The workshop is now closed.
This website is by a Bone Carver originally from Dublin but now living in Galway. They learned to bone carve in New Zealand and fell in love with the craft. On studying the history of the art form in Ireland I decided to return home and set up a bone carving studio here, in an effort to revive a craft that was once widely practiced in this country.
Their own bone carvings have become Seodra Bán hand-carved bone jewellery. “Seodra” in Irish means “jewellery” and “Bán” means “white”. My bone carvings are almost always worn as jewellery because I love the idea of “wearable art”, and of bone carvings being miniature wearable sculptures.
If you’d like to take a look at my work you can visit me at my Bone carving Studio and Gallery at 2 Victoria Place, Galway city. You can see the workshop in which I make my jewellery, see it being made and then try bone carving yourself!
Their work is also on display at the Powerscourt Gallery in the ballroom of the beautiful and historic Powerscourt Townhouse in the centre of Dublin.
Bone Carving in Ireland
Bone carving existed as a craft in Ireland from the Neolithic period up to the Middle ages, when it died out. Throughout the centuries bone and antler were used to create not only jewellery but such things as pins, combs and dice. Several examples of these can be found in Dublin’s National Museum of Archaeology on Kildare Street in Dublin.
Bone working was a particularly important trade in Viking Dublin, with archaeologists finding remains of bone workshops around the Temple Bar and Christchurch area. Evidence suggests that Dublin bone workers specialised in comb making. UTM Builder
After the Middle ages bone working died out in Ireland, but this ancient craft continued on in a number of cultures, to the greatest extent in the Pacific.
A lovely tradition
Bone carving continues to be an important part of Pacific culture and is particularly prominent within the Maori community of New Zealand. Bone pendants there are referred to as “Taonga”, which loosely translates to “precious possession” or “treasure”. Leaflet Distribution by allhomes
These “Taonga” are passed on through generations as the Maori people believe that the bone carving soaks up the essence of the wearer and retains this essence when passed on to another person. For this reason bone pendants when given as gifts are always first worn by the giver, even for just a short time.