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All Olde Ireland / Éire Ársa natural slate products were extracted from c. 500 million year old slate deposits in Ireland or North Wales. All our ‘new’ slates are from the famous ‘Blue Bangor’ or ‘Ffestiniog’ quarries of north Wales – all ‘Irish’ slate quarries having ceased production in the 1950’s.
However, all Olde Ireland / Éire Ársa natural ‘reclaimed’ slate products are from either old Irish or North Welsh quarries, most of which are over 100 years old and as such they are ‘Antique’.
In manufacturing our ‘new’ slate products our first process is power washing – this involves cleaning and removing all loose particles or fragments. After drying the slate is treated with a special deep penetrating preservative / sealer – after which its top surface is coated with a special 2-part water-based varnish and left to dry for 3 days before laser engraving.
Our Antique Slates
Before use all Olde Ireland / Éire Ársa ‘reclaimed’ Antique Slates undergo a 7-day ‘rebirth’ process. All over 100 years old (some up to 200 years old!) they were reclaimed from a variety of old Irish buildings such as Old Churches, Old Schools, Old Hospitals, Old Railway Stations/Cottages, Old Institution Buildings, Old Workhouses, Landlord’s ‘Big Houses’, Gentry’s ‘Town Houses’, Old Institutional Buildings and from a variety of other old buildings. Many were reclaimed over the last 20 years from redevelopment of Ireland’s old inner city buildings and old urban towns. Some of Olde Ireland / Éire Ársa reclaimed slates are from the roof of an old 19th century Irish prison!
The ‘rebirth’ process for all Olde Ireland / Éire Ársa ‘reclaimed’ slates starts with a thorough power-washing. After this they are coated with hydrochloric acid (often twice!) – to remove all cementitious and other such materials – each time followed by another thorough ‘clean-water’ cleaning. After a 48-hour drying period they are then treated with a special deep penetrating preservative / sealer which is left to set for 72 hours. The final stage is a top surface coating of special 2-part water-based varnish and again left to dry for 3 more days.
Using the very latest computerised design, photographic and other technologies, advanced software and our experienced ‘quality conscious’ design staff, all designs (including text, photographs, art work etc.) are ‘laser engraved’ i.e. ‘burnt’ into the slate’s top surface. To complete the manufacturing process, hanging systems and self adhesive rubber (or felt) feet are added – the latter to protect work surfaces.
Use of Slate Product
Because it is ‘natural’ slate we use (and whether ‘new’ or ‘reclaimed’) this laser engraved product may be utilised either indoors or outdoors – after all our ‘reclaimed’ slates have been in all-weather ‘outdoor’ for 100 years or more! Additionally, this slate product can withstand both extremely hot and extremely cold temperatures. However, being slate it is also ‘breakable’ – and may not withstand a fall to a stone or similar hard surface! The only upkeep required for this slate is an occasional wipe with a soft damp cloth.
Made in Galway, Ireland, this natural slate product also carries the ‘Guaranteed Irish’ label. It should be noted that variations in the thickness of natural slate is both ‘natural and normal’. Due to the processes used we are are confident that our products will last for many years…perhaps outliving many generations to come!
© Olde Ireland / Éire Ársa