Seminar | Material Alchemy

10.30am – 4.30pm

National Craft Gallery

This seminar is a forum to explore the practices of some of the artist-makers presenting work in Not Too Precious, the current exhibition at the National Craft Gallery from the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales. The seminar will identify the thinking behind the work in the exhibition and open up discussion around themes raised. Speakers will consider fresh approaches to jewellery; materials used for expressive potential; imaginative approaches to interaction and wearing; innovation and lateral thinking in design process; creating value and the role or perspective of the prospective owner/wearer.


Not Too Precious brings together work by twenty-five exceptional international jewellery makers and three emerging Irish makers in a Graduate Showcase. Curators Gregory Parsons and Dr Elizabeth Goring selected the designer makers based on their use of materials for expressive potential rather than intrinsic value, and demonstration of exceptional design and making skills in transforming simple materials into spectacular adornments.


Since the late 1960s and 70s radical artist jewellers rejected the idea that jewellery should be considered ‘precious’ simply because of the materials of which it was made. Today, the use of a huge variety of materials in jewellery is far more accepted, but economic pressures are putting that freedom of artistic expression at potential risk as people revert to traditionally ‘valuable’ materials for ‘safety’. The exhibition challenges preconceptions about ‘non-precious’ materials, encouraging us to consider ‘accrued value’: what talented makers bring to their work through their ideas and skill.


Speakers include: Felieke van der Leest (Holland / Norway), Zoe Robertson (UK), Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary (Germany), Jaki CoffeyJulie ConnellanEimear Conyard and Eoin M Lyons.

Kindly supported by the Goethe Institute.

National Craft Gallery

Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle, The Parade, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland

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