Derry jeweller creates piece for National Museum of Ireland

A stunning piece of art jewellery designed and created by a Derry man is to feature in a new exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 12:40 pm
David McCauley and the piece of jewellery he designed 'Lotus' (picture on the right © National Museum of Ireland)

‘Lotus’ by David McCauley will be on display at the Decorative Arts and History section of the museum, based at Collins Barracks in Dublin as part of the InForm exhibition.

It is one of the first exhibitions to be launched at the Museum following a relaxation of Covid restrictions in the South.

InForm is the result of a two-year collaboration between the National Museum of Ireland and Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), during which 22 emerging makers have created exquisite new works inspired by artefacts from the Art, Industrial and Irish Folklife collections.

The artefacts and contemporary works will be presented together in the exhibition, along with sketches, notes and videos detailing the process of inspiration and making.

David, who graduated from the Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills And Design College in Kilkenny two years ago , said it is a ‘huge honour’ to have his work feature in such a prestigious showcase. The Waterside man is the only designer from the North to feature in the exhibition and the inspiration for his piece came from an incense burner shaped like a Lotus flower.

David discovered jewellery making and design a few years ago. “It started as a hobby and snowballed into a career,” he said. “I initially studied under the guidance of a master goldsmith at Thomas School of Jewellery here in Derry I did that for two years and then I managed to get a place in the design college in Kilkenny.

“It was a very intense course and very hard to get into as they only take 12 students and only run the course once every two years. It was great to be part of, as it is the only course of its kind in the UK and Ireland.”

David admits his new career is ‘very much a dream come true’ and after returning to live in the city after four years away he is now working at Thomas the Goldsmith.

David hopes to begin selling his own designs locally in the near future. He said he is incredibly proud to have his work feature in the National Museum of Ireland and said it is a ‘huge honour’ “It is an opportunity of a lifetime to have a piece of work feature in a museum exhibition, particularly to have that honour so early on in my career. It is really special to be a part of it.”

*InForm runs at the National Museum of Ireland -Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks today until September 26, 2021. Admission is free.