A Glenarm jeweller is reaping the benefits of Northern Ireland’s close links to the hugely popular television show, Game of Thrones.
The fantasy epic, which has recently finished airing its third season, has been a smash-hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
And, just as with the previous seasons, showmakers HBO intend to film the bulk of the upcoming fourth season in locations across Northern Ireland.
Much like Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand, Game of Thrones has done wonders for the local tourism industry, with eager fans flocking to Northern Ireland to catch a glimpse of some of the stunning scenery.
The show has also provided a major boost to the NI economy – particularly for one local business.
Since the first season, Steensons jewellers in Glenarm has been working with HBO to create props for costumes worn by the characters who inhabit the medieval world of Westeros.
With characters divided into a number of noble houses, each with their own symbols, the team of skilled artisans at Steensons lovingly crafted brooches, crowns, belt pieces and an array of other items to help bringing an added layer of authenticity to the show.
And they are currently busy working on pieces for the show’s new season – however, they are staying tight-lipped about what exactly those items are.
Dan Spencer, who is a director of Steensons along with his wife Brona, told the Times: “We make all the items to our usual high standard using metals such as silver, brass, copper, and even gold plating some pieces.
“There is quite a quick turnaround on the items – maybe two or three weeks– but it is hugely rewarding to see the finished products appear on the show.
“A number of the pieces we made have been in close-up shots on the show, which is great to see.
“The item I am most proud of is a bronze chain of office made out of overlapping, interlinking hands, which appeared in season one.”
While Dan said he initially watched the show out of curiosity, he quickly grew to enjoy it and now considers himself a fan.
“My wife is a also big fan of Game of Thrones and has read all the books,” he added.
“It is fantastic to be a part of such a successful and widely-loved show. Fans come from all over the world come to Northern Ireland and go on bus tours to see the various locations were the show was shot.
“Who knows, maybe some day Steensons will be included on the tour”, Dan concluded.
A number of props made by Steensons were recently on display at a Game of Thrones exhibit in Titanic Belfast.
As well as making items for Game of Thrones, Steensons are also working on props for an upcoming movie.
They also recently crafted winners medals for the Browns Bay triathlon and the Dalriada Festival sprint triathlon.