IRISH DESIGNERS TO SHINE AT WORLD’S BIGGEST JEWELLERY TRADE SHOW
8th February 2012
|Crafts Council of Ireland brings ten jewellery makers to Inhorgenta, Munich, 10th - 13th February 2012.
Jewellery by Filip Vanas
A group of ten Irish jewellery designers leaves Dublin this Thursday to participate in Inhorgenta, the world’s largest jewellery trade fair, which takes place in Munich, Germany.
The presence of the contingent of Irish jewellery makers at this annual international show opens up substantial export opportunities, with 32,000 trade visitors from 80 countries expected at the four-day event from 10th to 13th February.
The Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI) is supporting the presence of the jewellery designers at Inhorgenta as part of its drive to bring Irish craft and design to a global audience. The ten Irish makers will exhibit together under the Imagined, Designed, Made in Ireland identity.
“We are very excited about our participation for the first time at this important trade show,” said Brian McGee, Head of Market Development at the Crafts Council of Ireland. “Inhorgenta will give the makers a valuable opportunity to showcase their designs to buyers from all over the globe. With 1,100 exhibitors showing over 65,000 square meters of space, this event sets the scene for current and future developments in the world of jewellery and watches, gemstones, design, and technology. Being part of this show and exhibiting work alongside hundreds of their international peers will be a fantastic experience for our ten jewellers.”
According to McGee, Irish craft enterprises export an estimated €125 million annually and the potential to increase export sales is huge.
“Taking part in international shows like Inhorgenta is vitally important. This world-renowned event holds exciting potential, providing the participating jewellers with a unique opportunity to connect with buyers from all over the world and the possibility of developing strong export opportunities. Since the time of the Celts, Ireland has been internationally renowned for its quality jewellery making and we are on a journey to recapture this reputation,” McGee added.
The ten Irish designers en route to Munich with the Crafts Council of Ireland include both established names such as Alan Ardiff and Maureen Lynch and up-and-coming new talent including Rachel Swan and Filip Vanas.
Irish and international travelers will have seen work by many of these designers on display recently as part of the Crafts Council of Ireland’s unique exhibition of contemporary Irish jewellery at Terminal 2, Dublin Airport. The exhibition ran from November 2011 to January 2012 and was seen by an estimated half a million travellers during the busy holiday period.
For Inhorgenta, jewellery makers were invited by the Crafts Council of Ireland to submit five pieces of their work as part of the selection process. Judging was carried out by a panel of experts from home and abroad and the selection criteria focused on the areas of product quality, design and innovation, suitability to market and export strategy.
One of the designers flying to Inhorgenta on Thursday is Geraldine Murphy of Saba Jewellery based in Kimmage, Dublin. Her work is all handmade in Ireland from sterling silver, gold, copper, enamel and fresh water pearls. Pieces which she will be showcasing at Inhorgenta have been inspired by her love of animals and reflect a strong sense of play.
The ten jewellery designers taking part in Inhorgenta areAlan Ardiff (Dublin), Seamus Gill (Dublin), Tuula Harrington (Cork), Enibas (Cork), Maureen Lynch (Dublin), Rachel McKnight (Belfast), Saba (Dublin), Eily O’Connell (Dublin), Rachel Swan (Dublin) and Filip Vanas (Dublin).
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About the ten jewellery designers and makers attending Inhorgenta:
Saba by Geraldine Murphy
“My love of animals combined with my background in animation has inspired my work, and an element of play is really important to me. I try to design ranges that have very strong, distinct lines and shapes, as well as an animated look; clothes blowing in the wind or a creature that is caught in the middle of doing something. I want the person who wears a piece of my jewellery to feel a strong connection with it, because it makes them smile or even laugh, or because it tells a story – stories connect people to each other, to the past, to objects, and if that story is a funny, endearing or mysterious one, even better. For me, jewellery should always be uplifting!” “My work is 100% handmade in Ireland from sterling silver, gold, copper, enamel and fresh water pearls.”
Customers love Dublin jeweller Alan Ardiff’s kinetic work because this is jewellery that is genuinely interactive. “Their unique selling point is that they move,” Ardiff explains. “There’s a fun side to wearing these pieces. You get to own something crafted by hand from precious metals and additionally, it moves and brings a smile to your face.”
“I fell in love with metal 27 years ago and it’s been an on-going affair,” says Maureen Lynch who has been designing jewellery since graduating from The National College of Art and Design, Dublin in the late 1980s. “Simplicity is what I like. My pieces take their cue from the body itself.” Her jewellery is renowned for its sophisticated simplicity. It is incredibly tactile and, without the addition of surface detail, light reflects beautifully from each piece.
Rachel McKnight loves to find new materials and plays about with them to create new shapes, texture and a sense of fluidity. She laser cuts, engraves and draws on polypropylene, perspex and rubber. Graphic shapes and repeating patterns in nature inspire her as does the idea of layering. Transparency and opaque colour also help to add texture to her work. Most of her small-scale pieces, necklaces, bangles, earrings and rings are produced for retail while the large format work is for exhibitions and fashion shows. She is the craft equivalent of the garage band. “Everything is made in my workshop, a garage in my house,” says Rachel.
Architect Filip Vanas moved to Dublin from his native Czech Republic in 2005, taking up employment with an Irish architecture firm. In 2009 Filip’s role was made redundant and he decided to take a jewellery course at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, under jewellery designer Erika Marks. “I spend a lot of time drafting and distilling the idea before I touch any tools,” he explains. “For me as an architect, learning the requisite skills required
was important to help me find ways to get design ideas to the finished piece stage. For me, the making process is not just a means of materialising an idea but also a key boundary condition shaping the design. In that regard, my thinking is more industrial than craft in its process.” Vanas’ award-winning work combines sterling silver with anodized aluminium and epoxy resin into balanced compositions of simple geometric shapes and clean lines.
Rachel Swan is a goldsmith based in Dublin. She entered the crafts industry through the traditional route of an apprenticeship and in 2008 introduced her own range of contemporary jewellery. She makes hollow formed three- dimensional jewellery. Her design philosophy is based on simple lines, geometric shapes and is inspired by modern architecture. Since creating her first collection, Rachel has been the winner of two Future Makers Awards from the Crafts Council of Ireland.
Tuula Harrington takes inspiration from a combination of ancient and modern elements, from instinctive influences of her heritage to more contemporary attitudes and styles described by Rock’ n’ Roll. She combines the precious metals of her craft with carefully selected gemstones and diamonds, or sometimes more unusual organic materials. Tuula believes in the values and quality of this beautiful ancient craft and its place in a contemporary context.
Séamus Gill captures movement in silver. His work is immersed in the time honoured art of silversmithing - the art of moving a flat sheet of silver into an elegant three dimensional form. He creates work that appears effortless, belying his unique artistic vision, high skill level and his knowledge and mastery of silver.
Enibas - Sabine Lenz
German born Sabine Lenz is the creative mind behind all Enibas designs. Working from her studio in West Cork, her handmade designs are imagined and inspired by the beauty of all things Irish. “I fell in love with Ireland nearly 20 years ago – the wild landscape, the quaint villages and the lovely people. In my work I like to use a lot of Irish snippets: words, history, art. It is my thank you for what Ireland has given me: a wonderful home.”
“My work is a marriage of different materials to create a wholly new species,” says Eily O’Connell. “The jewellery records nature but it has been genetically modified to create new hybrid species. It reflects my fascination with the macabre.” Eily searches out natural forms and through processes of casting and assembling, recombines them to suggest new organic forms that are both familiar and darkly unsettling. She grew up in the fishing town of Killybegs in Co. Donegal but now calls Westport in Co. Mayo home. The beach remains a fertile hunting ground for ideas that will help form new designs. “I beach comb for ideas, collecting materials but I don’t use the pieces I find as they are. I manipulate nature to create designs that have a textural and interesting form,” she explains.
For more information contact:
Miriam Donohoe, MD Media, 087 2393914
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087 2393914/056 7783517