The art of making beauty
Words by Sonia Staali
-How did you learn all the jewellery techniques ?
I studied craft design specialiasing in metals at the National College of Art & Design Dublin, graduating in 2011 with a first class honours. It was here I learned my electo-forming technique which allows me to build up layers of metal on an object, encasing artefacts. I researched the Victorians as I was quiet insterested in memento-mori and natural history, and the Victorians really are pioneers of these fields. This led me to have an interest in their mourning jewellery, which is made from the hair of deceased loved ones. I then researched the Victorian hair weaving techniques and tried to modernise the craft, as it seems to have become distasteful in modern times due to our change in attitude towards the topic of death.
– Where do you find your inspiration ?
Ive always been a massive fan of the late Alexander Mc Queen’s design ethos, and how he creates beauty and elegance from the macabre. Organic materials and nature has always been a massive inspiration to me, I like the notion of noticing the finer details in things and stepping back from our regular everyday lives for a moment. Also the Victorian era and natural history are constantly great inspiration for me. Through my work I strive for the ability to create beauty which transcends stigmas of often undesireable objects. I am concerned with finding beauty in and making use of death and discard, the pieces are not a simple reminder of death, but an alteration of it, vitalising past life fragments.
– What is favourite design you have done so far ?
My favourite design is probably the first ever piece I did from my graduate collection ‘Untimely’ which is made from several mice jaw bones and woven white horsehair.