#irishjewellery

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




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