Cathal Barber Goldsmith – R. J. Barber & Sons
Established in 1890 R.J. Barber & Sons is now its in 4th generation of jewellers.
Cathal Barber has grown up in the family business alongside his father Paul
spending Saturdays in the workshop or on the shop floor.
The family business is also at the centre of attention at the dinner table discussing new ideas and plans.
After spending three years at the Irish Swiss Institute of Horology Cathal gained the expertise and knowledge to assess, repair and service high quality swiss timepieces. This course gave him an excellent set of bench skills.
His flair for jewellery design lead to a year in Seville, Spain with Silversmith Amil creating bespoke larger pieces in silver. Returning to Ireland this passion lead to a place on the Jewellery Skills Course in Kilkenny with Jane Huston in year one and year two with Eimear Conyard. This course is an excellent course for anyone looking to pursue a career in jewellery. It is a two year year skills based course which involves piercing, soldering, setting, engraving, mounting, jewellery design, casting, polishing and much more including getting to know more people in the trade. Work experience during the Kilkenny course with Steven Bourke enabled Cathal to develope his hand skills and stone-setting.
Field trips to various European trade fairs really opened his eyes to the world of rare and beautiful gemstones. Leaving Kilkenny He received the coveted “Student of the Year” award in 2009. He also completed GIA courses on diamonds and gemstones while on the course.
With the National Association of Jewellers Cathal travelled to Goldsmiths Hall to receive his Professional Jewellers Diploma after completing Jet 1 and 2. In the same year Cathal won the RDS Craft Competition for Silver and mixed metal for a hand-crafted salt and pepper mounted on a walnut base.
He has also enjoyed working on bespoke commissions with many clients including pieces for First Lady Michelle Obama, professional golfer Shane Lowry
and Mary McAleese.
He is now focused on combining traditional hand crafted jewellery techniques with CAD/CAM jewellery opening up new and exciting prospects for Cathal and R.J. Barber & Sons.