A WEST Cork artist has discovered a new service that has come into its own in the pandemic – bespoke fingerprint jewellery of loved ones.
Maura O’Connell of West Cork Casting Studio in Dunmanway is well known for her amazing life-size body castings of hands.
But, just as with other business owners, she found the pandemic made it impossible for her to see and work with her customers.
‘My work is hands on, and I work very closely with my customers to form a mould directly from the body and I then cast it in plaster or on another material,’ Maura told The Southern Star. ‘So, obviously that had to stop during the pandemic and the lockdown.’
A member of the Network Ireland West Cork association for businesswomen, Maura used her contacts and meetings to help her come up with some creative solutions.
And now she has developed a process that allows her not only to work with people remotely, but to also create beautifully sentimental keepsakes.
‘All our fingerprints are unique,’ Maura said.
‘What I do is to have the customer make a fingerprint of their own, or of a loved one. This is extremely easy to do, either with a material such as play dough, or with a pencil and some sellotape.’
The customer just sends the mould or imprint to Maura and she then engraves the image on to a sterling silver piece of jewellery.
‘The fingerprint engravings are proving very popular with family members who may be living abroad, or with families of deceased loved ones, looking for a way to commemorate their family members,’ Maura said.
Maura engraves the fingerprints onto jewellery, such as necklaces and bracelets, but she also offers a 6,000-year-old bog oak keyring into which the sterling silver engraving can be placed.
Her pieces have proved to be highly sought-after, and offer bereaved people a very tasteful way of remembering their loved ones.