Deirdre O'Donnell

Head of School, Goldsmith & Tutor

A little background info....

For  over 35 years Deirdre O’Donnell has specialised in creating and selling customised, bespoke and hand-crafted Jewellery using 18ct gold, platinum and silver with precious and semi-precious gemstones. 

Deirdre was traditionally trained as a Goldsmith Apprentice that she followed with a 2 year design and creative course at The School of Jewellery in Birmingham. In both 1987 and 1988 she was awarded the prestigious 'Emma Jessie Phipps Scholarship' from the Birmingham School of Jewellery and graduated with a distinction and a Higher National Diploma in Design and Goldsmith Skills. 

Deirdre opened her first Jewellery creative workshop in Soho, London in the early 1990's. The experience gained in these early days in London, where she was amongst a creative group of  Worldwide goldsmiths working together in Soho, was invaluable. 

Deirdre held many successful exhibitions in London during this time and travelled to Paris to visit a fellow Goldsmith whose traditional workshop and showroom was in the prestigious and exclusive Parisian area of St. Germain. The French style of jewellery captured her imagination and still influences her designs today. 

With Worldwide clients, Deirdre returned to base her studio and workshop in Dublin in 1996 and to join Dublin Jewellers, but continued to travel to London, Paris, the U.S.A. and Australia meeting fellow Goldsmiths and clients and selecting gemstones to use in her customised jewellery and Objets D'Art.

She has featured in many publications including The Irish TimesImage MagazineSocial & Personal, Confetti and has been interviewed on Virgin Media Television.

Deirdre started The School of Jewellery Ireland in November 2011 to prevent the loss of technical skills in the jewellery industry.

In 2016, The School expanded to teach The Full Time Certificate Course and in turn a 2nd & 3rd Year of this Full Time Course.

Deirdre also opened a retail showroom and jewellery studios at 19, Anne Street South at this time and moved the School to be located above the showroom. 

In September 2023, The School of Jewellery Ireland was handed into the capable hands of Goldsmith and Tutor, Paul Coyne who continues to grow and evolve The School of Jewellery Ireland, also from 19, Anne Street South, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Deirdre continues to tutor the One Year Jewellery Skills and Design Course from 19, Anne Street South, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Claudia Lenghel

Trainee Goldsmith & Retail Shop Manager

Claudia began working with Deirdre in 2006 and has been part of Deirdre's team for over 17 years.

Initially, Claudia joined as an assistant to Deirdre on a part-time basis, however her role has grown and evolved so that she is now a senior member of the team and is now also training in the art of jewellery making under Deirdre's instruction. 

Claudia has been an integral part of so much that has kept the school and the shop running smoothly over the years. In December 2022, Claudia took control of making the candles that are now sold through the shop and website. She is also the face that welcomes all customers and students to both The School of Jewellery Ireland, Deirdre O'Donnell Contemporary Jewellery and Deirdre O'Donnell - Jewellery Skills & Design Courses 

In recent years she has been promoted to the role of Retail Shop Manager and is very happy to take on any challenge or task.

She is an invaluable member of the team.


Lizzie Lester

Apprentice Goldsmith and Studio Manager

Lizzie graduated from The Jewellery Skills and Design Certificate Course in June 2023.

Previously working in museums and heritage, Lizzie discovered her passion for making jewellery after attending part time courses in York, UK and Dublin, and decided to pursue this with the Full Time certificate course.

Influenced by fairytales and a love of wildlife, Lizzie’s collections are inspired by childhood daydreams and memories of exploring the countryside.

Lizzies collections of ‘blossoms’ and ‘brambles‘ draw upon nature, focusing on creating realistic details including hidden treasures of blackberries and bugs to be discovered. 

In February 2023, Lizzie began working with Deirdre part-time while training on the Full Time Course. On graduation she was promoted to Studio Manager while also continuing her training as a Goldsmith. She also applies the training that she gained on the Full Time Certificate Course and assists with customer queries and quotations. 


Zoe Millington - Ward

Apprentice Goldsmith & Assistant

Zoe graduated from The Jewellery Skills and Design Certificate Course in June 2023.

Growing up in an Irish-Greek Cypriot household Zoe inherited her love of beauty, art and nature from her family. After graduating secondary school she decided to pursue a career in jewellery by enrolling as a full time student in The School of Jewellery Ireland.

Drawing her inspiration from her fun and free upbringing as well as an unstoppable passion for creation, Zoe quickly found her calling in goldsmithing.

She explores natural and manipulated organic forms through her unique themes of "Chainmail" and "Crochet", artistically deconstructing their traditional patterns to form distinctive and fresh designs.

Since July 2023, Zoe has continued as a Goldsmith Skills Apprentice with Deirdre following her graduation and is also employed on Saturdays to assist in the shop and studio.


Erell Menguy

Apprentice Goldsmith & Assistant

Erell followed a course in metal creation in Brest (Brittany, France) where she discovered a real interest for small things and details.

Then she decided to join the full time course at The School of Jewellery Ireland to specialize in jewellery making and to improve her skills.

Her collection is inspired by her previous work done in Brest, inspired by the “Monster” theme. She chooses to work on softer and more evocative forms, but still sticks to the notions of lushness, growth, deformity, spread and disturbing, all around very organic forms.

Erell graduated from The Jewellery Skills & Design Course in June 2023 and started in September 2023 to continue her training as a Goldsmith Apprentice and is employed on Saturdays as an assistant in the shop and studio.

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