I’d like to introduce my collection Silver Linings.
The very existence of this collection is indeed a silver lining. The price I pay for wanting to live in the west of Ireland means that permanent teaching positions are very hard to come by. This academic year I’ve only had 8 hours weekly, which you can imagine has been a struggle, putting a strain on many aspects of my life. In October, I got an email asking if I would be interested in a collaboration – to design my own jewellery range.
This opportunity has made blogging for the past 4 years worthwhile.
I couldn’t believe it.
This is all I’ve ever wanted.
Better yet, the studio is located at Leitrim Sculpture Centre – a 2 minute drive from my new place of work. This is where I have spent my days, every day, for the past 8 months. Between classes, I jet off to design, oversee the project and process, make changes, discuss strategies, price points, future collections!
One thing leads to another
Through my blog, I was invited to write as a columnist for several publications. In 2014, one such publication led me to goldsmith Soraya Ricalde’s studio at Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton to interview her. She has her own label Soraya Ricalde Designs and is co-founder of Counties of Ireland Jewellery alongside Marion Fink.
As you know, growing up I used to make my own beaded and upcycled jewellery, but I always loved gold and silver jewellery as it’s timeless. I took some one-to-one silversmithing and glassblowing workshops locally – to create my own pieces – as a hobby. Following the popularity of my shell collection, I was contacted by Soraya of Counties of Ireland Jewellery to collaborate and design my own collection. It just goes to show that side projects and hobbies are so important.
So here it is: Silver Linings
My pieces should be worn by those who look at life’s brighter side, those who take the positive out of every negative: that job you didn’t get, that loss, that failure, that situation or relationship that wasn’t for you, that scar that gave new life or relieved pain. This collection was created with you in mind.
Image by Colin Gillen.
My playful, animated pieces are drawn by hand and hand crafted in sterling silver in Leitrim Sculpture Centre. They are a little tongue-in-cheek, nod to the Irish weather – an everyday conversation starter. The North West of Ireland has some of the most beautiful cloudscapes, which I’m fascinated by and regularly try to capture on Instagram. One of my favourite French proverbs is: ‘Après la pluie, le beau temps.’ When translated literally, it means: ‘After the rain, the beautiful weather’ (pretty apt for these last few weeks) or idiomatically: ‘Every cloud has a silver lining.’
This collection is for those who always look for the silver lining.
When one door closes, go open another.
Each chain has adjustable links (16″ and 18′) so you can wear the pieces at your desired length, layering and building your collection. Longer chains are available on request at no extra cost. They can be made in solid gold too, or plated in gold or rose gold on request. (Email email@example.com for inquiries). All postage and packaging is included in the price.
Visit our shop here.
Images by Colin Gillen.
Image by ProShots.
My pièce de résistance is this silver and glass frame called ‘There’s No Place Like Home.’ It houses a piece of delicate, filigreed lichen between two miniature panes of glass. Lichen or reindeer moss is a strangely beautiful life form, which favours heavy rainfall and clean air. Lichens are commonly used as environmental indicators and grow in North West Ireland where our air is pure and unpolluted. With this pendant, you can carry a piece of home with you – wherever in the world you may be. I think this creation captures my love of place.
Images by Colin Gillen.
Due to its organic nature, each piece will be completely unique.
We have a very limited number of these frames in stock.
If I never sell one piece, rest assured I’m proud of what I’ve created (and I never say that as I’m very self-critical!) and I’m grateful for this opportunity. It is for the love of design that I have done this.
Thank you all for reading.
I hope you love my designs as much as I do.
a happy T xo
Our full collection is available on our online shop: www.countiesofirelandjewellery.com
Read my interview with Soraya Ricalde (2014) here.
Read about my Shell Collection (2016) here.