Lustre, an exhibition from DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course to open 14 July

Posted 07.07.17

LUSTRE: An exhibition of stunning work from the 2017 graduates of the DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course to open in Kilkenny on 14 July

l to r: Pendant (silver, fine silver, sapphires) by Doireann O'Riordan; Fabergé-style ‘Carnival Egg’ (silver egg with tube-set multi-coloured Cubic Zirconias) by Amelia Reynolds; ‘Jessie' brooch (sterling silver, sugar loaf cut garnet, diamond, 18 ct yellow gold and 9 ct yellow gold) by Cassie McCann.

Lustre, an exhibition of beautiful pieces designed and made by the 2017 graduates of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s world-renowned Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course will open at the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny on Friday, 14 July. Running for three weeks, until 7 August, the exhibition will showcase 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 will be officially opened by Gaynor Andrews, former Head of the School of Jewellery, Birmingham.

The students work solely in precious metals and have been encouraged to push boundaries in technique and innovative designs, which will be evident in the almost 100 pieces on display in Lustre. A highlight of the exhibition will be 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. All eggs house a unique piece inside.

Other pieces in the exhibition, showcasing the technical ability and design aesthetics of each of the ten graduates, include 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 Lustre will be available to purchase, offering visitors to the gallery an opportunity to acquire work by Ireland’s emerging jewellery designers.

The selection of work available to purchase will also include pieces created by each of the students as part of a design competition run in association with The Kilkenny Group. During a four-week period earlier in 2017, the students designed and produced their own signature neckpiece/pendant, the design of which would be used to influence a product range suitable to retail in the renowned store. Following a presentation and selection process, four of the students – Sandra Hartwieg, Mollie Paling, Cassie McCann and Lina Siaudvytyte – were shortlisted to have their collections showcased in the windows of the flagship Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street, Dublin and available to buy in-store for six weeks from 18 September 2017. The overall winner of the design competition will be announced in October. 

Eimear Conyard, Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course Manager, said: “This exhibition showcases the incredible skills and creative talent that have been nurtured and developed with our jewellery and goldsmithing graduates over the last two years. Our course prides itself on training students to the very highest standards and our biennial exhibition in Kilkenny offers a unique opportunity for the graduates to have their work seen by the jewellery industry and the public. A particular highlight of this year’s exhibition is a collection of Fabergé-style eggs as part of a small-scale silversmithing project. The students designed and produced their own individual egg, each demonstrating creativity as well as excellence in skill and craftsmanship. The graduates should be very proud of all they have achieved over the last two years and I wish each of them the very best for the future.”

Karen Hennessy, CEO of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland also commented: “There is a rich history of jewellery design and goldsmithing in this country and the DCCoI is keen to support and develop this key part of the design and craft sector with our world-renowned training programme. We are delighted to see another group of highly talented and hard-working graduates emerge from the two-year course, ready to enter the industry with the skills, confidence and experience necessary to make a real impact. We look forward to seeing more of their work and wish them every success in their chosen fields.

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. Designed to equip graduates with the practical skills and technical knowledge needed to develop careers in the jewellery industry, the course focuses on the use of precious metals and gemstones, and covers design, quantity production techniques and manufacture. Specialist subjects such as engraving, enamelling, gemmology, stone setting, and silversmithing are taught by experts from the jewellery industry in Ireland and abroad. The course is accredited through the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

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 and for additional information on the graduates, visit 

In addition to the jewellery and goldsmithing course, the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland runs a two-year Ceramics Skills & Design Course in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. The Ceramics Centre of Excellence recently had the honour of welcoming HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall where they viewed the unique facilities and learned more about the skills training offered at this idyllic location, as part of their visit to Kilkenny in May 2017.

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Friday 14 July, 6pm
Lustre opening by Gaynor Andrews, former Head of the School of Jewellery, Birmingham City University 

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

For further information, please email


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.

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.

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. 

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