Making their mark on Collier’s Lane

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

Making their mark on Collier’s Lane

Magda Lewandowska, Liam Costigan, Sandra Hartwieg and Doireann O'Riordan

Three graduates of the jewellery and goldsmithing course which is run by the Crafts Council of Ireland in the Castle Yard are working their magic and creating beautiful pieces in their recently-opened premises off High Street.

Doireann O’Riordan, Sandra Hartwieg and Magda Lewandowska have set up shop on Collier’s Lane, the building where renowned Kilkenny jeweller and goldsmith, Liam Costigan worked for 39 years.

The women cite Liam as a great inspiration, mentor and support and in a touching tribute they are calling their business elsi, which is the phonetic sound of Mr Costigan’s initials.

“We wanted to credit and acknowledge him not only for his beautiful work but for all the help and advice he has given us,” said Magda.

The creative collective is much more than just a jewellery shop and they also have a workshop where they will devise and create their own original work.

“We will feature our own work in the collection and we will also stock Liam Costigan’s work,” Magda explained.

“People will be able to see us working on the bench and using very traditional methods to perfect our craft. We will be working with gold, silver and other precious metals and gems.”

Sandra Hartwieg explains how it was the guidance and encouragement of Liam Costigan that prompted the trio to set up their own business.

“We got to know Liam through our time with the Craft Council of Ireland. He was always around to give advice. He was very helpful and generous with his time and advice,” she said.

The three makers all have their own distinctive styles. Doireann has developed her own design aesthetic of constructed forms and clean lines, creating contemporary hand-fabricated jewellery with a striking visual impact.

Sandra designs and makes jewellery by experimenting with precious metal.

“Playing with texture, form and ways of connecting pieces together, I find beauty in contrasts. The result of my making process emerges as highly tactile, detailed pieces of jewellery with textures and embellishment unique to each piece,” she said.

Magda’s handmade jewellery pieces are created using only genuine, ethically sourced materials such as stones and precious metals.

By inventing unique signature details, and playfully re-imagining the way jewellery is worn, Magda creates pieces for the customer who dares to be different.

elsi is open six days a week from 10am to 6pm.