I just wanted to say how fantastic the course was on Saturday.
You were amazingly patient and we couldn't be more thrilled with the outcome, they're wonderful, they're hands down the most precious thing I now own!! I can't get over how good they are.
It was so well run, the food was great and we really learned a lot, you were so patient and good at guiding us, we've been raving about it ever since! It was such a great day.
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By Caroline & Conor, Craft Your Own Wedding Ring Course
I honestly can’t think of anything more beautifully bonding and special for a couple to do as to fashion and craft their own wedding rings together and come out with a finished product of incredible quality and value in so many ways.
It is an amazing experience watching your own creation coming together and one of the most enjoyable days I have had the pleasure of participating in, in a long time.
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By The Wedding Guy - Stephen Sheridan, International Co-ordinator
"The School of Jewellery has been set up to the highest spec. The best quality tools and supplies are in abundance, so the focus of every class is on learning and doing and not queuing for a turn of a tool! With a class size of up to 10, you are guaranteed to get individual attention from Deirdre who has carefully chosen projects for beginners that ensures challenge, the learning of key skills.
What is very impressive is that the classes cater for students at different skill levels and that doesn't seem to phase Deirdre in the slightest - so it's great for the beginner to be among other students who are also starting off and others that are more advanced. The atmosphere is friendly but highly professional.
It's just super to go to a class that encourages creativity and challenges you to get to the next level every time. It's clear that Deirdre is an amazing goldsmith but what's even better is that she is happy to teach you everything that she knows including tricks of the trade you'd never find in reference books! Be warned it's addictive!
By Tracy , Donabate
Many people spend weeks if not months, looking for the perfect ring to place on their loved ones finger on their wedding day. But none more special is that ring or rings to be made by your spouse.
My now wife Sinéad had decided that she would like to make my wedding ring for our big day. She booked the weekend course 'make your own wedding ring' at The School of Jewellery Irleand in Dublin.
Sinéad took part in the weekend course and made my wedding ring. My wife enjoyed the experience so much she decided to make her own wedding ring and booked another weekend at The School of Jewellery Ireland.
More astonishing to me was the sheer quality of the workmanship and the professional finish of the rings. Sinéad did the majority of the work, supervised by the highly experienced goldsmith. Sinéad herself found the course fantastic and still talks about it.
I can truly say that the ring is the best gift I have ever received. At our wedding we had a 'ring warming' ceremony and explained to the guests the significance of the rings and how they had been made by Sinéad. Our guests thought it was a wonderful idea.
These rings are hugely sentimental pieces of jewellery and now extremely meaningful to us both. Both rings are aptly engraved 'Past, Present, Future'...
Sincerest thanks to The School of Jewellery Ireland.
By James, One Day Craft Your Own Ring Course
"The School of Jewellery Ireland is hidden away in the suburbs of Dublin, behind it's door there is a maze of different workshops.It's certainly a little gem to discover with so many different facets of skills. Lead by Deirdre O'Donnell a renowned Jeweller in Ireland and London, now has her own Jewel in the centre of Dublin where the very best of her student's display their creations and are able to sell their own work. A rare opportunity that no other School offers that I know of. You will discover the 2nd year full-time student's in the shop with Deirdre learning the skills of the trade and how a business is run.The Gallery is full of different styles of work, not just Celtic.
Go to the main hub of the School and you will discover, the 1st Year's full-time course looked after by many different craftsmen, some are more specialised and pop in once a week during the day or evening for the many evening classes.Wedding ring Days, which I think is the most romantic thing to do for a couple preparing to spend their life together to forge gold rings to last for eternity. The School offers an opportunity not just for now but for life! This is not a university where you learn from a lecturer with a PhD, the tutors are real life craftsmen passing on their skills for generations to come.This is a gift like no other and a sound investment for the future. Deirdre O'Donnell is creating a heritage for the future of many young and mature student's too. Deirdre, just like many other craftsmen, could keep her secrets to herself and not share but chooses to share her knowledge for the benefit of other's. Congratulations Deirdre!"
By Stephen M. Goldsmith, The School of Jewellery Ireland
My background is in carpentry and general building. I have no particular interest in gems or adornment but the intricacy and skill of fine metalwork does fascinate me and having met Deirdre at a crafts fair in the R.D.S. I thought “ that is a person I could work with”.
I signed up for a 10 week course and am entirely pleased that I did. Practical, knowledgeable, helpful, professional and consummately cheerful, she is a pleasure to learn from.
The workshop is well equipped, well lit and well run. I am now in my 4th 10 week course and recommend the School of Jewellery to anyone wishing to train to the highest standard.
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By Roly , Dublin
"I was enrolled in your 10 week evening class that finished up in April and I just wanted to say thanks! The course was invaluable to me in learning the core skills and proper technique in jewellery making. My tutor, Lee, had a very relaxed but comprehensive teaching method which allows students to learn proper technique of the core skills with great enjoyment.
I have since been accepted onto the 2 Year Crafts Council Jewellery Course in Kilkenny and believe I owe part of my success in gaining a place there to The School of Jewellery's evening classes and high standard of tutoring."
By Sandra Hartweig,
Full Time Certificate course:
"Having participated in a number of goldsmith part time courses with the Dublin School of Jewellery over the past number of years and through Deirdre's support and encouragement I am now partaking in the Full-time Traditional Jewellery & Goldsmith Skills Course. I know I have chosen the correct path in expending my interest in the area of bespoke jewellery as Deirdre has set out a very stringent and detailed curriculum which will give me the skills, knowledge and confidence to facilitate me changing my hobbyist interest into a professional career. Our work room which has been set up with a workbench, latest equipment and tools each is a bright, tidy, organised and clean area. More importantly, our tutors are all qualified and experienced professionals with the highest of standards. Every day I am challenged with tasks/assignments which have to be completed in a timely manner and it is tough at times but with their guidance, experience, assistance - and probably a lot of patience - I will achieve my goal."
By Monica Alton,
"I won a place on the Part Time Spring Course, I was immediately hooked! I loved the craft of creating & making jewellery, my tutor was excellent, patient & always so jolly. I signed up for the Part Time Summer Course & I'm going to sign up to the Autumn Course, I love it that much! The School is excellent & has all the tools & equipment at arms reach, the tutor guides through each process, all the staff are so lovely & friendly, it really is the happiest School I've attended"
By Emer Dougan,
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By Just Add Attitude- Blog Review, Online Blogger
“The rhythmic sound of the piercing saws on day 4 of the course , a far cry from the cacophony of day 1 , is a clear testimony of the superb teaching by the various tutors on this course. The exhilaration of both students and tutors was palpable. On day 1 I felt somewhat overwhelmed, yet by the end of the week thrilled that I managed to execute the set tasks, due to a very hands - on approach by the tutors,clearly demonstrating, guiding , observing and explaining every step patiently. I could hardly believe what I achieved this week, helped by the positive ethos in the studio. What is very evident is the extraordinary planning and preparation - it must have been years of planning- which has culminated in the launch of this first full time course. Every project for the school year clearly planned and explained in detail , as well as a finished piece available to examine and this is all in a folder for students to browse through. The studio is designed so each student has a bench of their own, equipped with top quality tools and the tutors have a clear view of how you approach each task. No place to hide here. But who would want to hide? I felt a 'happy ' tiredness at the end of the week and left the studio with a light step already looking forward to Monday morning! Am I glad I followed my 'passion' and took this big step to enrol!”
By Clíona de Bhaldraithe Marsh, Dublin
“I feel that I have learnt a huge amount in my year at The School of Jewellery. The school provides a relaxed and enjoyable place to learn and each student has access to an excellent set of tools and high quality equipment. I particularly liked that there were so many highly skilled tutors in the school as we got to learn different approaches and techniques through different teaching styles, which allowed us to discover for ourselves what worked best for us when designing and creating jewellery. I really enjoyed the course, and when I signed up I asked Deirdre if it would be enough to get me a job in the industry. She told me that there were jobs available and that if I was good enough I should be able to find employment, and I have, so that's great, and that is what I wanted to get out of the course... So thanks!”
By Juliet Cummins, 2017 graduate., Dublin
“Having taken part-time classes at the School of Jewellery before, I was only delighted to hear about the one year full-time course. Deirdre is a wonderful teacher and has a wealth of knowledge to share. The School of Jewellery attracts top-class instructors with loads of industry experience to teach various disciplines including stone-setting, silversmithing and CAD. The course takes a practical approach to teaching core silver and goldsmithing skills and sets out challenging projects from the very start. There are some pretty ambitious plans for us this year!
The full-time course is very different from part-time courses. It is amazing to see how quickly you can progress when you are at it all day, five days a week. It is great to have the time to make the mistakes, analyze what is going wrong, and work out how to right it (or not repeat it!). Having the opportunity to then try again is simply an invaluable part of the learning process. The knowledgeable and insightful team of instructors are tireless in demonstrating techniques and helping you troubleshoot when things don’t go quite to plan - until they do! The small class size allows plenty of personal attention from the instructors.
The workshop is well equipped and bright and each student has a full complement of hand tools at their disposal. At break time there is a lovely bright eating room with a sunny patio area and a fully equipped kitchen at our disposal. There’s great “craic” over coffees with class mates and our calendar is already starting to fill with fun events: First we take Heuston station, next stop Paris (for real!)
I am thoroughly enjoying the full days at the bench and feel privileged to be surrounded by so much expertise and such a talented group of colleagues. We’re only a few weeks in, but it feels like we go way back. I am looking forward to the many challenges that lay ahead this year and only fear it will all pass by far to quickly!"
By Nicole, 2016 graduate,
“It is incredible to realize how much I am learning and improving my skills every day. A project I'm having difficulties with at the beginning of the week, could be finished without a problem by the end of it. Every project is clearly explained to us at the beginning and a tutor is around to help and provide guidance when we start on the project ourselves. All our tutors take the time to see how we are progressing throughout the day and provide us with tips and tricks or help us find the answer ourselves on how best to proceed.
We each have our own bench set up with all the tools we need every day and the bigger equipment is set up in the studio to share. We are instructed in how to use and care for every new tool we use. The atmosphere in the studio is concentrated but relaxed. Even though most of the day we are focused on our own work and progress, there is always some time to see how the others are doing and having a chat. This way, we keep encouraging each other.
I absolutely love going to class every day and I look forward to all the new things I will learn this year.”-
By Sandy Pfaff, 2015 graduate, Dublin
“Aside from expanding my basic fabrication skills, this course has given me key insights in professional jewelry design, construction, and marketing. Deirdre has shared her expertise in what it takes to create and run a successful jewelry business, including the thought processes in designing jewelry lines to connect to an audience. We've brainstormed lines of our own with Deirdre, and worked out detailed designs for several pieces to make.
Part of a foundation course is obviously technique, which has included the professional approach to sawing, soldering, wax carving, and finishing. Deirdre started us with projects to highlight techniques and potential challenges. We also visited a casting company to understand the skilled craftsmanship involved in turning a piece into a moldable item that could then be readily reproduced (a critical point for a jewelry line).
All of this background greatly helped us in turning our designs into reality. While each of us came into the course with different backgrounds, Deirdre's expert guidance has pushed all of our skill sets to new levels. As someone hoping to create her own lines, the exposure to professional techniques and knowledge of how to approach a design for repeatability are truly invaluable. Thoroughly enjoying it!”
By Celia Joseph,
"I have the greatest respect for what Deirdre O'Donnell is doing at the School of Jewellery. Basic skills, well taught, are the cornerstone of good jewellery making and there is no quick fix. Too many people just want a "piece of silver or gold jewellery which shines" not realising the difference of a well-made piece to a roughly made effort. It used to be a 4 or 5 year apprenticeship. Sadly, as in so many trades, that is hard to find, so really good skills are harder to acquire.What Deirdre is doing is great for the trade and for those that want to learn with a real depth of ability."-
By Jane Huston, DCCOI Kilkenny Jewellery Skills Course for 14 years
“Brilliant work, so important to teach these skills and so rewarding for both sides… if only there were more Deirdres. So good to see, I have such admiration for what you are doing.”