Family Inspiration for Celtic Art
The family tradition continues at Walker Metalsmiths with
the next generation entering the business. Sons Donald and Willie Walker have begun learning the art and mystery of goldsmithing. On
Saint Columba’s Day 2007, eldest son Andrew opened his own retail shop in
Rochester, New York to feature the family line of
Celtic jewelry. In May 2009 this shop moved to Fairport with daughter Jeanne
taking a larger role. Pictured from left to right are standing Susan,
Barbara, Willie, Donald Andrew, Jeannie (holding Charlie) and Stephen. Seated
are Maggie with Millie. In the tree is young Stephen.
This photo was taken July 4 2009 (Barbara's Birthday) at the house in Andover where Stephen grew up and where his
mother Barbara still lives.
Previous Family Photos
There has been a continuum - and also an evolution - of Scottish and Irish knotwork for centuries. Beyond merely copying ancient Celtic art, Stephen Walker's craft is a manifestation of deep feeling, creativity and technical skill applied to the art of his forbears.
Stephen was born to second and third generation Scottish Americans. His mother's father, William Watt and his father's grandfather, John Walker both came from Aberdeenshire, a part of Scotland rich in Celtic art of the Pictish school. They settled in New York State and Vermont respectively, near the turn of the century. Other parts of the family were Irish and Yankee. Click here for Walker genealogy.
Grandpa Watt was active in the Order of Scottish Clans Lodge in Syracuse, N.Y. Stephen's mother Barbara, was pipe major in one of the first female pipe bands in the world, the Glengarry Girls in the early 1950's in Syracuse. The band broke up when the girls started having families which is where he entered, being born in 1957.
In 1968 Grandma Walker, herself of Irish extraction, visited Ireland and when she returned she brought Stephen a small book about the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels. He had been around Scottish regalia of the typical Victorian Pipeband motifs all his eleven years but the fantastic interlaces and spirals fascinated him and he immediately tried to draw designs in that style.
Original workshop and showroom
Walker's Celtic Jewelry
Within a year the family moved to Andover, N.Y. where the school's art teacher turned out to be an accomplished practitioner of Celtic style calligraphy and sculpture. William "Scotty" MacCrea was also a piper. Stephen joined a circle of his friends and students that shared his enthusiasm for Celtic Culture. A pipe band flourished at the time he was a teen. He still plays.
Stephen pursued a career in the arts as a metalsmith/jewelry craftsman. For years most of his work was very contemporary in style, but he often turned to his Celtic heritage for inspiration and in recent years does many designs which are very traditional.
Stephen is married to a beautiful redhead of Irish and Nova Scotia Scots background. Susan is a mathematician. He claims her specialty is multiplying, as they have six children, Andrew, Jeanne, Margaret, Donald, William and Stephen.