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Macroom jeweller wins overall Showcase award

Tuesday, 29th January, 2013 10:52am
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Macroom jeweller wins overall Showcase award

By Catherine Ketch

A MACROOM jeweller has won the top award at Showcase for 2013.

Silversmith Eileen Moylan, proprietor of Claddagh Designs won the ‘Best Jewellery’ category, going on to win ‘Best Overall’ award for her contemporary take on the traditional Claddagh ring.

Originally from Listowel, Eileen has been making jewellery for 12 years. Having studied sculpture and design at the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork she received a scholarship to study a Masters degree at the University of Wales in Cardiff.

She learned her trade at Seán Carroll and Sons, Jewellers, in Cork. Just two years ago, she went out on her own and set up a workshop in her garage in Macroom, as she says, making jewellery that she herself wanted to wear.

Looking at the market she realised there was a lot of ‘Irish’ jewellery that was in fact not made in Ireland. ‘What I wanted to do was to have a range of hand-made jewellery inspired by the designs in the Cork Museum and the National Museum,’ Eileen said this week.

Inspired by the ogham stones and torcs of Ireland’s past, she described her work as Irish-inspired jewellery with a contemporary twist and as ‘heritage you wear.’ She takes classic Irish designs which she breaks down to re-create a contemporary look.

Eileen spends days in the national museum just sketching. ‘I forget everything that I’ve seen out there and take it back to the essence and beauty of the thing,’ Eileen says. Her Claddagh ring takes the three traditional elements – the hand, the heart and the crown – and places them on a solid tactile silver band, which she says is comfortable to wear.

She said she felt quite cut off in the world of sculpture dealing with a single item. Now, she meets her customers and is constantly interacting with them. ‘Everybody has some item of jewellery that they treasure,’ Eileen says.

Creating heirlooms as well as the purity of the material she works in appeals. She is conscious also of the rich tradition of her trade that is practically unchanged for 3000 years using the same tools and techniques.

The independent panel of Showcase judges was impressed with her design skills, craftsmanship and her value for money offer.

Her jewellery is marketed online primarily to the US and Canada, but is now also going well in Ireland the UK and Europe.

A range of Eileen’s designs can be seen on: