Emerging Derry jewellery maker David McCauley is among a group of 12 graduates who will have their work featured in Aurea, an exhibition of stunning silversmithing work and precious jewellery in gold, silver and gems that will open at the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny today, Friday, July 12.
The exhibition will present pieces designed and created by the 2019 graduates of DCCoI’s renowned Jewellery & Goldsmithing Course, showcasing the high level of craftsmanship and unique skills honed by the students during the intensive two-year programme at DCCoI’s Centre of Excellence in Jewellery & Goldsmithing.
Aurea will be officially opened by Lynn Scarff, Director of the National Museum of Ireland, and runs until Monday, August 5.
David McCauley’s first experience in jewellery making was on a weekend course at the School of Jewellery in Dublin, after which he attended Thomas School of Jewellery in Derry under the guidance of master goldsmith David Thomas on a part-time basis for two years.
In 2018, David’s design was selected by a jury and commissioned as the trophy to be presented to the winners of the 2019 Talamh Smart Agricultural Awards; this will be a perpetual award.
As one of the finalists in the Bench to Business module in conjunction with the Kilkenny Group, David will showcase his jewellery range in the Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street, Dublin in September 2019.
In 2019, David completed a three-week work placement with gold and silversmith Liam Costigan. Upon graduation, David will expand and develop his skills further by working in the jewellery industry for Aaron O’Sullivan Goldsmiths in Naas.
During the past two years, the 12 students have worked solely in precious metals with gemstones.
They have been encouraged to push boundaries in techniques and to create innovative designs which will be evident in the almost 100 pieces on display in Aurea.
The exhibition will also showcase the technical ability and design aesthetics of each of the graduates, including 12 intricate rings set with a single coloured gemstone. Each of these rings will be housed in its own bespoke presentation box, inspired by a decade from the past 120 years and illustrating each graduate’s individual approach to a common brief.
Visitors to the gallery will have an opportunity to purchase some of this beautiful work with jewellery collections ranging in price from approximately €60 to €300 and bespoke one-off pieces on offer from €1,000. The public will also have the chance to attend talks by the graduates and try their hand at jewellery making during the exhibition’s run, a free Meet the Makers evening will feature the graduates talking about the work, techniques and skills they developed during the course, and there will be a silver jewellery workshop for teens, a Craft Club for five to 13-year-olds and adult ring making workshops. For further details, visit www.nationalcraftgallery.ie