Grainne, based in Edinburgh, originally from Northern Ireland, works in a miniature scale, using a diverse range of materials. She incorporates her love of collecting antiques and found objects in her jewellery. Objects are individually set, primarily in silver and arranged together with an emphasis on balance, scale, shape and form. We asked Grainne more about her work and inspirations, with a top tip of a beautiful place to visit in Scotland. Read on…
What made you decide to be a jewellery designer?
I have always loved making. I realised quite early on that I wanted to go to Art College but had no idea that I would become a jeweller. It was fashion I was was interested in, but when I took jewellery as a student in 1st year at Edinburgh Collage of Art it just clicked. The scale was perfect.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work?
Probably my family. My parents are both creative and were incredibly encouraging. My aunt is Glass Artist Alison Kinnaird, I grew up being inspired by her practice.
If you weren’t a jewellery designer what do you think you would be?
Who knows? I always wanted to be self employed as that is all I knew.
What’s the most exciting piece you have ever made?
I made two large scale panels for Royal Carribbean Cruise ships quite early in my career. They were basically giant versions of my Printer Tray brooches. Another was an Alphabet piece – again large scale that I made for the then Scottish Arts Council’s Travelling Gallery. Valerie Singleton was really interested in it when I displayed it at Chelsea Crafts Fair one year but I wanted to keep in in my personal collection. I was really chuffed though.
If you could own a piece by another maker in any discipline, no price limit, what would it be?
I love clothes. I have have always wanted to get my hands on an original YSL Le Smoking suit. (image right)
If you could choose anyone to wear your jewellery, who would it be?
What do you love most about being a jeweller?
As I make everything by hand I love the freedom to be able to design and make exactly what I want.
How do you relax after a day in the studio?
With more time in the studio!
If you could recommend a special place to go in Scotland, where would it be?
Blair Atholl. We’re just spent a few days camping up there. It’s a perfect village with streams running through it and little bridges everywhere passing over them. A Mill café that has the most amazing bread, a quirky Country Life Museum, a Castle that displays a great collection of antique jewellery and countryside as green as can be. Beware of the midges though.