MC: Where did you study and what got you interested in making jewellery?
CB: I have been interested in jewellery since I was young and I made jewellery out of wire, bottle caps and drinks cans for my friends and sold it at school. At college I became more and more interested in adorning the body, so a degree in jewellery seemed like a natural progression.
I studied at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating with a 1st in BA Jewellery & Silversmithing in 2012. Since then I have been developing my jewellery from my experimental degree collection, into more wearable everyday pieces.
MC: What are your inspirations?
CB: My work is inspired by plants, flowers and microscopic images of cells: I have always been fascinated by the colours, textures and delicate structures. Colour, pattern, material and scale are what excites me, colour being the most important medium of all. I try to create jewellery that tantalises all of the senses though my use of bold colours and different materials, so much so that it draws you in to take a closer look.
MC: How do you make your wonderful pieces?
CB: I use aluminium because of its light weight and malleability, the method of powder-coating gives me a strong smooth block colour to work off and the suede chenille (bound around the edges) for a different texture. All of my work is hand-pierced, which people say is crazy, but I like to have control over the patterns and it means that each piece is completely unique.
MC: What have you been doing since you graduated in 2012?
CB: Since exhibiting at New Designers: One Year On this year I have taken part in eight contemporary jewellery exhibitions around the country, one in Norway, including the Designer Jewellers Group. Next February I will be taking part in the new graduate exhibition at Studio Fusion Gallery, London and FASHIONED at Craft Central, London. I am also working towards designing a more commercial range of jewellery which I will launch at Pulse Design Fair, London in 2014.
MC: Thanks Ciara, I think you have a bright future in jewellery design.