One to Watch: Loinnir Jewellery’s modern Irish-inspired jewellery

Loinnir Jewellery is a beautiful contemporary brand of jewellery which references Ireland’s history, culture and landscape in order to create a modern, wearable collection of earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces. 

The name “Loinnir” comes from Irish word for “radiance” - a fitting name for a jewellery brand which utilises both silver and gold as well as pearl and semi-precious stones such as amethyst, citrine, topaz and tourmaline.

With collections entitled The Giant’s Causeway Collection, The Ór Collection (Irish for gold), The Trinity Collection and the Children of Lír Collection, it’s easy to see that the brand’s founder and designer, Cara Sturgess, is influenced, not only by the landscape and rich cultural history of Ireland, but also by Ireland’s great Celtic jewellery tradition.

While her designs may reference these themes more obliquely than other jewellery brands on the market, Cara says that for her, there is a continuity to be found in her work with the great tradition of Irish and Celtic jewellery design.

Cara studied at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin where she was awarded a Bachelor of Design (Honours) with a specialty in Jewellery and Metalwork. During her studies at NCAD, she researched the origins of Irish and Celtic jewellery design - looking to the state collections at the National Museum of Ireland and specifically at the “Ór - Ireland’s Gold Collection” there for inspiration.

“What I noticed was that these were proud, bold, abstract pieces - rich in colour and texture - and I thought that I could see these pieces being worn today,” says Cara. “I identified a niche in the market which would open up new and exciting avenues and possibilities for Irish-themed jewellery design.”

The young designer, who was awarded the “Best New Idea” award in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Awards (LEO Fingal Region) in 2015 for her Irish-themed jewellery, designs and makes her collections at her studio in Ireland’s capital city. Living and working in Dublin is of utmost importance to her, she says, as a third-generation Dubliner. “I feel that urban living gives me a contemporary edge which inspires my collection alongside the landscape and the heritage of Ireland,” she says.

Cara describes the style of her jewellery as having “organic forms with a soft finish”. “It is a modern take on Ireland, whilst still remembering the past,” she says.  For Showcase 2019, Loinnir Jewellery will launch a new collection drawing inspiration from The Wild Atlantic Way as well as from the collections at the National Museum of Ireland.

“As well as offering contemporary Irish jewellery of the highest standard, our unique selling point is our packaging,” says the designer. “Each piece is presented in a stylish gift box, complete with an attractive outline of the historical and cultural inspiration behind each piece - thus offering more than just a generic piece of jewellery - but a piece of Ireland today.”

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