Hot Milk Forge in Martinstown is latest artisan workshop in north Antrim

Eamonn Higgins

Hot Milk Forge in Martinstown has been launched as the eighth artisan workshop in the successful Économusée network.

Hot Milk Forge joins the elite network of quality food and craft artisans who open their doors to visitors and tourists to share the story of their journey and acquired knowledge, skill and passion.

Guest speakers at the launch included Ainsley McWilliams, Head of Tourism, Arts and Culture at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Brenda Murphy, Tourism N.Ireland and Graham Thompson, Chief Executive of Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust.

Ainsley said: “I am delighted that Hot Milk Forge will join seven other skilled artisans as part of the ÉCONOMUSÉE network in Northern Ireland.

“This unique network brings together craft, food, heritage and tourism and adds to the overall experiential tourism product of the Causeway Coastal Route.

“This approach compliments Council’s tourism strategy and our new tourism brand ‘Shaped by Sea and Stone’. Congratulations to Eamonn Higgins and his team on their achievement and commitment in becoming part of the Économusée network”.

Hot Milk Forge was founded in 2014 by professional Artist/Sculptor Eamonn Higgins. Visitors to the workshop can participate in evening and weekend Classes in Blacksmithing and Bladesmithing with an artistic twist.

Eamonn said: ‘I would like to express my thanks to everyone present for attending this special launch and all those that helped us reach the stage we are at today.

“As part of our commitment to the Économusée network, we will offer visitors pre-booked artisan black/bladesmithing classes and tours of the workshop where they will see the storyboards, which tell the history of smithing and the process.”

Économusée Artisans at Work is a concept that was developed in Québec and involves partners from Canada, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Haiti, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This current phase was funded by Tourism NI, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council and delivered by Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust.

Within Northern Ireland there are currently seven ÉCONOMUSÉE workshops; Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil in Limavady, Scullion Hurls in Loughgiel, Steenson’s Jewellers in Glenarm, Hillstown Brewery in Ahoghill, Ursa Minor Bakehouse, Broughgammon Farm and North Coast Smokehouse in Ballycastle. Each workshop is situated on or close by the famous Causeway Coastal Route making it an ideal craft trail for visitors.

For more information on the Économusée network contact the CCGHT office on 028201752100, info@ccght.org or www.economusee.eu

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