I can totally relate to Eimear Lynch of Ella Green Jewellery, who used to take jewellery apart as a child and remake it into something else. Hands up if you used to do this too!
FInd out how she gets some of her ideas from dreams, how she trained in Ecuador and how she feels her work is a ‘calling’…
What’s your favourite way to start the day?
Waking up from a dream where I’ve had a new design come to me. Having a notebook beside the bed is essential. When I’m almost awake, but not fully, I can almost direct the dream a little – a little bit of lucid dreaming.
It’s a very satisfying feeling, like playing tetris, things slot together mentally. That’s a great way to start my day as it’s so exciting and fresh before my waking mind has had a chance to put any limitations on it.
How would you describe your jewellery?
Fearless, Peerless, Precious.
What materials do you use?
Primarily yellow gold and all kinds of stones from diamonds and sapphires to pyrite and lava.
Where do you create your jewellery?
In my head. On a page. In my home mainly. Then I get the help of craftspeople (all here in Ireland) for the execution – casting, setting etc.
Where does the name Ella Green come from?
Daughter = Ella.
The most powerful colour in nature = Green
What inspires you?
Nature, lots of art, a line from a poem, and sailors tattoos were the inspiration behind my swallows collection!
What’s the favourite piece in your jewellery collection?
My favourite piece changes all the time. Pretty much as soon as I make something it’s a new favourite. However, my jewellery teacher in Ecuador gave me a pre-colombian drilled bead in 2005. I love it because of its story, even though it’s not pretty.
What’s the piece you’re most proud of creating?
My Ernst Haeckel inspired metamorphosis dream pendant. It’s not for everyone, it’s a little bit weird but I like that about it.
Where do you live?
Who do you live with?
Husband, Ella (7), Patrick (4) and Apollo the cat.
What motivates you to keep going?
It’s a calling. I love this game and I’m never going to stop. On a more fundamental level, I love that I can create something where there was nothing before. I love selling of course but I also love to make gifts of my pieces occasionally and I selfishly love the feeling that gives me.
What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
I got a great piece of advice last year from a well established jeweller (Grainne Morton) who I’d reached out to with a query. She told me ‘If you’re determined you will do it’. There is no secret formula. Every time we do one good thing for our business, it begets the next.
I also read every interview with Solange Azagury Partridge. In one of her interviews she said that there’s no overnight success. I’ve taken those snippets as my truth and remember to grind it out.
How important is sustainability to you?
Very. I’ve started upcycling vintage buys. For example turning men’s cufflinks into gorgeous pendants or remaking a client’s engagement ring. I’m not there yet on sustainability – I have a way to go but will keep at it.
Where did you learn to make jewellery?
In Ecuador in 2005, I studied traditional goldsmithing under a wonderful teacher in Quito, Ecuador for three months.
What’s your favourite part of being a Jewellery Designer?
It’s honestly such a privilege to be able to work with the most beautiful materials mother earth has put under our feet.
What’s your proudest moment of being a Jewellery Designer?
Easy. When my client said late last year that she never considered herself a jewellery person. She found jewellery to be heavy and slightly oppressive with its history – until she met me! What an honour to be able to serve clients like this.
What would you do if you weren’t a jewellery designer?
The.Day.Job……… in an office. Eat.Sleep.Work.Repeat.
What’s your design process?
It can take literally years. For example, I designed a collection around the fish-eye mirror in the Van Ecyk ‘Portrait of Arnolfini Wedding’, about 10 years after I had originally made a few sketches!
At other times, I have an idea but get straight to it with paper and pen. I’ve noticed sometimes I’m better off not looking at jewellery for a while. We can be better inspired by nature’s rawness – before some of her ideas have been subdued into metal by other minds.
How important is jewellery design to you?
To me it’s an intrinsic part of me. It affects how I see the world. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s a niche interest beyond our community!
What do you love about jewellery?
Its form and its function. It can send coded messages on the behalf of the wearer in a much more subtle way than clothes. It doesn’t perish.. We can see ancient jewellery in museums and wonder at their techniques, beautiful high carat gold and wonder about the artist who made the pieces and their lucky owners.
Each piece of jewellery can be passed down, assuming new importance and relevance for each generation.
How did you start creating jewellery?
I would always take apart any bit of costume jewellery I got given as a child and reassemble it in a different way. I remember gathering different coloured wire from the ground wherever the phone company had been fixing things outside the house. I’d weave it into designs and hope it would all stick together. I’d use bits of broken watches, shells, anything really to make designs.
Why did you fall in love with jewellery design?
Mum told me that the obsession began early. I was quite possibly hypnotised by endless retellings of Grimm fairy tales and Arabian Nights on her knee as a tot. She saved a couple of the story books for me and when we started reading them for Ella I was struck by how often sumptuous gems and treasures are found and won by the heroes. The jewellery and the handsome prince were the things I most liked about these stories apparently – priorities!
What are your aspirations for your business?
Grow in skill and prominence. Keep building out a community around our shared values. Sell more through Instagram and my website.
Where do you feel most inspired?
In nature and in meditation.
Who else inspires you?
People who are driven to make the world a more beautiful place – whether anyone is looking or not. Artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo were uncompromising and you just know they would have painted, regardless of their profile.
How do you juggle all the different aspects of the job?
Sometimes badly! My areas to improve on are finances and I want to set up retargeting too. I checked out how to do it myself, but it is far too complicated!