Thursday 5 December 2019

Learn about endangered bee at clay workshops

The endangered Gold-Fringed Mason Bee
The endangered Gold-Fringed Mason Bee

Maria Pepper

The Arts Office of Wexford County Council, in association with Johnstown Castle, is hosting pottery workshops on an environmental theme related to the Osmia aurulenta (Gold-fringed Mason) bee which is the only solitary bee in Ireland that makes its nest in empty snail shells.

People are invited to take part in clay workshops to produce their own individual shell, with the event part of an arts project between Wexford County Council, Fingal County Council and Dublin City Council in which artists are looking at climate change and its effects on local biodiversity.

The Johnstown Castle event is the culmination of a three-month residency at Carrig-on-Bannow in Wexford by the artist Mark Clare, focused on the endangered bee that nests in empty snail shells in sand dunes on the south and south east coast.

The workshops are part of the castle's inaugural Festival of Honey. The ceramic artist Mairead Stafford will demonstrate how to use clay to produce a shell. Snail shells made by participants will be incorporated into a large-scale artwork highlighting the devastating impact of climate change on local biodiversity.

Workshops will take place from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Admission is free but pre-booking is required as places are limited to 30 per workshop. Children must be accompanied by an adult. To register, email

Wexford People

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