Stephen Walker visiting a medieval Irish High Cross on a visit to Ireland in September 2021.
Stephen Walker to speak on ancient metalworking skills
Andover jewelry artist Stephen Walker will be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with a busman’s holiday to the Emerald Isle. He is giving a presentation on Celtic metalwork titled Carving the Shadows, Lost Secrets of Early Christian Metalwork at the Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. A three-day conference titled Saint Patrick and Early Christian Ireland will be held March 17 to 19 in the place where much of Patrick’s story occurred and mere yards from the site reputed grave of Ireland’s patron saint.
Downpatrick is home to the County Down Museum, the Saint Patrick Centre and Down Cathedral, all clustered together on the hill at the center of this historic town. It is the final destination on Saint Patrick’s Way: an 82-mile pilgrimage connecting Armagh and Downpatrick, the two locations on the island of Ireland most closely related to Saint Patrick. The route begins at the ancient city of Armagh winding through beautiful landscapes and historic cities, to end at Saint Patrick’s final resting place at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick.
As one of eleven speakers, Walker is the only American. The others are curators, researchers and experts from Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.
Walker says, “I was invited to go to Ireland by County Down Cultural Officer Mike King. He told me the audience would be mainly local to Northern Ireland. How could I pass up a trip to Ireland on Saint Patrick’s Day, as a guest artist?”
Walker’s research and experiments unraveling the mysteries of how some of the greatest metalwork of medieval Ireland and Scotland have been presented at academic conferences in Galway, Glasgow, Limerick, and York. He is currently working on a project that will be presented in Durham, England at the 9th International Insular Art Conference in April.
More information on the Saint Patrick conference can be seen at https://www.saintpatrickcentre.com/
Stephen Walker has been making Celtic jewelry since the 1970s. His workshop and showrooms are on Main Street in the Village of Andover.