Philosopher to Basket Weaver

A dramatic change in lifestyle for one man who left behind the world of academia to become a basket maker. Broadcast on this day in 1980 'Patterns' meets Joe Hogan a native of Caltra, Co. Galway, who doesn't see this as abandoning a profession but rather adopting a new one. Joe believes that a trade and a bit of farming is as good a way to live as any.

This episode of 'Patterns' titled 'The Basket Makers of Lough Nafooey' was broadcast on 8 July 1980.
The programme is partly in the Irish language with narration in English.

'Patterns' is a series of six programmes focusing on a newer generation who have found the answer to job satisfaction in one or other of the arts and crafts. The series was produced and directed by David Shaw-Smith for RTÉ, with script and commentary by Brendan Ó hEithir.

Documentary filmmaker and photographer David Shaw-Smith has produced over 138 television documentaries. He began work with the new RTÉ television station in 1961 before setting out as an independent filmmaker where he continued to produce programmes for RTÉ. Among the productions David and his wife Sally made were the series ‘Hands’ and ‘Patterns’ which recorded the work of 40 traditional Irish crafts.


For over 20 years, the original film from David and Sally’s productions sat in tea chests stored in a barn in Creagh, Co Mayo. In March 2013 archivists, packed this film collection of 1,800 film cans into storage containers and brought them to the RTÉ Archives. Jonathan Lambert of RTÉ photographed and edited a short video showing the film and audio collections being taken from Co. May and placed in the RTÉ Archives. View the video here.

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