IRELAND'S rich heritage and spectacular sights such as the Winter Solstice at Newgrange have inspired an Irish jeweller’s new collaboration with the British Museum.
Designer Tracy Gilbert’s new collection Circle of Light is now available at the London museum, which also houses some of the world’s most impressive art and artefacts.
Founded in 1753, nearly six million people visit a year.
Combining precious metals and translucent materials, the designer says Irish architecture, design and the importance of the sun to Ireland's Celtic past have been a big influence on the collection.
“It’s an honour for my jewellery to have been chosen as part of the Celtic jewellery collection at the British Museum, the meanings, looks and historic designs, and how Celtic art has evolved to become a part of modern jewellery design,” she said.
A former actuary, she only followed her heart and embarked on a career as a jewellery designer after being commissioned to make a necklace for a family friend.
Educated through the Irish language, the Irish woman was always interested in Celtic folklore and history.
“I remember reading about Newgrange and how on the shortest day of the year, everything aligned so that the sunlight could illuminate the millennia old burial chamber to spectacular effect,” she said.
“I found it absolutely fascinating and love the idea of light playing a part in jewellery design.
“That inspired me to create collections that allow the light to shine through translucent materials and to have the sun as the focal point.
“In my Circle of Light collection, the sun is at the very centre of the pieces represented by a beautiful golden citrine gemstone and each of the eight spirals represents a Celtic festival.”
The Dublin-based designer previously received presidential praise from Barack and Michelle Obama after they were presented with a pair of cufflinks and a pendant from her Growing Home collection.
Gilbert’s contemporary designs sell across Ireland and in the US.
Her Circle of Light range is priced between £165 and £250 and available in the Grenville Room shop and online at the British Museum.