My jewellery-making business started when I moved back to Ireland with my Irish wife Mairead and our daughters in 1998. For the first year, I worked from home and sold my work at craft fairs. I opened my studio at The Courtyard Craft Centre in Midleton in 1999 and have been happily creating in there ever since.
I have always had a love of design and a passion to create. Having worked with diamonds for many years, jewellery was the obvious next step. In 1996, I took a career break and studied to be a Silversmith at the Tel Aviv College of Jewellery Design.
I trained as a diamond polisher in Tel Aviv and worked for many years polishing diamonds in Israel, South Africa and Belgium, cutting large and very expensive stones.
How does your family background influence your work?
My Bulgarian mother, Irish wife, Middle Eastern childhood and many years spent travelling have provided me with a rich pool of inspiration and influences. As a musician who plays Irish flute and loves the Uilleann pipes, I was so completely taken by the beauty and craftsmanship of these instruments that my Ebony and Millennium collections were inspired by them. I get my ebony from flute and pipe-makers.
I create bespoke handmade jewellery pieces using a variety of materials such as gold, silver, ebony, precious stones and pearls. I work closely with my customers to ensure that they leave my studio with the perfect piece for them. I love the challenge of other people’s ideas and work to commission. I make necklaces, pendants, rings, earrings and brooches.
Midleton is a very vibrant town with many independent shops, well-known restaurants and a farmers’ market. I have always found Midleton to be both welcoming and friendly. My customers travel from all over the country to visit my studio at The Courtyard.
There is a wonderful craft scene in Cork with very high-quality craft products being created. The Cork Craft and Design collective brings together the very best of Cork’s unique creative arts and crafts.
Cork Craft Month, now in its 8th year, is a celebration of the amazing abundance and variety craft produced in Cork county and city. With exhibitions, open studios and demonstrations running all month, everyone can enjoy the wealth of creative activity in the county. My partner, Mairead, is a founder member and now represents Cork Craft and Design on the board of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.
As part of Cork Craft Month, I will give a jewellery-making demonstration on Saturday, August 19 from 11am to 1pm. All are welcome.
My jewellery business stands out because all of the work in my shop is handmade by me on the premises. I have a wide and varied collection of stylish handmade jewellery, including subtle silver bars, shaped, polished and textured shells and striking ebony pendants. I work in a peaceful, creative and music-filled studio where customers are welcome to watch me make or just have a chat.
My Bonds Collection is specially created to celebrate the bonds between loved ones. This reversible, two-sided pendant is a very special gift. Each piece is handmade to order and includes the birth stones to match the birthday, wedding anniversary, occasion or memory of those you love.
I enjoy meeting and chatting with my customers and helping them to choose the perfect piece. I love the creative process and am constantly creating new designs and concepts.
I will continue my creative journey working with new designs, materials and techniques. I have exhibited my work in Dublin, London, Belgium and Holland and would like to travel with it more in the future. I look forward to the coming years and the pieces yet to be imagined or made.