A fourth generation craftsman, Sam Lafford initially followed in his ancestors footsteps in the tool trade. But when he arrived in Ireland he took the opportunity to follow his passion for jewellery. After attending a jewellery course he was fortunate to get a placement in a top contemporary jewellery shop here in Dublin, that was nearly 20 years ago now.

Over the years Sam has built a reputation for excellent craftsmanship and exquisite design of high end fine jewellery. His designs reflect his love for intricate antique jewellery and inspiration from exceptionally creative jewellers like JAR, Lorenz Baumer, Michelle Della Valle, Lydia Courteille and of course Victoire de Castellane. (Looking up his favourite designers will lead you down a wonderful rabbit hole of the exquisite and the luxurious) .

I love precious gemstones, so for my own creations I start with a gemstone and create a design around it. If I'm designing for a customer, I encourage them to talk me through their personal style and preferences, and then I create a piece that captures their personality with my take on it.” -- Sam Lafford

Sam is keen to pass on the traditions of the trade to another generation of jewellers. Weekdays he may be training up an apprentice for trade work, but at the weekend his kids regularly join him in the workshop, casually absorbing a feel for metals, gems and the tools of the trade.

His youngest son is a great example: what started out as gifts for family members, has turned into a series of letter pendants. Carved from wax, cast in silver, and all fittings made and assembled by himself at the ripe old age of 11 - under the watchful eye of the master of course.

xavier lafford sterling silver letter pendants apprentice goldsmith contemporary jewellery designyard dublin ireland xavier lafford sterling silver letter c pendant apprentice goldsmith contemporary jewellery designyard dublin ireland

At DesignYard we are proud to present work from new makers and Xavier's pendants are a perfect fit. Wonderfully naïve in nature, these edgy, heavily textured letter pendants make perfect gifts for your loved ones.

sam lafford silver 18k yellow hand necklace designyard contemporary jewellery gallery dublin ireland sam lafford oxidised silver 18k yellow hand necklace designyard contemporary jewellery gallery dublin ireland

We love the contrast of Xav’s rough work with the refined and exquisitely detailed hand pendants created by Sam - both carved from wax it so clearly shows the long journey each goldsmith makes from the first saw cuts to the accomplished craftsmanship of a master goldsmith. Whether you like Sam's plain hand for its grace and detail, or one with the embellished miniature bracelets, these graceful pendants are simply delightful.

Book your appointment to see work by this father & son duo at DesignYard.

book your appointment to view Sam and Xavier Lafford's collections in person

July 22, 2022 — Nicole van der Wolf