I make jewellery. For the past two years, along with my partner in crime Clare, I have been producing a range of jewellery, Names, that we believe reflects both of our skills and personalities in equal measures. We have designed two collections so far, with another micro collection in the pipelines at the moment.
- Could you tell us a little bit about your studio? Favourite thing about the space and how do you get into the mindset of making?
Our studio is just above Irish Design Shop, so we share our time between the shop and the studio. Sometimes it can be difficult to change over from shop mindset to studio mindset, tidying up the workbench is always a good starting point, and we always have a to-do list on the go to refer to. It’s a great space with really good light and a great view of all of the comings and goings on a bustling Drury Street. We share the space with six other jewellers so there’s always someone around to chat to.
- What is your favourite tool and why?
I have quite a few favourite go-to tools, one file that I prefer to all of the others, a nice new calipers that’s great for measuring and marking, but my mini rawhide mallet is probably my favourite. It’s made of rolled up animal hide, so you can use it to shape metal without marking it like you would with a metal hammer, but this one has a little weight inside it, so it gives an extra bit of power behind it, it’s small but mighty!
- Can you describe the making process and inspiration behind your Muriel bangle?
The Muriel bangle is one of my favourite pieces from our second collection ‘Homespun’. It kind of brings together a lot of the ideas in the two collections. The combination of the solid and hollow forms sit really nicely side by side or apart, and move freely around the solid round bangle.
The two moving components were originally formed in wax on the lathe and then cast in solid silver, the casts are cleaned up before being threaded onto the round wire which has been shaped into a round bangle. The bangle is then soldered closed and the whole piece sanded and polished to show off our trademark contrasting matte and polished finishes. The work is all very hands on and the designs are heavily influenced by traditional jewellery skills, used in a way to produce modern, contemporary shapes.
- What led you to choosing this craft as a profession? What do you love most about it?
I started in art college full sure that I would be studying either painting or possibly textiles. In first year we had to try out a few courses and for some reason, I tried out metalwork, that one week trial totally changed my mind. I was fascinated by the things you could do with metal, how something so solid can be so malleable. I love that with metal, most things are repairable. With ceramics and glass, if it breaks you cannot really fix it, with metal you can almost always fix whatever goes wrong.
For a better look at Laura and Clare's stunning jewellery collection "Names" you can shop or simply have a browse here.