Bryan Donnelly (Oshun Kayode) Master Blacksmith, Bladesmith and Silver/Goldsmith

“All my life I have had a fascination with metal and working with it.

“My grandfather and his brother were blacksmiths and my first introduction to metal work came from them. I started making objects in metal as early on as 12 years old. I later gained an apprenticeship with a local silver/goldsmith when I was 16. I built my own forge and travelled all over Ireland, meeting blacksmiths in order to learn the old traditions of metalworking as opposed to modern electrical methods of metal fabrication.

“I have made architectural items, sculptor, tools, swords and jewelry. I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity of teaching blacksmithing and bladesmithing for the Craft Council of Ireland.

“During the early 1990’s, I had been initiated into European Witchcraft and began training as a spiritualist medium. I came across the Lucumi religion in books at this time and fell in love with it, but I never thought I would have the opportunity of being initiated into it and trained, as I live in Ireland. In 2008 after what seems like a whirlwind, I was crowned to Oshun and I was amazed by the amount of metalwork used in are religion, but unfortunately very saddened by the sight of mass-produced and poorly made metalwork for the orishas. It was this need that brought me back to metalworking, as during this time I had been working as a quality technician.

“I have seen photos of old orisha tool’s made in Cuba and amazed at their ingenuity, beauty and uniqueness. During the times these were made, it must have been difficult to obtain the aid of metalworkers and materials would have been hard to come by, but that didn’t stop those producing objects of beauty for the orishas.

“All my work is 100% handmade and from the best possible materials, and often requires all my abilities to make items, working in the forge and the silver/goldsmiths workbench. “

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