DCSIMG

Revealing the secrets behind great jewellery

Dan Spencer working on a Daybreak Piece

Dan Spencer working on a Daybreak Piece

 

It is where songstress Sharon Corr chose to have her wedding band specially made, and is the site where costume jewellery for the hit television series Game of Thrones was created.

Now Steensons jewellers’ workshop has been granted Economusee status, becoming a working museum where people can see skilled artisans in practice.

The family-run jewellers, which has a workshop based in Glenarm in Co Antrim, has had people through its doors for the past 15 years to see the jewellery being made, but this new status is a real boost for business, according to director Brona Steenson-Spencer.

“Being an Economusee now it is more about the education and explaining the process behind the jewellery which is made here,” Brona said.

“Jewellery as a craft is generally quite closed doors so people are amazed when they come in and see how we make the products we have here.”

Steensons joins three other Economusees in Northern Ireland, including Limavady company Broighter Gold, which produces rapeseed oil.

The Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust approached Steensons, which deals in diamond, silver, gold and other metals and is famed for its silver and rose gold mix, about becoming one of the small group of Economusees some time ago.

The concept, developed in Quebec, is to promote and keep traditional arts and knowledge alive, while ensuring economic growth within rural communities and Brona said she believes it will help tourism locally too.

The 34-year-old runs the company, which was founded by her parents Bill and Christina in 1976, alongside them and her husband Dan.

The past four decades have seen the business go from strength to strength, even enjoying a piece of the local success when Game of Thrones came to film in Northern Ireland recently.

Brona said: “We’re delighted to be joining this network of like-minded contemporary artists and keen too to show off our work to people visiting the workshop.

“From the viewing gallery, they can observe the skills of our goldsmiths – allowing them to see the work involved in making a piece of jewellery and to appreciate the fine detail and craftsmanship.

“We believe our new status as an Economusee will be both an educational and enriching experience for visitors and we look forward to welcoming lots of them through our doors.”

Members of the public can view some of the five goldsmiths at work in the company during opening hours, watching them shape and craft the metal and bring designs on paper to life in jewellery.

The Steensons’ workshop on Toberwine Street in Glenarm is open Monday to Saturday between 9am and 5pm.

 

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