FEATURED Eily O'Connell: organic jewellery

Roaming the Northwest coast of Ireland around Donegal, where she was raised, Eily learned to find an intriguingly creative use for all kinds of natural remnants in the form of her astonish organic pieces of jewellery. Moved in recent years to Bristol, she continues to create and promote her pieces, made by combining fragments of stones, shells, driftwood, etc., with metals and gemstones.

Yes, they are jewellery; yes, her orientation is clearly towards selling them as such for her living. But just look at them!: many of these pieces are far beyond mere commercial articles. Eily’s approach is heavily charged with artistic and almost philosophical reminiscences.

I am totally at ease with qualifying Eily’s works in general, and some of them in particular, as cultural assets of a kind well within the collective psyche of the North Atlantic peoples. After all, one thing that unites all these is their centuries-old relation with the sea, always facing it as both the agent of their isolation and the promise of contact and exchange with their peers beyond its waters.

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Fran Ayllón