Jewellery designer Lorna Boyle took time out from her current studies in London to speak to Future Makers about what is currently inspiring her and future career goals.
Lorna won the Future Makers Student Innovation Award last year for her contemporary jewellery collection while studying jewellery and metals at NCAD. Her creations include electroformed rings and brooches, designed to be precious relics of Dublin city, based on overlooked spaces in the urban landscape. The judges were struck by Lorna’s engagement with the process of electroforming in copper and how she intends to further develop this in her practice.
How has moving from the urban landscape of Dublin to London had an influence on you current collection of work?
I think that my work will always be inspired by Dublin. My current collection has been a natural progression from my degree show work so in that way it still bears traces of Dublin. However, London definitely influenced me to use gemstones in my work. When I first moved to London I spent hours wandering around the jewellery district, Hatton Garden, window shopping and admiring all the stones. I had wanted to experiment with gemstones for some time, and it was clear to me that there was a market for them here in London, but I was put off by the high-polish aesthetic, which just isn’t my style. But then through talking with other jewellers here I discovered rough gemstones that really compliment the texture of my work.
When do you feel the most creative?
I feel most creative when I’m just playing with materials. I love finding and buying new rough gemstones and can’t wait to get them home to start making models. Because I use tin foil as my base material I can make hundreds of models before deciding on ‘the one’. It’s a very free and playful making process.
What are you current interests outside of your practice and does it feed back into your work?
At the moment I am studying an MA in Design Critical Practice. The course covers a lot of design theory and philosophy and I am particularly interested in our attachment to objects. I am currently working on my final project in which I hope to challenge these relationships to objects, focusing especially on wedding rings.
What are your professional goals for the near future?
Currently I am focussing on completing my masters, then in September I hope to create another jewellery range to include wedding bands and engagement rings. Next year I would love to take part in some international fairs, such as Collect in London, Schmuck in Munich and perhaps even Paris Fashion Week!
Did winning Future Makers have a positive effect on you and your designer profile?
Future Makers was paramount in my launching a career as a designer. It not only raised my profile, opening doors to take part in countless events, exhibitions and fairs, but it also gave me the confidence to do so. It is an amazing feeling to know that you have the support of the Design and Crafts Council.
What advice would you give to upcoming Future Makers applicants and creative graduates
Be patient! It won’t happen overnight! Winning Future Makers was an amazing opportunity and I used it as a springboard to make contacts and put myself forward for every fair, exhibition and competition I could. Take part in as many events as you can! The more you do, the more you will be invited to do in the future and the more confident you become. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t sell well at an event, it’s not always about that. For me, it was often just about exposure and meeting new practitioners in my field. It’s not easy – it’s a full-time job, often without full-time pay! But if you really love what you’re doing and you believe in what you’re making then it’s all worth it!