Home-made gems from Irish jewellery designers
If you are looking for a piece of jewellery with wow factor, check out these exciting designs from some of Ireland’s best young craftspeople
MARIA DORAI-RAJ. Main image: Drift earrings, €165; iceberg ring, €340; and mini shard rings, from €95. Right, from top, celestial arc gold bangle set, €1,100; gold plexus cuff, €750; and celestial drop earrings, €390
JUNO JAMES: from left, hand crocheted square ring, €40; 14-carat gold-filled wire with vintage beads, €35; and hand- crocheted cuff with glass beads, €65
EDGE ONLY: from left, black heart pendant, €169; diamond-cut cylinder drop earrings, €179; and pointed lightning bolt pendant, from €169
From delicate keepsakes to bold and graphic designs, Ireland’s jewellery scene is full of gems. Adding the wow factor has never been as easy as it is now, as an amazing and growing range of home-grown design talent produces and designs collections in Ireland. Feast your eyes on this treasure trove.
In another life, Maria Dorai-Raj might have been knee-deep in clay, creating tableware and kitchenware, after completing a degree in ceramic design. But instead her craft has taken on a different form: earrings, cuffs and necklaces, in sleek, sculptural and elegant designs in metals such as gold and silver at her studio in Cork. Her eponymous label is inspired by the inherent beauty in different manifestations of strength, and takes influence from natural forms such as the powerful nature of human muscles.
Former 2FM DJ Jenny Huston wanted to bridge the gap between her two loves: music and jewellery. As a daughter of a goldsmith and gemmologist, Huston grew up surrounded by high-end jewellery, but she wanted to bring an edgy mix to the market. She launched her jewellery label Edge Only in 2014, pioneering minimalistic, statement pieces – everyday luxuries with a high-end appeal. Huston’s designs range from lightning bolts and electric guitars to hearts in solid gold and sterling silver, balancing elegance with edge.
The origins of Dubliner Amanda Brady’s career as a jewellery designer can be traced back to her early childhood. After learning how to crochet and knit from her granny and sewing from her mother, Brady applied these techniques to create her unique label Juno James – named after her daughter and son. Before launching her label in 2013, Brady worked as a graphic designer and lecturer for many years, then shifted gear, applying her sense of design and her childhood skills to jewellery-making. Forgoing trends and eschewing traditional methods, she uses a mix of unexpected materials such as wire, chain, vintage beads and even stones from beaches around Ireland. Juno James is available at the Design House on Dawson Street, Dublin. The new collection will be launched there on Thursday, September 29th.