ISLE collections

SORA Vibes by geraldine kane

ISLE.jewellery.SORA.vibes

Here's a little visual introduction to the ideas and inspiration behind the new Sora collection. We wanted Sora, 空 meaning Sky in Japanese, to be a modern, fine jewellery response to the romantic idea of the night sky. The designs have been honed and simplified in order to create fresh and modern jewellery that can be worn with anything, for a very long time.  The classic black and gold colour pallete is made up of 9ct yellow gold and conflict-free black diamonds, giving a dark sparkle and sophisticated edge to simple forms.

Any of the pieces in the Sora collection could be worn with a crisp white shirt, a casual t-shirt or a floral summer dress - and that versatility was the main motivation behind creating this collection of Modern Romantic investment pieces.

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We hope you like them!

G


Modern Sparkle by geraldine kane

Solid 18ct yellow gold Fionn Mini Gem that sparkles as you move

G


Showcase 2016 by geraldine kane

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We took part in Showcase in Dublin for the second time at the end of January. We had learnt a lot from the first year, little important behind-the-scenes things like remembering to bring double-sided tape, a tape measure and to bring a step ladder- except we forgot to bring the step ladder. But we managed and were very pleased with the results 

It's a long few days and a lot of preparation work but it's worth it - the positive feedback, new friends and new stockists all add up to days well spent.

Thank you,

H

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Flora drama by geraldine kane

I've been wanting to create a floral range for a long time and have started and stopped many times. Back in the day, when I was studying Art at school, I was obsessed by Art Nouveau and anything ornately curly and organic. I progressed to studying Metalsmithing & Jewellery at uni and my focus turned to contrasting masculine and feminine, organic and industrial.

Now, many years on, I seem to have lost my soft side. Nothing gives me more joy these days than flat surfaces and sharp angles. So that explains my losing battle with my Flora range. 

During a trip home, I took some photos of heather and scrub just outside Newcastle, Co.Down. I realised that focusing on individual flower forms was limiting me and found the whole scene to be much more inspiring. I picked out patterns using simple dots, suggesting movement and a kind of organic rhythm.

My new obsession is dot-based 

I guess I'm reverting back to my contrast days in uni - simple, hard shapes mixed with organic patterns. Who knows, maybe the next collection will be an Art Nouveau- inspired extravaganza.

Probably not :) 

FLORA [take 3000] is well underway and I am loving it. We will be exhibiting it at Showcase 2016 and launching it in the early half of 2016. Nothing like a deadline to encourage creativity.

ISLE_floradot.jpg

Thank you,

G


Matt gold by geraldine kane

Just working away on some new orders today. I haven't had much time to add posts recently because I've been flat out, but I just wanted to share this beautiful 10K yellow gold FIONN SKINNY ring. When polishing metal, we work down from rough sandpaper to a very fine grain to reveal a shiny surface. This ring is part-way through the process, each face is smooth but the overall effect is matt. The angles still catch the light but the glow is soft and really shows the warmth of yellow gold.

Well, I'd better get back to it...


Lunula by geraldine kane

I've spent the morning drilling decorative holes into metal and the process reminded me of this project we started a couple of years ago (you'd be amazed by the number of temporarily shelved projects I have stashed in my cupboards). It was inspired by a trip to the gorgeous National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

You can see the clear influence from these very early examples of jewellery, circa 2000 B.C.! It's hard to believe they are around 4,000 years old, a little patch up and polish and they would still be very relevant today. My idea was to hold on to the linear patterns, simplifying them a little further. The large pieces in the first set of images were hand engraved in brass then plated in 18k yellow gold for a kind of one-off gallery piece. My plan was/is to take the essence of these designs and refine them further to make more wearable but equally beautiful pieces that still hold on to the history of ancient Irish Jewellery. 

Above are my original, little bit dodgy, attempts at using Illustrator to plan the design for the engraving. We made a pair of earrings too but I need to hoke deeper in the cupboards to find them! They were domed and a hook was added through a little drilled hole at the top if each circle.

There's definitely a little bit of an Egyptian vibe to these designs but it's lovely to know they were created independently by our skillful ancestors.

Looks like Irish design was just as strong as 4,000 years again as it is today !

Now, where did I put those earrings.

G




New outlets ! by geraldine kane

We've been pretty busy recently. But we've been whistling while we work, because we're very excited to be bringing ISLE to some new lovely shops throughout Ireland. 

We're proud to announce that you can find ISLE at:

 

KILN & LOOM, Ormeau Road, Belfast

 

SHELLS LITTLE SHOP, The Srand Sligo

McCARTHY'S, Shop Street, Galway

Pop in and have a little look if you are in any of these lovely locations.

There's more to come so keep an eye out for more news!!

H


Facet-nating & Fionn-tastic :) by geraldine kane

We are just recovering from our first experience of exhibiting at Showcase Ireland. I took plenty of photos, so just need a little time to go through them before giving you the insider lowdown on all things Showcase.

Everyone was really positive about our jewellery and stand, especially excited about our new range of angular Fionn 'gems'.  Due to popular demand, we are exploring using 18k yellow and rose gold plating over sterling silver for some on-trend luxury that won't break the bank. These gems will be mostly matt-finish, though I may sprinkle them with a few shiny surfaces for some texture and contrast. I'm also exploring the possibility of partial plating, mixing silver and gold finishes for some extra edginess.  So many possibilities! Yesterday, I was back working at my jewellery bench making necklaces that will accompany the earrings photographed below.

Our gem earrings will be available to buy in the coming weeks. *smile*

[I know, I know, I said that about the Flora Collection that hasn't surfaced yet, but I decided it was important to take extra time to develop it further to a standard I'm totally happy with!  These gems, on the other hand, are funky, elegant and ready to go!]

Right, back to the work bench!

G


*NEW OUTLET* by geraldine kane

hello, hello, hello!!

Good news, we've joined My Shop....Granny Likes It in beautiful Galway City! My Shop showcases the best of Irish design so we are pretty chuffed to be a part of it :)

Pop in and say hello and get your hands on our Cloch Collection, inspired by Irish stone walls.

Chat soon,

G


Flora & Sauna by geraldine kane

Some early sketches and models in copper and brass

Here's a little glimpse into my design process...first of all, I sit for hours drinking tea and thinking about what I'm going to do. From years of studying and teaching Art & Design I know that the best way to work through the design process is to think through making. It's better to always move forward and just see what happens while playing with ideas. This is definitely something I do, but initially, I just can't bring myself to jump straight in (not something I ever told my students). I always find that unless I have formed a clear image in my head of what I want to create, I'm disappointed by the unsuccessful random visual ramblings I produce. Of course, once I start to recreate my idea in 3D/2D, it organically evolves far beyond what I first dreamt up. 

Playing with wax carving

So, recently (actually, for rather a long time) I've been sitting and sitting and sitting, trying to come up with an idea for a new collection. I had jeweller's block, I couldn't visualise anything. Or more accurately, I was just visualising too much and over-thinking everything. 100s of ideas were mentally created and scrapped in an instant. I've been torturing my poor sister, waking her up at 5am with "How about this idea?" messages (the time difference is a killer, soz H!). 

A 3D sketch of a new earring design. The final design will be beautiful shiny silver and gold

In the end, I just stopped thinking so much and just started sketching the kind of designs that I wanted to see and wear, in the hope that our followers and friends would too. In this hot and humid Tokyo summer, I've been craving a little escape from sweaty cramped trains and the whir of air-con. Can you relate over there in Ireland or wherever you are? Well let's see, imagine wearing 2 puffa coats and being squashed into an overcrowded sauna and you may be close! So, you can understand why my mind has been wandering back to the country roads of my village in the Mourne Mountains. Home, with the mountains in front of you and the sea at your back, green at your sides and more fresh air than you could shake a stick at (strange visual!).  So, perhaps now you can see why heather and ferns have made an appearance in my creative play these days. This collection-in-the-making will be a simple, fresh and honest taste of home seen from my tired, city-filled eyes. 

It's true what they say, absence does make the heart grow fonder...but it still doesn't make me miss the cold rain!  ; )

I'll keep you posted about these designs as I develop them and, bear with me, they will be ready to wear soon!

Time now to turn on the air-con so I can enjoy a cup of tea without melting...

G