Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Today we are in Ireland standing within the exquisite Walled Garden, a horticulturalist's dream nestled in one of Northern Ireland's oldest estates, Glenarm Castle. It is here we will meet featured husband-wife jewelry design team Bill and Christina Steenson.

I love the powerful symbolism and artistry of Celtic jewelry as it can alternately signify the turbulent periods within the country's history or an unbreakable, passionate bond between soul mates.

Among Ireland's leading contemporary jewelers, the Steensons are a part of a full-blown craft revival in the country. They studied the art of silversmithing, and jewelry while attending The University of Ulster. After graduating, they set up a workshop in 1976 and 12 years later, the couple opened their first store.

In addition to their jewelry designs, their store features the designer jewelry of other European artists. Bucking tradition, the Steensons prefer a different design approach opting for contemporary creations that still maintain the quiet yet powerful spirit of traditional Celtic jewelry.

Actor Sophie Turner Wearing Rose Gold Vermeil & Crystal
Necklace in Game of Thrones
The sleek designer jewelry featured in their collections is architectural and wonderfully elegant. I love their use of clean, geometric lines as well as their alternate use of two-tone metals of gold and silver. Their Pint of Stout cuff links are delightfully playful and tongue-in-cheek.

Aside from their personal collections, the Steensons also create custom jewelry. To assist them in this endeavor, they implement CAD (Computer-Aided Design) that enables them to provide clients with three-dimensional models of prototypes.

"The 3-D model on-screen can be generated into a detailed colour preview. Once the design is finalized the milling machine produces a 100% dimensionally accurate wax model for casting," says Bill.
The Steensons' collections also include wedding rings, multi-stone rings, and tie tacks. The duo also creates official jewelry for the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Photo 1 (top right): Polished & Textured Sterling Silver Brooch from the Papyrus CollectionPhoto 2 (bottom left): 9-Karat Yellow Gold and Pearl Necklace from the Vines of Gold Collection
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