Travel Notes in Japan with Maven by geraldine kane

I recently wrote about a short trip to a small city in the Japanese Alps for the online journal of our beautiful Belfast stockist, Maven.
Click through to Maven to read more about life and design outside of Tokyo. 🏯

Matsumoto castle, Japan

Matsumoto castle, Japan


See you in a bit,

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.


Thank you,


Stor, A New Irish Design Shop in Tokyo by geraldine kane

There's been a lot happening here in Tokyo recently. I've been working with a good friend, Mizue, who has decided to open a design shop in Daikanyama that showcases contemporary  Irish design.

The idea began slowly, a long time ago. We had been discussing, on and off, Mizue's desire for a new challenge and a new career. Originally a graphic designer, she hoped for something creative but with a different pace of working.

After exhibiting at Showcase 2015 with ISLE, I showed her photos of the interesting and beautiful products I saw there. Instantly she said 'I'll open an Irish Design shop' - and she did.
@stor_daikanyama [Instagram + Twitter]

Thank you,


Touchy! by geraldine kane

Who said concrete has to be boring? Today's pins are from Belfast-based Tactility Factor, who combine textiles and architecture to create beautiful and surprising results.

All photos from

Above left: Crystal Concrete 

Above right: Stitched Linen Concrete

Above left and right: James Street South, Belfast 


I know who I'll be calling when I finally get round to my Grand Designs project...


Welcome to our conversation! by geraldine kane

So, we are two sisters who have long been interested in all forms of Art and Design. One living in Tokyo and the other living in Belfast.

I'm Ger, founder of ISLE Jewellery, designer, painter, teacher, avid Pinner and tentative blogger. I'm the Tokyo-based sister. 

Soon to follow is Helen,  a talented crafter, fruit-and-veg-lover and bossy little task master! My little big sister keeps me artistically focused (I have a tendency to jump from idea to idea that I'm trying to rein in) and ensures I keep my standards high. Her scrunched-up-face-of-disapproval has been pushing me to push and refine my design work since my degree in Jewellery Design right up to now. Helen is helping to take care of ISLE HQ in Ireland, working with Irish craftspeople to ensure ISLE Jewellery is up to scratch (hopefully not employing the scrunched-up-face-of-disapproval too much!). 

Over the years we have been sending a constant stream of images, links and ideas to each other. We thought it might be nice to share these little gems we stumble upon with other people who might appreciate them too. Hopefully that's you! 

So, instead of using Line, Pinterest and other interactive channels to conduct our creative conversations, we're going to use this blog.

We'll just chat among ourselves, but feel free to drop us a line and join the conversation!