Waterford Crystal Designers
The House of Waterford Crystal Design Studio is the incubator for the dreams, ideas and inspirations that become Waterford Crystal. The designers spend years learning the craft, with hands on experience in every aspect of the crystal making process. With imagination and artistic vision, designers capture the spirit of exciting new themes and ideas in the medium of crystal, and update and reimagine classic Waterford patterns for the contemporary tastes of a global audience.
Waterford Design Director Matt Kehoe is a 20 year veteran of the Design Department at Waterford Crystal. Unique in that he is not a product of the company’s cutting, blowing or engraving departments, Matt joined Waterford straight out of design school, and at age 21 became the youngest member of the Waterford design team. Working closely with Waterford craftsmen, Matt honed and developed his design skills over the years, becoming a talented and innovative crystal designer responsible for many of Waterford’s most advanced creations. In 2014, at age 40, Matt was appointed Design Director, becoming the youngest person ever to hold the respected position. In addition to many prestigious awards, trophies and outstanding Waterford collections, Matt’s most recent designs include the Waterford Mixology range and the Mad Men Edition of luxury drinkware and barware. Matt describes his design ethos as “classic contemporary style,” which is evidenced in his many fashion forward concepts.
Waterford Crystal Designers
2014 marks Waterford Crystal Chief Designer John Connolly's 50th year with Waterford. John has immersed himself in every aspect of the design and manufacture of the world's most beloved crystal, and is the catalyst behind the enduring success and continued growth of the Waterford brand.
59 year-old Designer Billy Briggs was born in Waterford City, and joined Waterford Crystal in 1970 as an apprentice cutter from the local Institute of Technology. Billy qualified as a master cutter in 1975 and joined the prestigious Design Office in 1978. Billy honed his skills under renowned Waterford Designer Miroslav Havel, creator of the iconic Lismore pattern. Some of Billy's better known works include Irish Lace, Georgian and the Grafton St. collections, the original 12 Days of Christmas series and the crystal trophy awarded to the winners of Solheim Cup golf tournament.
Martin Ryan joined Waterford in 1968, qualified as a wedge cutter five years later and went on to become a master cutter. He joined the Design team in 1987, and has been a key figure in the creation of some of the most successful launches introduced by Waterford. Coming to the House of Waterford in 2009, Martin has been involved with the Times Square Collection since its initial launch and continues to design for the project. Some of Martin's inspired designs include the Snowflake Wishes Collection and a number of outstanding Designer Studio pieces.
A Waterford City native, Tom studied art at CTI Waterford, and joined Waterford Crystal in1970. He qualified as a master engraver 10 years later in 1980 and became a member the Design team in 1994. Tom's most recent creations for Waterford are the Fleurology collection of floral vases and the lovely Shamrock Bowls and Vase.
The Jim O'Leary Legacy
Jim O'Leary, master cutter and Waterford Crystal Design Director, succumbed to cancer on June 8, 2013, at age 69. Jim O'Leary spent more than 50 years working for Waterford Crystal, working his way up from a teenage apprentice to become Waterford's international ambassador and a driving force for both design and quality.
Jim's repertoire of limited and exclusive creations won him legions of fans around the world, particularly with crystal collectors in the United States, Europe and Australia. The Araglin collection, which Jim designed, is second only to Lismore among Waterford Crystal's most famous and successful patterns.