Sandra Hartwieg graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 2011 with a BA in History of Art and Fine Art, specialising in Sculpture. She initially pursued an interest in traditional Goldsmithing through evening classes at the School of Jewellery in Dublin. She was then accepted onto the DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course in Kilkenny for the intensive two-year programme to develop both her goldsmithing and design skills. Graduating in 2017, she now creates specially commissioned pieces and collections of jewellery from her workshop in Kilkenny. “With a curiosity of processes and techniques, I design and make jewellery by experimenting with precious metal. Playing with texture, form and ways of connecting pieces together, I find beauty in contrasts. The result of my making process emerges as highly tactile, detailed pieces of jewellery with textures and embellishment unique to each piece.”
Funny story here... but a sweet look into our process here at Optimist Made (it's all about that gut feeling)! Sandra Hartwieg was the only designer at the time that we did not get to meet in person before doing a deal with her. While CEO, Rochelle Webb, was sourcing in Ireland her first stop was Dublin and the rest of the trip was up for debate. She connected with Sandra, but their travel schedules were in competition with one other. Missing each other by a day, they were ships passing in the night, but Sandra's collection was not. Rochelle found her collection in the Chester Beatty Gift Shop in Dublin Castle (with Sandra's guidance of course... and we have been having virtual meetings ever since!) and Rochelle was in awe! Rochelle had a small stitch of time to run across the Dublin City Centre right at closing hour to get in the shop and make sure she could view it before heading to her next destination. She made it! Just in the nick of time! And the feel of luck was not even the word... in Rochelle's mind, the deal was already done - this was all intentional because Sandra's collection was a perfect fit. Sandra's unique, but incredibly consistent point of view is one-of-a-kind and we knew it was kismet. After the viewing, on Rochelle's way to a pub to meet friends, she found her second Irish Designer that day. So the luck of the Irish was definitely shining on her! Welcome to the Optimist Made family, Sandra!