Doireann O'Riordan's creation, Rosetta Stones
‘Conversation Pieces’ a unique name for an intriguing exhibition. A display organised for the tenth anniversary of ‘Made in Kilkenny’, it showcased the talent and skill our county’s fine craftspeople have to offer.
The exhibition showcased a wide array of handmade items which included jewelry, pottery, garments and furniture. There was also a pop up shop available on the premises.
“Everybody tried to make work that sparks a conversation but also that work that converses with itself” said Frederike Grace, jeweller and chairperson of Made of Kilkenny.
Each artist fulfilled the brief with their own creative twist. There were those such as Frederike who chose to focus on the harmony of conversation and how it helps to create understanding. Whereas, jewelry maker Doireann O’Riordan and potter Claire Malloy centred on the connection created by conversation.
Doireann’s work was inspired by something precious to her; memories. Her conversation piece was a four part sterling silver necklace with oxidised black handwriting electro-etched onto a partially faded surface. The handwriting consists of layered song lyrics and can be tailored to the preferences of the client, if ordered on commission.
Doireann is the co-owner of 'elsi', alongside two fellow graduates of the design and goldsmithing course run by the Crafts Council of Ireland, on Collier's Lane in Kilkenny city.
Some creators pushed the boundaries of their respective fields and presented the Kilkenny public with a truly unique product. One such artist would be Yvonne Ross with her showpiece ‘Chinese Whispers’. The name was inspired by the gradual colour change of the rainbow sapphires set on an 18 carat gold pendant. The necklace was complemented by three 18 carat gold rings which each featured a separate gemstone including sapphire and ruby.
Plenty of Yvonne’s work is centred around the quality of materials. It is in search of these standards that she travels annually to the Trade Fair in Munich to purchase gemstones.
“I like to think that I’m just going to keep on creating. Creating these pieces that would bring a little bit of joy to people’s lives. It’s just creating beauty” " said exhibitionist and entrepreneur Carl Parker.
All of the original work created for this exhibition are available for purchase in the creators' businesses.