Monday, January 31, 2011


The landscapes of Ireland are easily some of the most beautiful in the world. Located within the Wicklow Mountains in Glendalough are gorgeous lakes, and monastic ruins. Ireland is also home to featured jewelry designer Marika O’Sullivan.

Frankly, classic jewelry styles can sometimes be rather uninspired in terms of design quality; so I enjoy seeing when designers like Dora Tam (China) and Diana Porter (England) play with this aesthetic by implementing visually interesting surface details such as engraving or experimenting with abstract forms.

O’Sullivan incorporates brilliant emerald green, sea blue and turquoise enamel to offset her gently spirited sterling silver jewelry.

The beautiful scenery of her home in West Cork, Ireland serves as her muse; the dance of the sunlight against the ocean, and lush rolling hills inform her color selections and patterns.

Her award-winning enamel jewelry highlights soft, child-like drawings of faces, angels, boats, and fish as the focal point of pendant necklaces.

Hearts, dragonflies, and flowers of enamel and sterling silver align with circle links to form girly charm bracelets; gorgeous gemstone beads are linked to suspend silver pendants; and her cufflinks for men—in square, half bead, and rounded shapes—feature enamel pops of color that is a nice alternative to the standard fare.

“I am largely self-taught and for the last 10 years I have been steadily building a reputation as designer and maker of silver and enamel jewelry,” she says. “I form the silver by hand and apply the enamel layer by layer.”

There is an easy informality about her jewelry designs; classic yes but playful, fresh and modern.
Photo 1 (top right): Green Square Pendant Necklace with Green Beads
Photo 2 (center): Sterling Silver and Enamel Flower Earrings
Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver and Enamel Cross Pendant Necklace
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