th century.
What transpired between these dates may be a mystery, but what is clear is that the Irish have an innate affinity for glass-making that spans millennia.