Eimear Lynch (AKA Ella Green) has been designing jewellery since she was a little girl.
I have a recurring ‘treasure’ dream even now. My mother always used to tell me how I couldn't even pronounce the word 'jewellery' as a young child but it didn't stop me constantly taking jewellery apart to reassemble it a different way. I remember covering a denim jacket with brooches (it was the 80’s) and making odd dangly earrings and thinking I was the absolute BOMB! I think I was always meant to be a Jeweller Maker.
- Describe the design DNA of your jewellery?
This is still evolving and I am on a delicious journey with it. What I do know about it is that I thrive on opposites; tough and soft; geometric and organic; monstrous and pretty. That seems a bit mad but I like the idea of taking ideas and altering them in ways you wouldn’t expect – the swallows tattoo collection is an example of this. It’s inspired by old-time sailor tattoos but the execution is very feminine.
- Where is your jewellery bench?
In the home office but with little kids running around I have to be careful and tidy away the chemicals, saw blades etc and / or lock the door!
- What do you dream about?
Treasure, finding hauls of treasure. I blame fairy stories. Have you read Grimm recently? I’m reading them to my little girl and every story has diamonds, rubies and pearls stashed somewhere. Also, I have half waking- half dreaming moments where designs come right before sleep. I’ll often get a jolt of inspiration and I smile and spend the next while turning it over and over in my mind. It’s delicious and I go to sleep knowing it will be there waiting for me in the morning. That’s one of the most fun parts – after that the work of sketching and problem solving begins!
- Describe a perfect day for you?
A day off from the usual routine. A bit of a lie in and a wander around town with coffee in hand and with no particular place to be. I love travel so transplant that same day from Dublin into any cool city and I’m happy. I also love the act of travel itself so stick me on a plane, train or bus with something to read, my notebook and a good podcast and I am happy as a clam.
- What is your guilty pleasure?
KUWTK. I also used to love Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and – full disclosure: I have a bad social media (specifically Instagram) habit. You can follow my adventures @ellagreenjewellery
- What is your must-have piece of jewellery?
My Swallow Lariat necklace. I literally have not taken it off since I made it. It’s strong but light and has withstood my toddler practically swinging out of it every day exclaiming ‘Birdie!’ Also, the Swallows Ear Climber with one of its companion studs. They’re all swallows but due to the asymmetry they are far from matchy matchy.
- Do you have something you can’t live without?
My engagement ring, wedding ring and my mother’s wedding band. Mine are white gold and I wear Mum’s simple 18k yellow gold in between them so she is with me always.
- How do you decide what to create?
That is a very important decision that I’m sure other designers spend time on too. I have SO MANY IDEAS and things that I want to make and a ton of sketches and notes so it is VITAL to plan or I would literally be making 7 pieces at any one time and achieving little. I got some good advice early on which was to focus on one idea in order to build out a collection. This is what I continue to do although I will nearly always have some cheeky half made prototypes half-made also. I get excited to make and I’m only human!
- What kind of materials do you like working with?
Yellow gold, natural gemstones (no dye please) and silver. I started out in silver but I quickly came to crave colour and love the buttery richness of yellow gold and stones. I read a beautiful quote the other day (on Instagram of course) “The purest and most beautiful minds are those which love colour the most” – John Ruskin.
- What is your biggest achievement in your jewellery career?
Being stocked in Designyard – for sure. I am so honoured to be in the same space as Rudolph Hetzel, Beth Gilmour, and others. It is a dream come true.
- What do you find rewarding about jewellery making?
Holding a new piece in my hand. You never truly know how it will turn out or how you feel about it until that moment arrives. Sometimes it is a long journey to get there. For example, my first sketches of what turned out to be the Van Eyck collection are over a decade old!
- Do you play favourites? What is your favourite piece at the moment?
Yes, I can’t help it, probably the Van Eyck Necklace with milky blue, natural chalcedony on its chunky chain. I haven’t come across such a good example of this type of stone in that size since. I do a nightly meditation where the recording asks me to picture a ‘colour of relaxation’ and I always go with the blue chalcedony. I love it because it is natural. A lot of chalcedony is dyed but I steer clear of it. I much prefer the stone as nature intended it.
Yes, emeralds hold a deep fascination for me (I am Ella GREEN after all!) But I like other beryls too such as morganite. Also sapphires. I love the range of colours and their durability. Did you know that if your house burns down, your gold jewellery may melt but the corundums (sapphires and rubies) would likely survive?!
- What kind of person wears your jewellery?
Ladies who know EXACTLY what they like - and what they don't. They think most mass-produced jewellery is bad to the point of being offensive and their boyfriend / husband / significant other despairs of trying to buy them jewellery off their own bat. But when she sees something she likes, her pulse quickens, her pupils dilate and she knows it's for her. She prefers to buy better quality pieces, less often. She loves the jewellery she has already. These are the pieces acquired at special times or moments in her life. It has made it this far with her because it is precious to her and she has minded it. Ella Green fits that ethos entirely.
- What's on your bucket list this year?
It will not be this year – but perhaps next year we will make it to Madagascar. This would be a family holiday but I always try to choose destinations that have something jewellery related (usually stones) that I can get at a good price while I’m there and Madagascar is famous for its coloured gemstones.
- Who or what inspires you?
My friends – they will know who they are if they read this! Also strong women. I am not a huge Beyonce fan but I really admire her work ethic. It’s a bit cheesy but her approach to her work is inspiring to me in mine.
- Where is your favourite place to go in Ireland?
Ring of Kerry – because it’s breath-taking, windswept, rugged and all the flowers are purple at a certain time of year. Why is that? Is it acidic soil or something?
See all of Ella Green's wonderful collection for Designyard here:
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