Mairéad deBláca is an amazing jewellery designer whose pieces are both beautiful and thoughtful. You may remember that I went to the launch of her 1916 Collection (here) and I was delighted when she said she would do an interview for my blog. Her pieces are inspired by nature and the world around her and they are so delicate and intricate that they are unique.
Interview with Designer Mairéad deBláca
What is your first memory of fashion?
My aunt loved fashion and making clothes, I spent a lot of childhood with her moving buttons updating lots of her outfits based on the latest trends. I used to love paging through her many magazines!
Could you give a glimpse into the process of design? Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you decide on what materials to use?
I am a painter by trade and that is where my jewellery inspiration comes from. I have painted a lot of Irish nature, especially mountains which has inspired my Irish Mountain range. My initial sketching is done in pencil or charcoal and then on to oils and from that I end up with gold and silver jewellery.
I imagine that day-to-day, your schedule differs hugely. Is there one particular element of your work or schedule that you would have preference over?
I love the designing aspect of it. I can easily design and make jewellery for hours on end. I love seeing what works and how each piece feels when I wear it.
Personally I am an accessories girl and I love your ‘I am Dreaming’ pendants in particular, what made you decide to firstly design jewellery?
Thanks, I love that range as well. That was inspired by a series of paintings I have done on dreams. I would have painted them as circles within circles. It is so easy to get lost in our dreams. Friends of mine would have said over the years that my flowers were amazing and were good enough to wear!
Is it hard to manufacture all your jewellery in Ireland – is it easy to get your hands on raw materials or do you have to import?
I am very passionate about getting my jewellery made in Ireland. We have amazing silver and goldsmiths in this country, I can’t image why you would want to manufacture anywhere else. All of my pieces are hallmarked in the assay office in Dublin Castle.
Do you think that being an Irish designer is an advantage in the international fashion markets?
Being Irish is a great hook and does open the doors for you. What keep the international market as well as our home market interested the quality. It is so important that my jewellery is made in Ireland and each piece is perfect going to the customer.
I imagine it’s rather difficult to choose, but is there a moment in your career which you’re most proud of?
In December 2015 I would the rising star at the local enterprise board, women’s network. I was so excited. I have won lots of awards for my art over the years but this is the first for my jewellery. The first of many, I hope!!
Victoria Beckham once said that ‘if you can get your head around your dream, it means your dream isn’t big enough’. Where do you see your brand in 5-10 years? Do you have a brand ‘bucket-list’?
I want to be known in Ireland for good quality, Irish made jewellery. I have some great loyal customers and I want to continue to grow this. The next step is to expand internationally.
For anyone who is thinking about getting into jewellery design, would you have any tips or advice for them?
There is no right time. Things will never be perfect, you just have to go for it and learn on the way.
And finally – a VERY important Irish Tea question? Barrys or Lyons? And favourite dipping biscuit? 🙂
As a very proud Cork woman it has to be Barrys! With a chocolate digestive – yum!
What I loved about meeting Mairéad was hearing about the inspiration behind her pieces. For example, her paintings on the left hand side of the above image are actually the direct inspiration for the heart pendants on the right. She wanted them to look doodled and they are so beautful and delicate. It was also great to see some of her artwork as well as her jewellery.
A massive thank you to Mairéad for doing the interview and I loved featuring her on here. Her pieces are beautiful and she is an inspiration in person. I know that deBlaca Jewellery will continue to go from strength to strength.
The stock images were kindly provided by Mairéad.