NAME: Mary Bourke FROM: Co.Carlow
PROFESSION: Goldsmith- jewellery designer/maker BUSINESS/COMPANY/PRACTICE NAME: DeBurca Design
In 1997, as a postgraduate student, while working towards a PhD in Neuroscience I took up a jewel- lery making evening course in NCAD. I wanted to create something tangible and real. Every week I lost myself in hammering and soldering… making and creating. I grew to look forward to and cher- ish this creative space. Driven by this desire for making I began to hone my skills. After an intensive 2 years training on the DCCI Jewellery skills course, I worked in the jewellery trade refining my skills. I now have my own studio in rural Carlow overlooking the Barrow valley.
The studio shelves display sources of inspiration such as dried leaves, shells, pebbles, and lots of books that feed my imagination and designs. I source ideas from nature such as repetition and pattern and the interplay of light, line and shadow, and demonstrate these through my jewellery designs, working with silver, gold, pearls and gemstones.
As a female led, rural based, craft practice I work everyday to grow my business. I strongly believe that this will be best achieved through collaboration with others. I’m currently involved in a col- laborative project with a woodturner. Our working relationship is based on respecting each other’s ideas while allowing for openness and acceptance of critical analysis. We did not know each other before we started this project last August and have only met once in person briefly. We are creating a sculptural piece approximately 1.5m x 0.5m x 0.5m. As you can imagine these dimensions are way outside my goldsmiths comfort zone!
I applied to become part of this group because I want to connect with and learn from other crafts- people and designers. When I trained to become a goldsmith CAD modelling for jewellery was at its infancy. It’s now part of the toolkit for graduating goldsmiths, along with knowledge of 3D printing and other digital fabrication technologies. I want to learn about these and upskill, in my head this is an opportunity to play and create. Who knows where it might end up!
I am skilled in traditional goldsmithing, transforming metal sheet and wire into beautiful jewellery.
These skills include piercing intricate patterns using a jewellers saw, filing and sanding, soldering and polishing to a high shine. I add colour to my pieces using both precious and semi-precious stones set in a variety of styles. I string pearls and semipirecious beads by hand to create necklac- es. I carve wax to create 3d shapes that are cast in metal. I am able to cast using delft clay in my workshop, all other casting is sent away to a dedicated casting company.
Digitally I am learning on the go with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I have recently started play- ing with Shapr 3D.