Dispatch from Ireland - Muireann Walshe

Contributor post by Emily Westbrooks of From China Village

Muireann Walshe, a jewellery designer based in the Irish Design Shop Studios, started making her bold and modern Tara Brooches when she was in her third year at the National College of Art and Design here in Dublin. Raised in Co. Meath, Muireann (pronounced Murr-in) was surrounded by history and traditional Celtic images and now draws on those to create bright jewellery from anodized aluminium.

Muireann has always been drawn to the traditional patterns and textures, and often finds inspiration in Ireland's national museums. During college, she decided she wanted to make modern and cool Irish jewellery drawing on more historic Irish patterns, so she started with the Tara Brooch. The Tara Brooch, created in 700 AD from gold, silver, copper, amber and glass, is one of the earliest and most important examples of Irish Christian art. It's housed in the National Museum of Ireland, where Muireann often finds herself looking for inspiration.

Muireann's new Tara Brooches are designed on a computer, laser cut, and then turned bright colours with the anodizing process. The pieces are cleaned in different acids, then electrified creating a porous surface for the bright dyes to work their magic. Finally, they're steamed to seal in the colour. Each piece, which Muireann works on in stages, takes about two days to complete. Each piece is quite unique, with different colour and texture combinations. The brooches are held on with a magnet and while they look like they could be dangerous, they aren't sharp like you might think!

Muireann has now started working on a line of rings inspired by traditional Celtic art that featured chevron patterns. The rings and brooches are available online at the Irish Design Shop or in the Irish Design Shop in Dublin.
studio from shop


Emily Westbrooks is a Dublin-based creative and travel writer, artist and blogger. Raised and educated in Maine, Emily married an Irishman and moved to Dublin in 2008. She lives with her husband, Michael, on the northside of Dublin. Originally planning only to stay for a year, she now calls Dublin home. She loves exploring Dublin, adventuring through the hills of Ireland, and traveling around Europe,. And she really loves to write about her adventures, which she shares over on From China Village. She's passionate about design, and can't wait to change your perception of Irish craft and design.

Jan Halvarson

1 comment:

Annemiek - TwoTrees said...

Such nice brooches, will look out for them when I'm in Dublin again.