About Juliette - Celtic Symbolism - About the Woods

About Juliette

Juliette came to Galway, Ireland from Lille, France in the summer of 1997 to improve her English and is still here! In Galway she met Paul Doyle, local musical instrument maker. She worked in his workshop where he trained her to decorate stringed instruments with mother of pearl and with wood, using one main tool: the fretsaw.

In her spare time she started making her own celtic jewellery using the same beautiful woods from the instruments and the exact same technique used in the decoration of instruments. She started selling the jewellery at week-ends in the Galway market

In 1999 she started bodhran-making in Paul's workshop. In 2000 she started harp-making. In 2001 she started making babies so she stopped the instrument making but kept on jewellery making, always improving her craft and working on more intricate designs.

Lately, she started putting sterling silver rims and silver inlays around the edges of, and in some pieces.

As well as making high quality pieces of jewellery, Juliette has learned how to build a classical guitar with the guidance of her dear friend and master/mentor Paul Doyle. She's now making gypsie jazz guitars with Paul.

Fretmajic is registered with the Crafts Council of Ireland which has over 1700 registered craftspeople in the island of Ireland. All members work tirelessly to uphold high quality craftsmanship.


back to the top

About the symbolism

Celtic designs represent the eternal life as we contemplate the infinite cycles of birth and rebirth in both physical and ethereal realms.


Used to symbolize the cycles of life within the three fold, or 3 spheres of influence in the material world (land, sea and sky). Each aspect ever flowing outward and always returning to the point from which it started.
3-branch SPIRAL

To the ancient inhabitants of lreland, the spiral was used to represent their sun. The 3 branch spiral represents the triple goddess of the 3 ages of the womanhood: maidden-mother-crone The circle, spiral and wheel are all powerful symbols also representing the cycle of life, death and rebirth.

Widely used as christian symbol, the celtic cross has a history stretching further back than christianity. The cross was originally a pagan sun or moon representation. Its 4 arms may also represent the 4 elements (earth, air, fire, water) or the four directions (north, south, east and west),

The interlaced knotwork patterns is representative of interconnecting forces in life, the endless circle of life with no beginning and no end. It is drawn in 1 continuous line, suggesting a continuous movement of time.

The celtic triangle is also known as triqutra (which means three-cornered). this three pronged knot may symbolize the celtic philosophy that everything has 3 distinct yet interlocked levels: physical, mental and spiritual.

back to the top

About the woods

Juliette handcrafts jewellery using some of the most beautiful hardwoods from around the world. She uses some native irish woods (yew and oak are known to be sacred woods to the ancient inhabitants of Ireland) and bogwoods. Juliette honours these rare and valuable woods by creating unique pieces. Because she believes in eco-friendly hardwoods practice, she mostly uses (and recycles) the offcuts from musical instrument making. To complement the jewellery she finishes the pieces with natural oils.

bog oak
Wood from ancient forests that once covered Ireland. Huge oaks, yew and pine that grew and died since the last ice age, some 10,000 years ago. The wood has been buried in peat bogs and preserved from decay by the acidic and anaerobic bog conditions, sometimes for hundreds or even thousands of years. The wood is usually stained brown by tannins dissolved in the acidic water. Bog-wood represents the early stages in the fossilisation of wood, with further stages ultimately forming lignite and coal over a period of many millions of years.
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens, France
A compact light yellow timber occasionally streaked with grey with the finest possible texture. Traditional uses include wood engraving, barometer sumps, scales for scientific instruments and violin pegs.
Bubinga - Guibourtia tessmannii - Africa
Also called "African Rosewood" though not a true rosewood, Bubinga has a lovely Pinkish-rose color, veined with darker stripes and sometimes with mottled or "bee's wing" figure.
Cherry - Prunus serotina, Indigenous
A hard straight-grained wood, with fine texture. The heartwood is reddish brown to deep red.
Cocobolo- Dalbergia retusa, Mexico
A true rosewood frequently showing the typical figuring and colouring associated with the most desirable and popular rosewoods. Light yellow to rich red with other coloured streaks and zones maturing to a superb collection of rich red browns. A stunning timber for the best of work, extremely hard and heavy giving a super dense and glassy finish.
Ebony - Diospyros crassiflora, Africa
Black, rarely showing stripe, hard and heavy with the capability of being worked to a high level of finish. One of the rarest and most expensive exotic woods on the market!
Elm - Ulmus procera, Indigenous
This beautiful timber is full of striking colour contrasts from creamy pink to deep auburn and chestnut. Broadleaf Elm is specially selected to include a high proportion of burr which creates highly sought after ‘cats paw’ markings.
Koa - Acacia koa, Hawaii
Koa is the best known of the endemic Hawaiian woods. It is recognized world wide for it's remarkable variety of grain figure which ranges from plain, to curly, to deep fiddleback. The color can go from reds to chocolate browns, with the sap wood sometimes even a bleached white. The grain is fine and the texture medium coarse, but it is the figuring that sets Koa into a class of it's own.
Mahogany - Swietenia mahagoni, Cuba
Medium reddish brown, darkening with exposure. Stable, fine textured and with a solid feel. Very rare, very famous and very desirable.
Oak- Quercus robur, Indigenous
A yellowish brown wood with a silver grain figure, European Oak accepts a variety of finishes and is very durable
Padauk - Pterocarpus soyauxii, Africa
Hard, heavy wood with rich orange red moderating and darkening with age to a deep red brown, medium to coarse texture, very stable. Popular for woodturning and for detailing in cabinet work.
Pink Ivory- Rhamnus zeyheri, South Africa
No, not the tusk from a pink elephant, but a beautiful wood from Mozambique. Pink Ivory, with its pale to hot pink coloring and lovely grain figure, is extremely rare and very difficult to find. Called "the royal wood of the Zulus" because of its importance in local customs. Expensive!
Purpleheart - Peltogyne pubescens, South America
Dull brown when freshly cut quickly turning to an amazing deep purple on exposure. It is a strong, resilient wood and very durable.
Rosewood- Dalbergia latifolia, India
Rosewood is a hard, heavy and durable wood. The colour is golden brown to purple-brown, with streaks of dark purple or black.
Satinwood -Chloroxylon swietenia, India
Brilliant yellow often with a shimmery appearance on surface. It is used for small luxury items and as a veneer in wooden furniture
Tulipwood - Dalbergia frutescens, Brazil
Pinkish brown with crimson stripes, hard, heavy, straight grained with a fine texture.
Yew - Taxus Baccata, Indigenous
Yew trees are the longest-living trees in Europe, sometimes exceeding 1000 years of age. Yew's evergreen leaves are said to be symbolic of everlasting life, while the wood itself was considered sacred by the Greeks, associated with Hecate, Queen of the Underworld.

back to the top

Celtic Wooden Jewellery handmade by Juliette in Ireland.