Cara (also known as the Irish word for ‘friend’) was born and raised in the close-knit village that is Castleknock beside the Phoenix Park in Dublin.
“I've always been fascinated by prehistoric goldwork. Growing up, my mother brought myself and my older sister to The National Museum of Ireland. I saw the craftsmanship, these intricate markings made by hand on the Lunulae gold necklaces and gold necklace collars. I fell in love which sparked something within me later in life and now. Every piece I make has these principles and has its own story to tell.”
- Cara Sturgess
At 20 , Cara went on to study 4 years in The National College of Art & Design in jewellery & metalwork. During her 3 third year, she began working closely with the jewellery company Solvar, where she researched the origins of Irish and Celtic jewellery design. Looking towards The National Museum of Ireland's Ór collection also known as the 'gold collection' for inspiration. Cara noticed that these were proud pieces, rich in colour and texture, and thought to herself that she could see these pieces being worn today. Cara identified an opportunity that opened up exciting new avenues and possibilities for Irish-Themed jewellery collection. Cara wanted to create something that fully embodied the richness and celebrate Ireland’s incredible design heritage, without losing sight of the current times. To design for the present, but inspired by our past and so in the idea that was ‘Loinnir’ was born.
That spark came to full tuition, late 2016 brought us to where we are today, when Cara won 'Best Idea' of Ireland Best Young Entrepreneur in the Leo Fingal Region.
DESIGN FOR THE PRESENT, INSPIRED BY OUR PAST
Inspired by this island that I call home, from Ireland’s scenic landscapes of The Burren plateau, to our rich heritage and legends of Cú Chulainn. All of our collections incorporate elements of Ireland's storied past, each piece having its own personality and narrative to tell. Looking at our little Island and what it has become, has given myself a feeling of pride, wonder and the beauty in nature and our craftsmanship - right down to the torc gold necklaces in The National Museum of Ireland. A feeling we love to put into each handmade piece of jewellery we make.
Since studying in National College of Art & Design, I have understood the importance of the creative process. Traveling around Ireland is always the starting point for our creative process. Finding inspiration in some subject matter for instance The Tumulus ring forts in Co. Meath, taking photographs and notes while visiting . Returning to the studio settled in Castleknock, I researched its origins and the meaning behind the monument. The next step is spent with a cup at hand, sketching designs that challenge notions of the body jewellery, fashion and the current environment. Experimenting with finishes, different gemstones and feeling out how I want to tell this jewellery’s collection. It’s only then we return to our cosy workshop in Dublin, to turn inspiration to reality.