Hi my name is Niamh Morrison and I am the designer and creator of HEN jewellery. I live in the beautiful town of Clonakilty in West Cork , Ireland. Here, my husband and I have raised our three children and numerous horses, dogs and cats.
This jewellery making all started about ten years ago when I had an accident with one of the horses which sent me to Intensive Care. After the accident, I was obliged to relax and take it easy – which is something most of us have a hard time doing. While in hospital, I received a book on jewellery making and as I read it, my excitement and enthusiasm was hard to contain – I could not wait to get home and try making something! I had always had my hand in some kind of creative hobby (painting, knitting, upholstery, sewing, etc) but was always frustrated – I was never pleased with anything I did. Until I tried jewellery making and specifically working with silver and other metals. I am self-taught – I have had a number of lessons with a master goldsmith and the many, many videos found online but for the most part, my training comes from the school of Trial and Error. .
What do I do?
I work with sterling silver, eco silver as well as recycled copper and brass. I look for ways to reduce my impact on the environment from the products I use to the packaging I choose. My copper comes from old immersion cylinders, brake hoses – me and the local mechanic and plumber are the best of friends. I am outside every day and appreciate how much inspiration I get from Mother Nature and feel its my responsibility to protect my Muse every chance I get.
I love texture – I could be looking at the texture of a tree outside the studio window or the way the sea crashes against a rock and I am off. If you look at my jewellery you will always see some type of texture added to each design. If I had a particular style I guess you could say that I am reinterpreting the Wild Atlantic Way my way – with lots and lots of texture.
I am a fussy jewellery wearer. It has to work for me before I sell the design. I work with my hands and with animals all day. I can’t have anything sharp on me or anything too fussy. I also have sensitive skin and create my earrings with that in mind. They can’t get in my way or be too heavy or they just aren’t going to work for me. Most of my designs I wear for at least 48 hours prior to determining if I can live with such a design. I figure if something passes my scrutiny it will make my customer very happy.
Why is my business called HEN?
No, hens are not part of the large menagerie here in Clonakilty – the name can be credited to my long-suffering husband. He suggested that jewellery for the Hands, Ears and Neck should be called HEN. Its quirky, a bit odd and makes total sense to me – which is me in a nutshell.
I create my jewellery in my studio in my home overlooking the paddock. Usually one cat is on the seat behind me, one is on a shelf looking down at me, a dog or two is at my feet – just far enough away from the path of the rolling chair. I can’t help but be creative surrounded by so much adoration.
Where can you buy my work?
Firstly, here is a good place to start. I am focusing my efforts on putting more of my work on my website. The open-air markets which I absolutely love are not happening at the moment, so I am trying to get more of me up here for you.
I also stock items at Cork Craft & Design‘s retail shop. I have one full case dedicated to my jewellery and am always a phone call away if you have a question the staff just can’t answer.
Due to the pandemic I am not able to participate in open-aid markets or shows. So keep an eye on my social channels for live virtual markets. Sure, I sell on these markets, but I mainly do it for the feedback. For updates on any new markets or shows that I will be participating in, please keep an eye on my social channels – when there is a new place to sell you can be sure I will shout it from the rooftops.