Cóilín O'Dubhghaill

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Dr Cóilín O'Dubhghaill BA, MA, PhD, FHEA

Senior Research Fellow


I am a silversmith based in Sheffield. I trained at Grennan Mill craft school and Edinburgh College of Art, graduating in 1996.

I subsequently worked as a designer for industry in India, the Philippines, and the UK, and set up a workshop in Kilkenny, Ireland. In 1998, I moved to Tokyo, to study in the metalwork department at the National University of Fine Arts and Music (Tokyo Geidai), receiving a doctorate in 2005. My research looks at the intersection between traditional craft processes and new technologies. 

I am a co-founder and director of the spin out company Mikana Innovations Ltd. In 2015, I was awarded the Bavarian State Prize for outstanding contributions in applied art and design. My work is held in national and international collections. I teach on the Jewellery and Metalwork undergraduate program in Sheffield and Hong Kong, and supervise postgraduate research students.


My recent research projects have explored the use of material science to improve our understanding of tacit skills and craft materials, the appropriation of industrial technologies for craft production, and the development of new ways of using traditional craft processes and materials in the production of studio work. My research has been funded by Arts Council England, the UK Research Councils, Innovate UK, the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, and the Sasakawa Foundation.

I exhibit my work internationally and have pieces in collections including the National Museum of Ireland, the Goldsmiths’ Collection, London, and the Marzee collection, Netherlands. 

I have developed collaborative projects between the Art and Design Research Centre, and the Materials and Engineering Research Institute since 2007. Sheffield Hallam University provides a unique opportunity for this research collaboration as the only UK university with both a metalwork and jewellery program and a materials science program.


College of Business, Technology and Engineering


Research outputs for our projects include international exhibitions of studio work, lectures, conference and journal papers. The research has found audiences across craft, design, industry and material science communities.

Other research projects that I am contributing to include the development of digital research tools (Digital memo wall) and the curation of exhibition as research events (Keypiece), both of which feed into the development and dissemination of practice based research projects.

The production and application of Japanese alloys and patination

Beneath the Skin

TIG welding in fine metalwork

Post Industrial Manufacturing Research Group

Friction stirred mokume gane

Data Objects


Journal articles

O'Dubhghaill, C., & Jones, A.H. (2010). Original research into Japanese alloys and patination. The Goldsmiths' Company Technical Bulletin.

O'Dubhghaill, C., & Jones, A.H. (2010). Metal mosaics : customizing designs with homemade shibuichi and shakudo. MJSA Journal, 5 (2), 28-37. http://www.mjsa.org/

Conference papers

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2017). Intersection: traditional craft process and new technology. In Make:Shift Ireland, Dublin City University, Ireland, 6 November 2017. http://www.dccoi.ie/learners/makeshift-ireland

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2017). Mikana: new forms of mokume gane. In 20:20 Visions, Sheffield Hallam University, 7 July 2017 - 9 July 2017. http://www.acj.org.uk/index.php/2-uncategorised/453-acj-s-sixth-international-conference

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2012). Radishes or isothiocyanates? A search for control between art and science. In Understanding Interdisciplinarity: Theory and Practice - An International Conference, Sheffield, 12 June 2012 - 14 June 2012. http://research.shu.ac.uk/engineering-for-life/Conference.html

Vutabwarova, I., Jones, A.H., Cater, S., & O'Dubhghaill, C. (2012). Copper/brass laminates bonded by friction stir welding as method to study material flow. In 9th International Friction Stir Welding Conference 2012, Huntsville, USA, 15 May 2012 - 17 May 2012. http://www5.twi.co.uk/fsw/previous-symposia/fswsymp9.jsp

Book chapters

Jones, A.H., Vutabwarova, I., O'Dubhghaill, C., & Cater, S. (2012). The use of friction stir welding for the production of Mokume Gane-Type materials. In Bell, E. (Ed.) Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology 2012: proceedings of the twenty-sixth Santa Fe Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Albuquerque, NM: Met-Chem Research: http://www.santafesymposium.org/2012-santa-fe-symposium-papers/2012-the-use-of-friction-stir-welding-for-the-production-of-mokume-gane-type-materials

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2010). Mokume Gane a reinvention. In Gimeno-Martinez, J., & Floré, F. (Eds.) Design and craft : proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Design History and Design Studies (ICDHS), 20-22 September 2010. Brussels, Belgium: Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie

Jones, A.H., & O'Dubhghaill, C. (2010). Reliable irogane alloys and niiro patination—further study of production and application to jewelry. In Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology 2010: proceedings of the twenty-fourth Santa Fe Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (pp. 253-286). Albuquerque, N.M: Met-Chem Research

O'Dubhghaill, C., & Jones, A.H. (2009). Japanese irogane alloys and patination – a study of production and application. In Bell, E. (Ed.) Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology 2009: proceedings of the twenty-third Santa Fe Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (pp. 289-324). Albuquerque, N.M: Met-Chem Research

Theses / Dissertations

Al-Ismaili, A. (2019). Interpreting the Traditional Jewellery of Bedouin in Oman through Contemporary Jewellery Practice. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by O'Dubhghaill, C., Hanson, M., & Green, G. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00345


O'Dubhghaill, C. (2015). Tulipiere Series.

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2014). Friction-stir patterned metal laminates. http://www.coilin.com/

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2012). Irogane Alloys and Niiro Patination samples. http://www.beneath-the-skin.co.uk/

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2008). Series of TIG welded vessels. http://www.coilin.com/

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2008). Series of TIG welded vessels. [Metalwork]. http://www.coilin.com/


O'Dubhghaill, C. (2011). Coilin O’Dubhghaill, Vessels. Galerie Marzee, Nijmegen, Netherlands. http://www.coilin.com/

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2011). Coilin O’Dubhghaill, Vessels. Galerie Marzee, Nijmegen, Netherlands. http://www.coilin.com/

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2016). Transmutation. Galerie Marzee, Netherlands. https://www.galeriemarzee.com/

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2015). Meister der Moderne. Internationale Handwerksmesse, Munich, Germany. https://www.hwk-muenchen.de/artikel/meister-der-moderne-2015-74,0,7064.html

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2017). Narratives in Making. [Catalogue]. Ireland/ Wales. http://portfolio.dccoi.ie/wp-content/themes/portfolio/files/PORTFOLIO-2017-2018.pdf

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2017). Geschmiedet. Galerie Handwerk, Munich. https://www.hwk-muenchen.de/artikel/geschmiedet-74,0,8414.html

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2017). Objets, Mes Amis at Artmonte-carlo. Monte Carlo, Monaco. http://www.artgeneve.ch/

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2017). Alchemy, at Tresor Basel. [Metalwork]. Tresor 2017, Basel, Switzerland. http://www.tresor-craft.com/portfolio-item/alchemy/


O'Dubhghaill, C. (2014). Make : shift friction-stir for patterned metals. Presented at: Make:Shift, Ravensbourne College, London, 2014

O'Dubhghaill, C. (2014). The craft of interdisciplinary research : reflections from the workshop, laboratory, and operating theatre. Presented at: Driving forces: the role of artists and designers in interdisciplinary research, School of Art, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 2014

Postgraduate supervision

Amal Al-Ismaili: 'Recreating contemporary jewellery of traditional Omani jewellery'

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