ERA demonstrates a diverse range of jewellery and goldsmithing skills, combining traditional specialist techniques with contemporary design.
The exhibition showcases the high level of craftsmanship and skills honed by the 12 students during the intensive two-year programme. ERA demonstrates a diverse range of jewellery and goldsmithing skills, combining traditional specialist techniques with contemporary design. The exhibition title, ERA, references the students time studying in Kilkenny and the impact of the makers that have been in the workshops before them from Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW) 1963-1988 through the various Design & Crafts Council Ireland courses running since the 1990’s.
- Tim Coffey
- Marianne Kenny
- Emma Grant
- Corrina Luck/Gallagher
- Patrick Brennan
- Martin Breen
- Juliana Altschul Frister
- Sophie Scullion
- Siobhan McArdle
- Roisin McCabe
- Melissa White (Power)
- Josh Reynolds
About the course:
Based in Castle Yard, Co. Kilkenny, the Jewellery & Goldsmithing Design and Skills Course has reputation for excellence within the industry; students and graduates are employed at all levels both nationally and internationally. The studio-based pedagogy, well-respected lecturers and a wide range of guest lecturers and industry experts have ensured the course’s success. This cohort will be the last graduates of the 2 year diploma course. DCCI are launching a 3 year BA (Hons)in Jewellery and Goldsmithing in September 2022 accredited by Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.
The graduates have acquired the essential knowledge over two intensive years of education and are now positioned to progress into the industry and set up their own studios. Advanced practical processes and complex design skills in jewellery and goldsmithing have been passed on, ensuring the next generation of jewellers and goldsmiths are armed for success!
About the Makers and the works:
Pieces exhibited in the ERA exhibition include a floating perfume bottle, suspending in space by Sophie Scullion. Sophie’s work is whimsical and sculptural. It incorporates images of feathers and flight and displays a lightness of touch. She embellishes surfaces with ornamentation and illustrative detailing, skillfully executed in traditional hand engraving. Her ambitious work dazzles, possessing a grand sense of theatre.
Róisín McCabe’s work interpretes organic sources, regularly returning to floral imagery and references as touchstones in her work. Róisín brings a sense of clean geometry and modern simplicity to the work. This is softened in combination with a lush sense of detailing resulting in a sumptuous arrangement of petals, painstakingly built into the surface of her perfume bottle. Her decorative touches are accentuated by her use of reflective and mirroring surfaces.
Drawing upon continued exploration of the contrasts of dark & light and interiors & exteriors of objects, Siobhán McArdle’s work is vibrant and original. Springing from her 2-dimensional sketches, she transfers these shapes into her material with bold stylistic details and a delicate balance of composition. The strong graphic quality of her work brings a modern contemporary sensibility to traditional themes.
Tim Coffey’s work is striking in its crisp, stark geometry. The strong definition of corners and edges is supplemented by gentle introductions of wood and softer materials as a counterpoint.
His precise use of symmetry is enhanced with reflections and patterns. His Perfume Bottle places a mirror-finish polish against a mirror setting up a play between reflective surfaces.
Displaying an instinctive response to the material, Emma Grant’s beautifully realised work explores the story-telling of her objects and an intriguing narrative quality. Her pieces reveal metaphors of love stories, tragedies and moments of intimacy. Emma intuitively contrasts curves against sharpness of line, creating soft and hard edges and using new technology to introduce pattern and detail to her surfaces.
The strong geometric volumes of Martin Breen feature subtle details, concealed functionality and hidden meanings. Martin is intrigued by the meanings behind the objects themselves, that bear scrutiny beyond the initial observation, inviting the viewer to engage and discover. His strong, bold angles come from folds which describe the volume of a shape, countered by recessed panels and illusions of space and construction.
Patrick Brennan has already begun carving out a reputation for himself as a skilled and respected knife-maker. He has worked with some internationally acclaimed exponents of the art form. Transferring the skills he acquired working with steel and combining with traditional goldsmithing skills, Patrick brings fresh insights and promises great things to come from the synergy between the two crafts. His deceptively simple designs bely the rigorous care and meticulous attention to detail.
Delicate work consisting of shapes that flow, edges that move and catch the light as two surfaces intersect, showcases Juliana Altschul’s strong aesthetic. Introductions of decoration are sensitively judged and carefully balanced against a pure minimal form. Her work demonstrates Juliana’s fascination with the transformation from the raw original material to pristine surfaces, utilising contrasts between high polished and satin surfaces, exploring how the light catches an object and helps define it.
Displaying an extraordinary tactile quality in her work, Corinne Gallagher’s pieces ask to be held and feel at home in one’s hand. They seek to capture fleeting qualities and evoke the nature of memories and the passage of time. Her perfume bottle carries the hidden inscription from CS Lewis; “Courage, brave heart”, as the object whispers to its owner each time it’s used. Her objects carry layers of meaning, offering comfort and reassurance waiting to be discovered. Corinne continues to mine the space between the physicality of the objects and the intentions behind them.
Joshua Reynold’s work reflects the transformative action of pressing form into flat plates, bringing them from static repose(inertia) to sprung dynamic volume. Using the tension in an arc, the flex in a surface, these combine to produce graceful forms. With his perfume bottle based on the painting “The Travel Companion” by Harry Clarke, Joshua discovered that they had gone to the same school as children and provided a personal connection across the century, echoed in his faithfully hand engraved rendition of the imagery in the plate held beneath the suspended, elongated, elegant amphora.
Capturing an artistic representation of the natural world, Marianne Kenny’s Perfume Bottle is a very pure minimal form brought to a high polish and reflects the world around it. A world comprised of painstakingly carved and sculpted flora lovingly realised and carefully brought to life, surrounding the bottle with gentle grasses caught in a swaying moment of breeze. Marianne finds immense satisfaction in the perseverance needed to take the raw metal through the hand-fabrication process to metamorphose into a seemingly effortless rendition of nature.
Melissa White’s complex and sophisticated designs demand attention and wonder. Her keen sense of detail and compositional balance casts a spell and enthralls the viewer. Layers of metal, suggested spaces, weaving and interacting lines, along with an abundance of care and sensitive execution, make objects to marvel at.