I am so excited to announce that award-winning jeweller and goldsmith, Martina Hamilton, has asked me to be her brand ambassador as she launches five new pieces to her Shore Collection. Martina Hamilton has been designing distinct jewellery collections for more than 30 years in her studio in Sligo. Her award-winning designs are inspired by the ever-changing Atlantic coastal landscape and all her pieces are handmade in Ireland by studio craft makers.
I first got to know Martina when I worked in her shop, the Cat & the Moon many…ahem…. moons ago and we have been friends ever since.
On Thursday, October 19 I was delighted to help Martina launch five new pieces to her Shore Collection at the Design Yard in Dublin – two necklaces, two styles of earrings and a brooch. These pieces are being made initially in sterling silver, with pearls, but will be later introduced in gold.
Martina’s designs are largely inspired by the rugged, ever-changing Atlantic coastal landscape where she lives and, more recently, by the discovery of her ancestral ties with Dernish Island, just off the north Sligo coast.Her love of the sea has been a driving force in her work and the Shore Collection features imprints in the sand from the tide, periwinkles on rocks, and oysters and pearls.
For the 150th anniversary of the birthday of poet WB Yeats, Martina designed a rare Yeatsian rose necklace, which she presented to film and TV star Joanna Lumley on Yeats Day in 2015. In 2016, she created bespoke cufflinks for President Barack Obama to wear during the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Washington DC.
Our collaboration began when Martina asked me earlier this year if I would model some pieces for her Shore Collection in a stunning seashore-themed photo shoot. This day was absolutely magical and the images taken by the talented Peter Martin are some of my favourite shots.
“I could think of no better model. I called Leonie to see if she would do it but never expected her to go for it. She said yes immediately. The images were so beautiful, I then asked her if she would be an ambassador for the brand and, to my delight, she said she would be happy to.
“I am thrilled to welcome Leonie as brand ambassador for Martina Hamilton jewellery. Leonie has been a friend for the past 20 years since she came to carry out work experience in my retail store, The Cat and The Moon, in Sligo.
“From the first day she worked in the shop, she really stood out. She had such a sense of glamour and confidence and a lovely sense of style. She worked with us during the summer and Christmas until she went to college and then her own career took off.”
A special thanks to Eddie Shanahan for the wonderful interview, the Design Yard and Storylab, Aoife Porter @ Lookwest.ie and Val Robus.