I began the year last January, as I will this January, with a trip to India, my second home, where I brought a diverse group of 6 lovely people for a 10-day guided tour of the golden triangle. The tour included 5 days of jewellery classes with 5th generation goldsmith Gurudutt Soni as well as sightseeing to the Taj Mahal, Jaipur and the Thar desert region around Pushkar. It was a truly memorable experience for the group and myself and I look forward to taking more groups to this special place in the future.
This January’s trip to India I will seek out some more beautiful and unusual stones and focus on experimentations and drawings for some very different works I have planned for the year ahead.
More travels in 2018 culminated in Tokyo, Japan, where I was honoured to spend a week learning new techniques including Zogan inlay and the Japanese style of raising from master craftsmen, Kenji Io, his son Kochi and Kochi’s partner Mariko Sumioka.
Japan is a fascinating and beautiful country. We trekked the Kumano Kodo for 5 days, an ancient emperor’s pilgrimage route through forests, hot springs, temples and mountains, to the coast. I am excited about transforming these experiences and newly acquired skills into new works this year.
It was also a very busy year for my favourite classes; the Wedding Ring Workshops. I met many lovely couples who were thrilled to create their own wedding rings in a day long class. This year I am delighted to team up with Ballintaggart House in Dingle and Legan Castle farmhouse in County Kilkenny to offer the Wedding Ring Workshops as part of romantic packages at these stunning locations.
I was honoured to have my designs chosen by the Committee of Sacred Art and Architecture in Maynooth for an exhibition at The RDS library, Dublin, to coincide with the pope’s visit and The World Meeting of Families in August. Much of my summer was spent developing a ‘Ceremonial Capsule’, ‘Wall-font’ and ‘Good Seed Pendant’ for inclusion in the show.
Towards the end of this year The Blue Egg Gallery in Wexford began stocking my spoons and pendants and I will announce another outlet for my work very soon.
A busy year of commissions culminated with a 10 day Christmas market at Om Yoga in Thomastown with several other craftspeople and I would like to thank everyone who supported their local makers this Christmas and throughout the year.
New for 2019 I am running several jewellery making classes, including a Flush Stone Setting 1-day workshop (21st Feb) for the first time and a Silver Jewellery 2-day workshop (22nd and 23rd Feb). Only 1 or 2 places remaining for both so please get in touch if you would like to attend.
Finally, a heartfelt ‘thank-you’ for your support in 2018.
Wishing you a year of good health, happiness and adventures.