John Christopher Condron credits his creativity to growing up in a household where "we were always making things."
According to the Dublin-based designer, whose
John Christopher collection of fine jewelry is scheduled
to launch in the United States in September, 2007, "making things was part of the family's DNA. His mother, Rita Condron, turned her knitting skills into a successful business specializing in traditional hand-knitted Aran sweaters. (She is still active in the company, which John Condron now heads.) His father, a master carpenter and cabinetmaker, was a
detail-oriented perfectionist who could do marvellous things with wood.
If there is a stereotype for a typical jewelry designer, John Condron does not fit. Robust and plain-spoken, he has the look and demeanor of someone who works with his hands.Instead of enrolling in college or art school, he went to work for a jewelry manufacturer directly after high school. There
he learned the intricacies of the trade, developed his
craftsmanship and nurtured his talent as a designer.
For the last twenty years, he has been head of his own jewelry firm, Fadó, whose popular designs reflect familiar Irish legends and locations. (Fadó means “long ago.”) During this time, he became an ardent student of Ireland's noble and diverse culture, which has always included magnificent jewelry: the gold fibulae, armlets and lock-rings of the Late Bronze Age, the mysterious interlacements of Celtic
knotwork. He remains particularly influenced by the
traditional techniques of Irish jewelry-making, developed by Medieval goldsmiths in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries.
John Condron lived for a time in New York, where he became convinced that there was a place among customers in the United States for fine jewelry that reflected a new Irish aesthetic. Not the shamrocks, shillelaghs and leprechauns of popular culture, but sophisticated references to nature and the arts, interpreted in gold, diamonds and gem stones. From this conviction grew The John Christopher collection. Strong, distinctive and beautifully crafted, it combines the vitality of the new Ireland with a timeless beauty.
Following the launch of the John Christopher collection in the U.S., John Condron hopes to spend more time with his family, and to find time for his favorite weekend pastime, trout fishing in the West of Ireland.