The Island Gallery
irwan williams

Irwan Williams’ first contact with jewelry came when he bought a strange ring with many colored stones for $10 in a junk shop in Los Angeles. The stones turned out to be diamonds and with the sale of that ring he was able to travel to Indonesia for the first time in 1967. He has lived and worked continuously in Indonesia since 1969.

Irwan trained in all the arts at Juilliard in New York and at UCLA. His first great love in Indonesia was batik; he not only collected antique batiks but studied batik making and batik painting.

With his innate love of gems and jewelry growing stronger, he (re)discovered the opals of West Java (they had originally been discovered in the 1930s by a German who was later interned during the war) and began using them in his jewelry designs. He now attempts to use Indonesian gems as often as possible in his jewelry.

Inspired by Indonesian culture and with a great “sense of jewelry,” Irwan has spent a number of years creating the Heritage Indonesia Collection. This series of pendants has been created using the extraordinary technique of Javanese repoussé.

Irwan has created another line of jewelry which he calls Runic Jewels. As a long time member of the Spiritual Brotherhood of Subud, he has tried in these designs to bring something unique and “from the inner” to these jewels.


There are many ways to make a piece of jewelry: carving directly into a block of metal; twisting and soldering wire; welding various units together to form a larger shape; and numerous recent additions to jewelry-making via modern technology such as pressing, casting, et cetera.

:   PAST SHOWS   (more...)

January 6-31, 2006. Head for the Sun. Continuing our wearable art theme into the New Year, you are invited to cruise through the Gallery for resort wear and jewelry, as well as decorating items to warm your home.

December, 2005. All that Glitters: Contemporary Wearable Art, Jewelry & Clothing Treasures from the Studios of 10 Northwest and Pacific Rim Artists. Opening Reception and Fashion Show, First Friday, December 2, 2005, 6-8 p.m. (see press release.)