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

Posted on October 17, 2014 by Stephen Walker | 0 Comments

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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Posted in argdagh challace, celtic jewelry, Irish symbolism, metalwork

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

Posted on August 12, 2014 by Stephen Walker | 0 Comments

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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Posted in argdagh challace, cast chip-carving, craftsman, kerbschnitt, metalwork

Saint Columba - Colum Cille

Posted on May 27, 2014 by Stephen Walker | 0 Comments

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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Posted in Celtic Cross, Celtic History, Celtic Symbolism, History, Iona, Symbolism, symbolism in art

Celtic Jewelry Set With Rare Green Tsavorite Garnets

Posted on May 06, 2014 by Stephen Walker | 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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Posted in celtic jewelry, Celtic Symbolism, Irish symbolism

Celtic Interlace and Knotwork Design Part II

Posted on February 08, 2014 by Stephen Walker | 0 Comments

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

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Stephen Walker | 1 Comment

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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Posted in celtic brooch, Celtic History, history, luckenbooth, meaning, scottish, Symbolism, symbolism in art

Celtic Interlace and Knotwork Design - Part 1

Posted on January 11, 2014 by Stephen Walker | 0 Comments

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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