Rudolf Heltzel - Bounded + Unlimited

Rudolf Heltzel


National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny



Open to the Public



Rudolf Heltzel || Bounded + Unlimited

Master goldsmith and an icon of Irish craft and design, Rudolf Heltzel presents a solo exhibition of his exceptional sculptural pendants. 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, In Precious Metal, will showcase many of Heltzel’s most ambitious and technically complex designs, selected from his personal archive together with newly produced work. Three of his most significant collections of scultptural pendants will be presented; Rock Crystal Treasure Cave, Tourmaline Butterflies and his brand new Druze Collection.

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.

Originally from Berlin, Germany, Rudolf Heltzel was invited to Ireland in 1966 by An Córas Tráchtála, the Irish Export Board. He set up and led the trail-blazing gold and silver studio-workshops at the Kilkenny Design Workshops. In 1968, he established his own workshop in Kilkenny where he, his son Christopher, their employees and apprentices still work today. Heltzel has won countless accolades throughout his 50 years in the business, including ‘One of the World’s Greatest Gem Houses’ by the Franklin Mint. He has exhibited widely and sold through establishments such as Nieman Marcus. He is a consultant to the jewellery industry, having worked and mentored across the globe, and has directly trained many goldsmiths working in the field today. He has also been instrumental in establishing training opportunities for jewellery makers, keeping ancient traditional skills alive.

Exhibition Run

2 February - 18 April 2018


National Design & Craft Gallery
Castle Yard