In Precious Metal 2 February 2018 – 18 April 2018
Master goldsmith and an icon of Irish craft and design, Rudolf Heltzel presents a solo exhibition of his exceptional sculptural pendants. Heltzel has gained an international reputation for the originality, quality and timeless aesthetic of his craftsmanship with each piece created meticulously by hand using some of the world’s oldest jewellery techniques. This exhibition, In Precious Metal, will showcase many of Heltzel’s most ambitious and technically complex designs, selected from his personal archive together with newly produced work. Three of his most significant collections of scultptural pendants will be presented; Rock Crystal Treasure Cave, Tourmaline Butterflies and his brand new Druze Collection.
For Heltzel, jewellery making is part of a living cultural heritage and he takes inspiration from the history, mythology and symbolism of precious metals and stones. Heltzel is renowned for pushing to the limits the design and technical skills of precious jewellery making. He carefully selects unique and extraordinary, precious gemstones which are the basis of his stunning sculptural designs in 18ct gold, sterling silver and platinum. Settings are carefully designed to show individual stones to their best advantage. His distinctive designs are collectors’ items, with four generations owning and wearing Rudolf Heltzel.
Originally from Berlin, Germany, Rudolf Heltzel was invited to Ireland in 1966 by An Córas Tráchtála, the Irish Export Board. He set up and led the trail-blazing gold and silver studio-workshops at the Kilkenny Design Workshops. In 1968, he established his own workshop in Kilkenny where he, his son Christopher, their employees and apprentices still work today. Heltzel has won countless accolades throughout his 50 years in the business, including ‘One of the World’s Greatest Gem Houses’ by the Franklin Mint. He has exhibited widely and sold through establishments such as Nieman Marcus. He is a consultant to the jewellery industry, having worked and mentored across the globe, and has directly trained many goldsmiths working in the field today. He has also been instrumental in establishing training opportunities for jewellery makers, keeping ancient traditional skills alive.
Education & Outreach
Exhibition Launch Thurs 1 February, 6.30pm
Special guest Mary V. Mullin, Design Consultant, Chair of Sir Misha Black Awards
Meet the Makers Sat 3 February, 12noon-2pm
Talks & demonstrations by Binyu Chen, Eimear Conyard and Hu Jun 3pm-5pm Lecture by Rudolf Heltzel: The Arduous Road to the Creation of a Jewel
Family Day: Geometric Gems Sat 10 February 11am + 12.30pm
Focus on Heltzel’s geometric designs with Marie Therese Walker - cut, score and glue, to make card sapphires, rubies and emerald gemstones for adornment or decoration. Children will explore geometry in gemstones and design by looking at the facets, angles and shapes in Heltzel's designs. Book now
Getting Engaged? Let's Talk Diamonds Sat 10 February, 3pm
Christopher Heltzel talks cut, clarity, colour and carat. An informative guide to choosing that special engagement ring. From stones to setting styles, metals to sizing, learn everything you need to know before you purchase. Book now
Late Date Thurs 22 February, 6.30pm
Join Marie Wilgaard Kelly of the DCCoI, Olivia Bergan curator at Rothe House and Grace Fegan curator/manager of Medieval Mile Museum, as they discuss treasured adornments from their cultural venues archives. Gain an insight into materials and techniques used, sourcing of collections, and the stories behind the individual pieces presented. EYCH event. Book now
Family Day: Seasonal Displays Sat 10 March, 11am + 12.30pm
Children will learn how to create inventive Seasonal Displays with Maeve Lynch, inspired by the work of Rudolf Heltzel in his Precious Metals solo exhibition at the NDCG. Book now
Designed Displays Sat 10 March, 3pm
Make a connection with your customers using themed window displays. With over 40 years experience, Maeve Lynch of Rudolf Heltzel guides participants as they develop hands-on skills to create imaginative eye-catching displays for visual merchandising - €15. Book now
Late Date: Film screening - Elizabeth Taylor - Auction of a Lifetime. Thurs 29 March, 6.30pm
Join us at the gallery to watch a feature-length documentary, Elizabeth Taylor - Auction of a Lifetime, that explores the Hollywood legend's extraordinary life story through some of her most precious possessions which feature in landmark auctions in New York and London. Popcorn on arrival! Book Now
Silver Jewellery Thurs 5th April, 10am-1pm + 2pm-5pm
Teen workshop with Cassie McCann - designing and creating bespoke silver jewellery. Classes accommodate twelve students who each get their own workbench - €35. Book now
Ring Making Sat 7th April, 10am-1pm + 2pm-5pm
Adult Workshop with Doireann O’Riordan - design, forge and decorate a silver ring - €40. Book now
Family Day: Rings & Things Sat 14 April, 11am + 12.30pm
With Sandra Hartweig - children learn how to make their own bespoke jewellery. Book now
School Guided Vists Thurs 2 Feb - Wed 18 Apr
Tailored to suit your class group from primary through to third level. Enthusiastic education facilitators will introduce your group to the Rudolf Heltzel exhibition. Booking Required: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 056 7796 151 for details.