The National Design and Craft Gallery in Kilkenny will celebrate an icon of Irish craft and design, master goldsmith Rudolf Heltzel, when it opens a spectacular exhibition of his sculptural pendants in early February 2018. 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 will showcase many of Heltzel’s most ambitious and technically complex designs, selected both from his personal archive and kindly on loan from collectors, and three of his key series will be presented, including his Rock Crystal Treasure Cave, Tourmaline Butterflies and Druse collections.
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.