Silver linings: Three new Irish jewellers thrive in lockdown

Nicola Moran, Emma Cahill and Sarah Carroll Kelly put their creativity to good work

Hoop earrings from Nicola Moran. Photograph: Mandy Sarkis

Hoop earrings from Nicola Moran. Photograph: Mandy Sarkis

 

 Nicola Moran teaches yoga, is an aerial and acrobatics performer, has a degree in fine and applied art, was part of a feminist punk band and ran away to the circus after university. She now makes silver jewellery and does all of her “dreaming and drawing” on the sailboat she calls home.

From Dundalk but based in Dublin, Moran has found more time during the pandemic to concentrate on her silvermaking skills “and using those muscles again” operating from a studio space above the Irish Design Shop on Drury Street. “I like to employ my simple eco living lifestyle into the pieces I make,” she says.

Handsome silver rings, bold neckpieces and hoop earrings are made from eco silver and sometimes with recycled found objects or wood from certified forestry. “I don’t usually design pieces, I just play with shapes,” she says of a pair of earrings “that came from looking at so many cranes on my cycle in and out of the city – all those angular lines across the skyline”.

Last September for a street art performance in Dublin, she made a torc of red ice which melted and dried around her body and onto the street. There is more to discover about this fascinating multidisciplinary artist on her Instagram.com/shur_luck (circus performance thread) and nicolamoranjewellery and her website nicolamoranart.com

Spooky jewels

Another Dublin-based jeweller is Emma Cahill, founder of Spooky Jewels for Spooky Babes in sterling silver, a designer drawn to a darker aesthetic. “Alternative grungy jewellery is what I have always loved. It may look scary but there is positive messaging within my work. For example, spiders represent feminine energy and creativity. Swords represent power, protection and courage,” she says.

Jeweller Emma Cahill.
Jeweller Emma Cahill.

A graduate of NCAD in metalwork and history of art with a masters in design from Central St Martins in London, she has spent the past three years designing menswear jewellery at Asos. “Designing my own collection really helped me through the past year living in London during lockdown. Designing is my happy place and I love jewellery because it inherently holds so much sentimentality. I wanted to create alternative jewellery from precious materials that someone could have forever and wear as a positive memory”. @emmacahilljewellery

Baby spider charm hoops by Emma Cahill.
Baby spider charm hoops by Emma Cahill.

Unusual materials

Unpredictable materials are what make Sarah Carroll Kelly’s jewellery special. She uses birchwood, plywood, brass and clay for her Shock of Grey collection founded in 2019. Her new pieces for summer 2021 include New Wave earrings “like a tiny canvas, a little picture on your ear with shapes like waves, sky and sun” inspired by her visits to family in Mayo and Sligo.

Megalmelt yellow earrings €45, moon ring €28, from the Shock of Grey collection.
Megalmelt yellow earrings €45, moon ring €28, from the Shock of Grey collection.

Others that stand out are Megamelt, wooden earrings that look like a melting ice cream cone made from laser cut wood suspended from a brass disc with three brass teardrops and D Doodle, large D shapes in handpainted birchwood ply with brass disc inspired by drawings of people in the sketchbooks of Sarah’s late brother, Damian, who was an architect.

A student of fine art sculpture in Limerick School of Art & Design in the 1990s, Kelly describes herself like a magpie collecting and keeping things that give her a bank of reference material. Hand drawings and doodles often turn into a shape “that becomes an element of my jewellery”, she says. Find Shock of Grey pieces online at shockofgrey.com as well as Om Diva, IMMA Gift Shop, Shells of Strandhill, Forest & Flock Bantry, The Narrow Space, Clonmel, Constantia Dunboyne and Handmade Design Studio Mullingar.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.