Sydney Gallo has completed her jewelry making apprenticeship at Walker Metalsmiths and had her work featured at an exhibit in Ireland. Don't worry, she is not leaving us. This is a promotion!
At a time when most learning occurs in a traditional school setting or through "YouTube University", we at Walker Metalsmiths have chosen to adhere to a more old school approach. Namely, the time-honored Master-Apprentice model that began in the Middle Ages. Sydney Gallo, who grew up here in Andover, NY and attended Montserrat College of Art, embarked on this epic journey of learning, discovery, and development five years ago. Sydney was always artistic as a child and loved the outdoors. This early passion grew and morphed over time, evolving into incredibly detailed, hyper-realistic wildlife pencil drawings. In 2018, she started working in the Walker Metalsmiths Showroom before transitioning to the role of apprentice with our own Master Craftsman and owner, Stephen Walker, and has been training as a jewelry designer and goldsmith ever since.
Sydney Gallo at her workbench at Walker Metalsmiths
Colored Pencil Drawing of a Ball Python by Sydney Gallo
Walker Metalsmiths has a long history of accepting young jewelers and imparting the "art and mystery" of the craft through their in-house apprenticeship program. The "art" of this phrase refers to the skills needed to perform the work. The "mystery" is the knowledge of materials, formulas, and trade secrets of the profession. Working and learning under the guidance of Stephen Walker, as well as senior jewelers Tom Carter and Lindsey Thurber, Sydney has acquired a strong foundation of skill and knowledge at the jeweler's bench. She has designed many of her own pieces over the years, including many unique custom gemstone pieces that include natural elements and several zoomorphic animal designs that harken back to her love of all that walks, swims, flies, or crawls.
Celtic Raven Designed by Sydney Gallo
Throughout May and early June, Sydney designed and completed a thesis project that was the culmination of all of her years of learning and apprenticeship. These rings, bracelet, and pendant and earring set displayed intricate and delicate knotwork combined with beautiful stones.Creating this jewelry required all of the skills and teachings that Sydney has gleaned over the past five years at Walker Metalsmiths. Sydney's aesthetic was present in every flowing line and every minute detail that brought these gorgeous, vibrant pieces of jewelry to life.
Thesis jewelry pieces designed and created by Sydney Gallo of Walker Metalsmiths
In early June, Sydney was given the opportunity to display the jewelry made for her thesis in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, amongst some of the most preeminent artists in this specialized field. In a serendipitous twist of fate,the Second International Day of Celtic Art Conference was held June 8th through the 10th, 2023 at the Saint Patrick's Center in Downpatrick, providing the perfect opportunity for the best and brightest in Celtic Art to view, critique, and praise her work. She received rave reviews from the artists in attendance, who were from Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the United States. One of the most preeminent of these artists, Aidan Breen, who is a master goldsmith/silversmith that excels in chasing and repousse, was able to observe and critique Sydney's work. His encouragement and feedback was a highlight of the trip for both Sydney and her mentor, Stephen Walker, who is a long-time friend and colleague of Breen's.
Renowned Irish Silversmith Aidan Breen, Sydney Gallo, and her mentor Stephen Walker with an exhibit of her jewelry at the 2nd International Day of Celtic Art Conference in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland.
We here at Walker Metalsmiths are extremely proud of all of Sydney's hard work and dedication to her craft. We can't wait to see the many unique and beautiful things she has yet to create, and look forward to watching her journey continue for many years to come. Congratulations, Sydney!
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