To find out more about life as a jeweller, we interviewed Elements maker Yvonne Gilhooly. Yvonne tells us the best things about being a jeweller and gives us an insight into her making process…


What does a typical day as a jeweller look like?
My job is a joy as no two days are the same.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?
My favourite thing is having the freedom to design and create a piece in precious metal for someone to treasure.
I love working with clients, collaborating to create a piece to treasure, as much as I enjoy designing my own series.
Exhibitions offer a great opportunity to get out of the studio / workshop, to meet clients and other makers as jewellery making is a solitary practice.

What’s your process when making jewellery?
There is a rythym to my process, periods of intense research are followed by design development and model making, all in the studio before even entering the workshop. Once I have a clear direction, its back in the workshop and to the bench. Whilst making, the process itself offers up new design solutions and ideas.
I use traditional tools and hand skills in a process of construction and repetition, I enjoy exploring line and form, making 2D into 3D. I select stones to enhance the metal form, using their shape and colour to add another dimension and point of interest.
Finally I like to add surface mark making and patination to ensure no two pieces are exactly alike.
Simplicity to complexity and back again!

• What are the most used tools in your workshop?Yvonne_Gilhooly_1
My most used tool is my saw, then my selection of needle files and as I like to add texture and surface detail to my work, my beautiful old rolling mill.
Then, forming tools such as my doming and swage blocks, which allow me to transform a flat piece of precious metal into 3d.

• What makes a successful piece of jewellery for you?
A successful series will offer the wearer a tactile experience as well as a visual one.


Yvonne exhibited at Elements 2. You can also discover more about her on her website here.