DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course graduate exhibition officially opens

Posted 17.07.17

DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course graduate exhibition officially opens

Recipients of Graduate Awards Announced

The 2017 graduates of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s renowned Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course unveiled their stunning work at the opening of Lustre at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, last Friday, 14 July.

Featuring almost 100 pieces on display, a highlight of this graduate exhibition is an exquisite collection of ten Fabergé-style eggs, ranging from minimalist silver eggs that are set with gemstones, are engraved and have etched surfaces, to elaborate enamelled eggs that have allowed the students to introduce vibrant colour to their work, with all eggs housing a unique piece inside.

Lustre, which runs for three weeks until Monday, 7 August, showcases the high level of craftsmanship and unique set of skills honed by the talented students during the intensive two-year programme, and features stunning work in gold, silver, platinum and gemstones. The exhibition was officially opened by Gaynor Andrews, former Head of the School of Jewellery, Birmingham and the recipients of a number of graduate awards were announced on the night.

Karen Hennessy, CEO of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, announced Abby Jardine as the recipient of the Chief Executive Award, selected for “her consistency in excellence of design and craftsmanship through all her projects”. Abby first started to pursue a career in jewellery and goldsmithing at the New Approach School for Jewelers in Tennessee before joining the DCCoI programme in Kilkenny. She completed the GemA Diamond Grading practical course in 2016 and recently did a work placement with OC Tanner Jewelers in Utah, USA. Abby is hoping to progress within the jewellery and fashion industry and wants to develop her own goldsmithing business and jewellery brand.

Eimear Conyard, Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course Manager, presented Lina Siaudvytyte with the Student of the Course Award for “her drive and determination to achieve the very highest quality of craftsmanship and design throughout the 2-year programme. Her designs consistently challenged her abilities which is evident in Lina’s Fabergé-style egg and enameled and 18ct gold butterfly.” Having established her own brand of jewellery in 2013, Lithuanian-born Lina who now lives in Carlow wanted to further develop her skills by doing a course that would give her in-depth training in fine jewellery. The pieces she has made during the DCCoI programme have been complex in construction and have helped her to develop a distinctive design style. Lina plans to have her own workshop in Ireland to create bespoke pieces and collections.

Cassie McCann received the Course Manager’s Award for “her overall contribution to the course and the student body, and in particular for the outstanding craftsmanship in her Fabergé-style egg which features a hand-carved mermaid and enameled outer surface.” Cassie is from Greystones, Co. Wicklow and comes from a graphic design background. In 2009, she decided to explore a love of jewellery by attending some short courses and working part-time for AMOC Jewellery in Wicklow. During the DCCoI programme she completed the GemA Diamond Grading Practical exam as well as a work placement with Liam Costigan Goldsmith and teaching experience at The Jewellery School, Birmingham. Cassie will now continue her training within the trade in Ireland and abroad.

Speaking about the work of the ten graduates, Karen Hennessy, commented: “The enormous talent and unique skills honed by this group of graduates over the past two years is clearly evident in this exhibition and we are delighted that the public can view and purchase their incredible work. The programmes offered at our Jewellery and Goldsmithing Centre of Excellence and our Ceramics Centre of Excellence in Thomastown are central to supporting and encouraging emerging talent in the design and craft sector. We congratulate all of this year’s jewellery graduates and wish them every success in their future careers.”

Lustre showcases the technical ability and design aesthetics of each of the ten graduates, and also includes work such as Palladium and 18-carat gold rings set with a single, coloured gemstone, illustrating the student’s individual approach to a common brief; and ten silver spoons that have been hand forged from a single bar of silver. Most of the creations featured in the exhibition are available to purchase, offering visitors to the gallery an opportunity to acquire work by Ireland’s emerging jewellery designers.

The DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Centre of Excellence, based in Castle Yard, Kilkenny City, offers a unique programme in jewellery education in Europe and is the only one of its kind in Ireland. Accredited through the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, the course is designed to equip graduates with the practical skills and technical knowledge needed to develop careers in the jewellery industry. It focuses on the use of precious metals and gemstones, and covers design, quantity production techniques and manufacture.

Lustre runs at the National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny until Monday, 7 August 2017. Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5.30pm; Sunday and Bank Holidays: 11am – 5.30pm. Admission is free. For further details on the exhibition, visit www.nationalcraftgallery.ie and for additional information on the graduates, visit dccoi.ie/lustre.

Image: L-R: ‘Water Lily Egg’, Lina Siaudvytyte; ‘The Little Mermaid Egg’, Cassie McCann; ‘Carnival Egg’, Amelia Reynolds

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Thursday - Sunday, 3pm-4pm (for duration of exhibition)
Daily Demonstrations A chance to visit the jewellery school studios and see how goldsmiths create bespoke jewellery pieces. 

Thursday 20 July, 6pm
Meet the Makers, an in-depth talk by the graduates
A special event to hear about the work, techniques and skills developed by the graduates.

Saturday 22nd July, Drop-in 10.30am-1pm
Family Day: Beaded Bubble Wands Creating wire shapes, beading patterns and making fun Bubble Wands. Will take place outside, weather permitting. (5yrs +)

Tuesday 25th July, 10am-1pm
Silver Jewellery, teen workshop, €30
Teens are guided to design and create their own bespoke silver jewellery. Book through Eventbrite.

Saturday 29th July, 10am-1pm
Ring Making, adult workshop, €40
Sit at the bench to design, forge, decorate and finish your very own silver ring! Book through Eventbrite.

Gallery Tours for Groups are available on request. To book, email events@nationalcraftgallery.ie.

Workshops/demos in the DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Studio in Castle Yard, Kilkenny

For further information, please email events@nationalcraftgallery.ie.


The ten graduates of the DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, including graphic design and psychology as well as art and design. The graduates are listed below (please click on the names for each student biography):

Yasmin Belkhayat
Sandra Hartwieg
Abby Jardine
Magda Lewandowska
Kim Ellen Magee
Cassie McCann
Doireann O’Riordan
Mollie Paling
Amelia Reynolds
Lina Siaudvytyte


About the DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course
DCCoI’s Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course is the only programme in Ireland which specialises in the tradition of working with precious metals and gemstones. This intensive two-year full-time programme, located at DCCoI’s headquarters in Kilkenny City and accredited through National University of Ireland, Maynooth, is designed to equip graduates with the practical skills needed to develop careers in the jewellery industry in Ireland and internationally. It specialises in the tradition of precious metals and gemstones, covering design, production techniques and manufacture. Building on the experience and success of their skills-based courses in ceramics in Thomastown and in jewellery and goldsmithing in Castle Yard, Kilkenny, DCCoI’s vision is to work with partner organisations in developing centres of excellence in other key disciplines to ensure industry needs are met through specialised training and access to facilities, leading to an emerging workforce with the experience and expertise necessary for the ongoing development of craft and design in Ireland. www.jewellerycourse.ie

About the National Craft Gallery
Established by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in 2000, the National Craft Gallery is Ireland’s leading centre for contemporary craft and design. It exhibits Irish and international designers, artists and makers who push boundaries in their engagement with the making process. Its mission is to inspire appreciation, creativity and innovation, and it plays a critical role in building understanding of craft and material culture in Ireland. www.nationalcraftgallery.ie

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 3,200 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie

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