Passionate about antique objects and miniatures, Grainne Morton collects them to create baroque and joyous jewels. Her wonderful pieces have just landed in our Saint-Germian shop and online, discover more about Grainne in our interview.
1. What is your first jewellery memory?
Watching my mum doing that weird superstition of trying to work out the gender of a baby by dangling a wedding ring (traditionally the expectant mother) over the baby bump and depending on how the ring moves (pendulum or back and forth) you can supposedly tell whether the woman was having a girl or a boy.
Superstitions and old wives tales have always fascinated me.
2. What's the first piece that you designed?
As a kid I was always making. The first piece of jewellery I made would have been a necklace out of those large colourful wooden beads that you threaded on laces or ribbons. In the 80’s I remember loving jewellery. I remember making big hoops out of curtain rings. There was also a trend for large chain necklaces. I would go to the pet shop or hardware store and make my own.
3. What is your favorite stone? Why?
I don’t think I have a favourite anything. I have had a long love affair with coral. I also love opals – the colour changes when the stone hits light is fascinating and beautiful. It all began with mother of pearl though. I have been using mother of pearl since I started in business way back in 1995.
4. Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year-round?
A necklace with a vintage Aquarius charm (my birth sign). It was gifted to me by my Jeweller friend Angela Louison on my birthday a few years ago. It’s become a lucky charm after a tricky trip to NY (on my birthday) to take part in a trade show.
6. What are your greatest design influences?
I appreciate modern design but my influences have always come from the past. I love visiting museums and stately homes that are open to the public.
7. If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you do?
When I was applying for Art Collage it was with the intention of studying fashion as I have always been interested in clothes and style. I think stylist.
8. What do you currently listen to in your studio?
BBC Radio 4 is my default listen to. I mix it up with podcasts and have been enjoying The Collectors House (5 Carlos Place), Unstyled (Refinery 29), How to Fail with Elizabeth Day and RuPaul: What’s The Tee with Michelle Visage to name but a few.
9. What is your dream travel destination?
At the moment because our business is growing so fast travel is difficult. Luckily I absolutely love what I do. We show in New York twice a year so I don’t feel deprived. I am looking forward to visiting Jaipur as soon as the business allows on a stone buying trip.