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Provenance: Grainne Morton

Our latest jewellery delivery is a perfect example of why retail is absolutely the best job in the world. The feeling for something new, the thrill of the chase and the delight in bagging your prey. And so, hunting metaphors aside, Grainne (pronounced gro nyuh) Morton makes its debut.

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What is Grainne Morton?


A jewellery collection of exquisite and mesmerising beauty. Using a combination of unique, salvaged antique items and new semi-precious stones, each piece is hand made by one of four highly skilled makers, creating designs which are at once modern, timeless and just the right side of whimsical. Expect to see fragments of coral, old buttons, polished glass and shells, set into fairly traded gold plated silver, characterised by a beautiful juxtaposition of colour and form. Designs include asymmetric ear studs; carefully constructed creole earrings which hang like delicate mobiles; and necklaces both pretty and dramatic. Grainne Morton has been designing jewellery for 25 years. Much as we abhor name dropping, we are delighted that she has exceptionally cool celebrity clients including Dawn French, Kerry Fox, Judy Dench and Susan Sarandon.

Flicking through the John Derian Picture Book.

Who is Grainne Morton?

“If Grainne Morton were to have a spirit animal, no doubt it would be the magpie. Instinctively and obsessively drawn to collecting and hoarding anything miniature or precious that catches her eye, many things you or I would overlook, Grainne has amassed an incredible collection of objects – all destined to find their place among the tales she weaves within her jewelled compositions.”

A picture of Grainne at work in her workshop.

 

Born and raised in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, by creative, antique shop owning parents, Grainne was immersed in and surrounded both by the traditional crafts, folklore, music and fairytales of the country as well as her parents’ enthusiasm and love of collecting.

She moved to Scotland in the late eighties to study at Edinburgh College of Art and become an avid collector of antiques and ephemera. These collections became, and remain, the inspiration for her work. She later studied in Kilkenny with the Arts Council of Ireland and returned to Edinburgh for her post graduate diploma. She now lives and works in the city with her husband and family.

Grainne’s work has been exhibited internationally. In 2007, she was shortlisted for the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize and her work is in the permanent collections at National Museums Scotland; Crafts Council Collection, London; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada and the Ulster Museum, Belfast.

 

What makes a Grainne Morton Piece so Special?

She has been described as the ultimate recycler, taking tiny, modest ephemera and reinventing it as beautiful statement jewellery. Each piece is handmade. Each piece combines these unique elements in a careful and thoughtful way. This is luxury jewellery by way of thrift and passion and with a very clear aesthetic.

 

“Her individuality is engrained in each piece of jewellery she makes. Carefully choreographed, the arranging and re-arranging of little objects, and precious things, moved and re-placed until they establish a relationship to each other. And tell a story to the viewer.”

An Iconic Piece?

We are in love with the theatre and drama of the Nine Wire Charm Necklace. We love the charm of the Cloud and Rain Chain drop earrings. We love the whimsy of the Strawberry Lariat. We love the simplicity of the mismatched earstuds. In all honesty, we love it all and we are extremely proud to have it in the building!

 

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