2014 marks Waterford Crystal Chief Designer John Connolly’s 50th year with the Waterford family. 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.
Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, John learned his skills from the ground up as a young apprentice in the Waterford cutting department. John rose to the enviable rank of Master Cutter. He flourished in the cutting room for 16 years, cutting some of Waterford’s grandest and most eminent trophies and presentation pieces.
John then joined the design department, where he was integral in developing the highly-acclaimed Master Cutter Collection. As the Chief Designer for Waterford, John changed the crystal landscape forever with the creation of a number of Waterford’s most esteemed patterns and collections: Lismore Essence, Lismore Diamond, Ballet Ribbon, Siren, Lucerne, Crosshaven, the Wishes Collection, Balmoral, Clarion, Killarney, Overture, Metropolitan, the Wedding Collection, and the Colleen 60th Anniversary Collection.
50th Anniversary Collection
In honor of Waterford Crystal Chief Designer John Connolly’s 50th year with the Waterford family, Waterford Crystal and Ireland’s House of Waterford Crystal Studios pay tribute to his vast legacy with the John Connolly 50th Anniversary Collection. With each piece titled for important people and places in his life, they feature exceptional cutting of every style and skill. The John Connolly 50th Anniversary Collection represents the zenith of Connolly’s collective knowledge of Waterford heritage, natural design instinct and forward-looking vision.
Created by John Connolly, Lismore Diamond, the signature pattern for the Lismore 60th Anniversary celebration, features a unique execution of Lismore: horizontal cuts across alternating-height vertical cuts which create light-refracting, diamond-like facets of unsurpassed prismatic reflectivity. First introduced in 2012, Lismore Diamond became one of Waterford’s fastest selling and most popular ranges of stemware and giftware.
The original Lismore pattern was created by Miroslav Havel in 1952. John Connolly updated the favorite pattern – maintaining its classic form and infusing contemporary function – as Lismore Essence stemware in 2006. Lismore Essence was further enhanced with additions of barware, giftware, a platinum edition, and for the first time in 2011, fine bone china.
Colleen 60th Anniversary
In 1954, Miroslav Havel, designer of some of Waterford's most iconic patterns, captured the romance, charm and magic of the Emerald Isle in Colleen, a beloved Waterford Crystal pattern that continues to transcend the test of time. In 2014, Waterford Crystal and John Connolly celebrate the 60th anniversary of the birth of Colleen with special commemorative crystal creations including limited edition pieces from the designers at the House of Waterford Crystal.