Custom Rings- How Does it all Work?

Custom Rings- How Does it all Work?

by Lindsey Thurber April 11, 2016 1 Comment

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Antique Irish and Scottish Jewelry Exhibit in Andover

Antique Irish and Scottish Jewelry Exhibit in Andover

by Stephen Walker March 18, 2016

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The Walker's Trip to the British Isles

The Walker's Trip to the British Isles

by Stephen Walker February 01, 2016 1 Comment

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A Farewell to Fairport

by Stephen Walker January 08, 2016

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Walker Metalsmiths' Employee to Travel Abroad in Florence

Walker Metalsmiths' Employee to Travel Abroad in Florence

by Stephen Walker January 04, 2016

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How To Find Her Ring Size (without ruining the surprise)

by Lindsey Thurber October 08, 2015 1 Comment

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The Personal Side of Custom Jewelry

by Lyndsay Burr August 28, 2015

  In our experience one of things our customers value the most is that we are a hands-on jewelry shop. Because we design the jewelry, do our own gold and silver lost-wax casting, fabricating, stone-setting and finishing all right in our workshop in Andover, NY, we can adapt our Celtic designs to incorporate our customers’ ideas and suit their needs.

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Studio Tour at Walker Metalsmiths Studio to include demonstrations and presentation on Ardagh Chalice

by Stephen Walker October 17, 2014 1 Comment

More than just "eye-candy" will be on display at Walker Metalsmiths Celtic Jewelry October 17 - 19. Walker's original creations are based on traditional Scottish and Irish themes. During the Studio Tour there will be an opportunity for the public to watch and learn about the ancient skills, cultural connections as well as modern technology, that the four craftsmen at Walker Metalsmiths use daily to make silver and gold rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces.

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“Lost Art” Revealed by Jeweler at Celtic Art Conference in Ireland

by Stephen Walker August 12, 2014

Argdagh ChallaceAmerican Celtic Jeweler Stephen Walker presented a demonstration and discussion at an international gathering of Celtic Art experts at the National University of Ireland in Galway on July 19, 2014. Walker’s topic is the Ardagh Chalice, an extremely elaborate bit of metalwork from 8th century Ireland, now displayed at the National Museum of Ireland.

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Saint Columba - Colum Cille

by Stephen Walker May 27, 2014

Columba lived to the age of 76 years. Tradition records that he knew that he was soon going to die and that he wanted to leave this world at Eastertide.  He reconsidered since he did not want to make the feast a time of mourning for his brethren and waited a little longer.  On his last day he was carried to the fields were the monks were working and blessed the crops. An old white horse which had carried the brother’s milk for many years approached him and rested his head on Columba’s shoulder and was seen to weep tears. When he returned to his cell the Saint took up his pen and worked at copying Psalm 34 and stopped at the tenth verse, “but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”, and stated that someone else would have to finish it.  He died at the altar of his church at the midnight service. His feast day marks his passage to heaven on the 9th of June 597.

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Celtic Jewelry Set With Rare Green Tsavorite Garnets

by Stephen Walker May 06, 2014 1 Comment


Quality, durability and cost are all factors that Walker believes makes Tsavorite a superior choice over emerald for a green gem stone.  Many natural emeralds on the market are cloudy or included.  In fact, emeralds are commonly treated with special oil or resins to improve their look.  But Tsavorite is typically a very clear, evenly colored green right from the mines and need no special treatments.  Tsavorite also has a higher refractive index and a higher dispersion than emerald, giving it the ability to look brighter and sparkle more with the right cut. 

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Celtic Interlace and Knotwork Design Part II

by Stephen Walker February 08, 2014

When I was a youth learning to play the Highland bagpipe, I copied a chart from one of my tutors that showed who studied with who, from the living masters that my teachers learned from, back to Angus MacKay, the piper to Queen Victoria and through him back to the MacCrimmons, the hereditary pipers to the chiefs of the MacLeods.  From Finlay MacCrimmon in the 16th century down to myself I recorded nineteen generations of tuition. In the not so distant past the only way to hear and to learn music was to hear it live and this is still the best way. Recordings and broadcasting have transcended time and space somewhat, but the rare earliest recordings are now barely over a century old. Written music is of course older, but the fact remains that most traditional musicians learn their art from others on a face-to-face basis. Tunes and influences from recordings are still for the most part learned directly from other living musicians.

Our heritage of traditional music is dependent on an unbroken chain. Until the present era of recordings, only real time human contact has been the way that tunes, lyrics and musical technique have been passed from one generation to the next. In the visual arts of graphics and sculpture this limitation is not the case. While we can only hear the music of ancient times as it survives in a living tradition, we can see surviving examples of artwork hundreds or thousands of years old and the observant student of art can acquire images, influences and techniques directly from the distant past. Unlike musicians, most Celtic artists and designers working today are self-taught and only a few have had the benefit of a one-on-one teacher. Yet every day thousands of people are exposed to monuments of Celtic design that have stood on the same spots for a thousand years. The survival of monumental stone carvings in the form of the High Crosses and other monuments has meant that Celtic design has been a constant part of the visual world in the Celtic lands even when sometimes for generations the art was not practiced.

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History of the Luckenbooth Brooch

by Stephen Walker January 22, 2014 2 Comments

Luckenbooth Brooch
The Luckenbooth brooch gains its name from the “locked booths” that sold trifles along the Royal Mile near Saint Giles Cathedral in High Street, Edinburgh. In its simplest form it is a single heart shape with an open center that works with a buckle pin like an annular brooch. The heart and crown motifs are part of the same 17th century fashion trends that resulted in the Claddagh ring design in Ireland. 

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Celtic Interlace and Knotwork Design - Part 1

by Stephen Walker January 11, 2014 1 Comment

St. Andrew Knot PendantsCeltic interlace designs make their first appearance in early Christian Celtic Art in the middle of the seventh century A. D.

There are three ways I expect various readers to be upset with the opening sentence of this article. Celtic interlace, that is knotwork designs as well as interlaced birds and beasts are the most recognized elements of so-called Celtic Art. In our time these designs are very frequently used to identify Celtic heritage or sympathy with Celtic ethnicity, religion or culture, thus many are passionate about the art, where it came from and what it means. I have encountered each of these objections in many conversations on the subject over many years, frequently from people who should know better.

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The Modern History of Celtic Jewellery: 1840-1980

by Stephen Walker December 31, 2013 2 Comments

Modern History of Celtic Jewelry
From the recovery after the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s to the booming Celtic Tiger of the 1990s, a revival of the ancient traditions of Celtic jewelry have become a part of how the Irish, as well as the Scots, Welsh and other Celts have expressed their cultural identity. Usually the story of this tradition focuses on very old prototypes, the museum pieces turned up by archaeologists or the legend of the original Claddagh ring. In our imagination, we connect the popular Celtic jewelry of today with the distant past. But that link with the ancient style was very much influenced by what others had done in more recent history. The story of is told by four authors.

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In Search of Meaning: Symbolism of Celtic Knotwork and Design

by Stephen Walker December 31, 2013 1 Comment

Often the first question asked about Celtic interlace is “What does it mean?”  The assumption is that these designs are a secret language of symbols that could be decoded if we only had the key.
 
When talking about things Celtic we have to remember that things change through time and place.  What meaning may or may not have been for the monks that illuminated masterpieces such as the 9th century Book of Kells is not necessarily the same meaning expressed by users of Celtic design in more recent years, but there is a popularly held notion that it is or ought to be.

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Celtic Design What does it mean?

by Stephen Walker September 20, 2013

Chi Rho Celtic CrossThere is a prevailing folklore that each element, each knot, spiral or interlaced animal, is a symbol. The notion that there is some sort of secret language to Celtic ornament is widespread and persistent.  One of the most common questions from the general public about Celtic jewelry is, “what does it mean?”  The creators and purveyors of modern Celtic jewelry, and other articles decorated with Celtic ornament, sometimes offer very responsible educational explanations for their wares, but others have taken a great deal of liberty. 

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Claddagh Ring History and Symbolism

by Stephen Walker September 17, 2013 4 Comments

 
Claddagh Ring T700
The Claddagh Ring has its roots in a type of finger 
ring called Fede or faith ring. Since Roman times these consisted of clasped hands and often worked as 
a pai
r of two intertwined rings with a hand on each that would slide together. Worn as a sign of devotion to a spouse or beloved, this widespread European jewellery tradition evolved a peculiar variation in the West of Ireland that has come to be known as the Claddagh Ring. The hands clasp a heart in the anner of presentation with a  crown over the heart.   

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Allegany Artisans Studio Tour October 19 & 20

by Steve Walker September 13, 2013 1 Comment

"Someday I want to visit your workshop." we hear all the time from our long distance customers. Why not come see us during the Allegany Artisans Studio Tour? October 19 & 20 is the most beautiful times of year in rural Western New York State. Come see Walker Metalsmiths and 49 other artisans. It will be worth the trip.

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Sapphire and Diamond Celtic Pendant

by Steve Walker September 12, 2013 1 Comment

A very sweet sapphire and diamond Celtic pendant.Photo: A very sweet sapphire and diamond Celtic pendant. http://www.walkerscelticjewelry.com/collections/celtic-pendants/products/diamond-sapphire-pendant-482sa

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Is the Celtic Cross a Pagan Symbol?

by Steve Walker September 09, 2013 1 Comment

Many claim it is, especially Neo-Pagans, who now use it freely for their own purposes. Some Christians, especially fundamentalists, are terribly afraid that they might be right and want nothing to do with it if it is tainted by Pagan associations. But the vast majority who use the Celtic Cross are Christian and unconcerned that there is any controversy.

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Celtic Cross History and Symbolism

by Stephen Walker September 09, 2013 3 Comments

What is the symbolism of the Celtic Cross? is a question I am often asked. As a craftsman and jewelry designer in the Celtic tradition I bring some very ancient symbols to a contemporary audience. The answer is not as straight foreword as one might hope. The history of this powerful symbol is ambiguous. There are many variations of interpretations and legends about the original meaning that are commonly repeated even today. The Presbyterian and Catholic are often startled to learn that the other considers this symbol their own. In our modern multicultural world the ringed cross is as much a symbol of ethnic heritage as it is of faith and it is often used as an emblem of ones Irish, Scottish or Welsh identity.

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Ring Size Conversion Chart - Equivalents

by Sue Walker September 08, 2013

Use the chart below for conversion of US and Canadian number sizes to the "Wheat sheaf" system of letter sizes used in Ireland, U.K. Australia, ect. Diameters and circumferences are also given in both inches and millimeters. Please note that these measurements are exact for the American system and approximate for the other sizing scales, since the intervals in each system do not correspond exactly. 

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Walker Metalsmiths at Irish Festival

by Eric Miller September 04, 2013 1 Comment

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