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Family Attractions: House of Waterford Crystal Celebrates Grand Opening Today in Ireland

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Related: Waterford Crystal to Open State-of-the-Art Visitor Centre in 2010!

New Prestige Crystal Factory Captivates Visitors From Around the World With An Educational Experience Demonstrating More than 225 Years of Crystal Making 

A new beginning for Waterford Crystal was marked today with the official opening of the House of Waterford Crystal on the Mall in the heart of Waterford City.  Comprised of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, visitor centre and retail experience store, the opening ensures that the history of more than 600 years of heritage, tradition and craftsmanship remains firmly rooted in Waterford. This milestone event is the result of an agreement between WWRD Holdings Limited ("WWRD"), the leading luxury goods group which owns and operates the Waterford Crystal, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton brands, and Waterford City Council.  

The Waterford Crystal Factory will serve as a brand laboratory for innovation and modern design, captivating visitors as they embark on a visual journey of more than 225 years of crystal making.  Each individual piece of crystal is designed by highly skilled craftsmen using unique and traditional artisan methods.  Even customers with the most discerning eye will be captivated as they view the detailed, intricate work and complexity that goes into producing each piece. The factory will exclusively produce 40, 000 luxury hand-crafted crystal pieces for the thousands of new visitors who come and visit the modern facility.

The manufacturing facility contains a new continuous melt tank furnace that has been tailor-made for Waterford Crystal’s specifications, and will produce two tons of molten crystal each day. It uses leading edge technology to deliver molten crystal of the highest quality for skilled master blowers to hand-shape and hand-blow Waterford Crystal’s range of premium products. All aspects of the manufacturing process will be fully accessible to visitors, who will learn about both historical and contemporary production techniques through direct interaction with the craftsmen and from audiovisual materials. In addition, the onsite retail centre will represent the largest display of Waterford Crystal anywhere in the world.

Pierre de Villemejane, CEO of WWRD, said: "We are extremely proud of the House of Waterford Crystal and its commitment to quality, heritage and cutting-edge design – representing everything that this brand stands for. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world to our new centre, and to continuing the city of Waterford’s extraordinary tradition of producing crystal of the very highest quality."

Visitors to the new facility will marvel at a replica of the Waterford Times Square Ball and will be impressed by the varied exhibitions, including a collection of exclusive Waterford Sport trophies, Statement Design pieces and the Faces and Places Exhibit, a favorite, showcasing specially- commissioned Waterford Crystals pieces that have been presented to famous celebrities, presidents and dignitaries.

Additionally, the world’s largest display of Waterford Crystal will be featured in the retail experience store, including pieces from world famous designers such as John Rocha, Michael Aram and Jasper Conran.

The House of Waterford is located two miles from the city centre on the N25 Cork Road in Waterford, Ireland. Factory tours are open to the public all year round, Monday to Sunday. Guided Tours are also available seven days a week.  For more details on scheduling a visit, www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com

About the Waterford Brand: Waterford designs, manufactures and markets an extensive range of crystal stemware, barware and giftware for distribution throughout the world. In recent years, Waterford has built upon its reputation as a leading source of prestigious tabletop and gift products by expanding into several new businesses. Significant expansions into tabletop and gifts have occurred with the launch of the Marquis by Waterford, the addition of Waterford Fine China, Waterford Fine Flatware and Waterford Holiday Heirlooms. Each of those initiatives reflects the company’s commitment to creating prestigious products – for gift giving, entertaining and home decorating – with classic designs that transcend time.

About WWRD US, LLC: WWRD Holdings Limited, the leading provider of luxury home and lifestyle products worldwide, manufactures, distributes and sells well-recognized brands including Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert, Minton, Johnson Brothers and Franciscan. WWRD maintains unique licensing arrangements with some of the most high-profile innovators in the home and lifestyle market, including Vera Wang, Jasper Conran, Monique Hillier, John Rocha, Barbara Barry, Gordon Ramsay, Martha Stewart and Michael Aram. WWRD products are distributed through premium department stores and independent retailers and wholesalers around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia and Ireland. The company employs more than 3, 000 people worldwide.

 

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