Situated on Ireland’s Southwestern coast, the Dingle Peninsula is a picturesque location boasting rolling hills and green pastures. Ireland is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Suzanne Donegan.
Obtaining ethically sourced materials is a very real concern for many jewelry makers.
Such artists as Todd Reed (USA), Chris Aire (Africa), Marco Bicego (Italy), and L.A.-based Liza Shtromberg (Russia) are just a sampling of designer jewelry enlisting recycled 18-karat gold or sterling silver as well as the Kimberley Process as a way to address problematic mining issues.
Like London-based designer Coll Smith of ArmCandii, and Liz Law Jewelry (USA), Dublin-born Donegan reinvents elements from the past like watch fobs, intaglios, and Queen Anne’s chain into unique, modern renderings of vintage-inspired jewelry.
Harboring a thorough lust for knowledge, Donegan studied Art History and History at Boston College, and pursued additional studies at New York’s Bard College majoring in Decorative Arts and Fashion of the late 1800s, and early 1900s.
Upon completing her studies Donegan embarked on an illustrious career as an Interior Designer. Her ability to collect and blend eclectic decorative styles of different eras earned her the reputation as one of the first Interior Designers committed to “lasting sustainability”.
Having studied jewelry’s history as well, Donegan eventually made the transition of searching worldwide for unusual furnishings to smaller vintage and rare objects. In 2008, she officially launched her company Mannin Studio in Los Angeles, California.
“I discovered that I was beginning to gravitate towards smaller pieces like horsehair chains instead of sourcing furniture,” she says.
“The concept of revival is central to my philosophy. My designs include carefully curated legacies from the past. The Signature Collection is a mixture of haute design and museum studies.”
Donegan’s Classic Collection fashioned exclusively from the smooth, creamy glow of recycled 18-karat gold (also known as Mannin Gold) is aptly named. The collection is punctuated by a sleek, timeless style highlighting sophisticated initial jewelry (with engraved Script letters), cuff bracelets, and the figure eight-like Mannin Link design.
“An old family heirloom can become a new treasure,” says Donegan, “For me, designing is an interpretation of history seen through the lens of innovation and forward thinking in which an authentic, investment piece is created.”
Items from Mannin Studio is available at fine jewelry retailers Barneys New York, and Roseark owned by Iranian designer Katayoun Azarmi-Rose (a/k/a Kathy Rose).
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Recycled Mannin Gold Cuff from Classic Collection
Photo 2 (center): Rose Gold Link Necklace with Jet Locket and Fobs from Signature Collection
Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat Recycled Mannin Gold Dome Pinky Ring from Classic Collection