Kennedys send thanks to Peter
COUNTY Wexford artist and sculptor Peter Hodnett has received a letter from a member of the Kennedy family thanking him for his exquisite craftsmanship in designing the globe for the Emigrant Flame sculpture in New Ross and for a commemorative table that now sits in pride of place at their home in Washington.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, sent Peter a letter thanking him for his work on the Globe and for the beautifully crafted table that represents the same piece.
In the letter, Kathleen Kennedy says the sculpted table captures 'the struggle of immigrants and the desire for a better life that unites people all around the world...(the table)...now has a place of honour in our home.'
'The globe and table will always have the most special place in our heart,' she says in the letter.
'I actually presented the table to them on the Quay in New Ross on June 21, but it took until a couple of weeks ago to get it there,' said Peter.
'Basically, it's a miniature oak tree representative of the one on the globe with 50 oak leaves, representing the states and the 50th anniversary of JFK's visit.
'The brass oak leaf in the centre commemorates the gathering on Ross Quay.'
The Kennedy coat of arms is etched into the glass with a map of the world, the tree itself represents the family history and the oval shape the Oval Office.
Peter, who operates out of Crossabeg, is an award-winning sculptor.
He spent 30 years in the engineering industry working as an engineering and hydraulic fitter-fabricator and spent another decade working on his creations before he took the plunge and set up his own business. He has been selling his work successfully for three years.
Half of Peter's work is commission based and the rest is made up of his own ideas
A copper Beech Tree crafted by Peter won first prize at the 2005 National Crafts Awards at the RDS and a second place at the Grey Heron awards at the RDS the same year.
Peter creates his pieces using traditional methods such as welding, soldering, braizing, crimping and anealing.
'It's all tin snips and hammering,' he said.