Designer: Geraldine Murphy
I'm hopelessly in love with animals and also love working with my hands⏤especially creating art with metal, so after I finished designing my first range of jewellery, I set up my business, Saba, in 2003.
In more recent years I have been creating one-of-a-kind and bespoke pieces using the ancient enamelling techniques of Cloisonné and Champlevé. I create these designs using fine silver, gold and transparent enamels. During the pandemic I changed my business name back to Geraldine Murphy (Enamels) but still produce the most popular designs from my classic Saba range.
About Geraldine Murphy
Originally from Massachusetts but moved to Ireland as a child with my West Cork dad, my English mother and my two siblings. We were brought up alongside a variety of rescue animals and this gave me a real a sense of belonging to the world and of being a part of something much bigger and more profound than humankind.
Geraldine creates jewellery and art that inspires respect and compassion⏤towards animals in particular, but also towards the earth, towards the lessons of history and towards those attempting to create well considered, sustainable lives for themselves and those around them.
I’ve been lucky enough to do some interesting jewellery commissions for World Rugby, Trinity College Dublin and for the comedy trio Foil, Arms and Hog.
I also do a lot of framed animal portrait commissions in copper and enamel.
Discover more about Geraldine Murphy
I use many different techniques but two of my favourites, and which I am currently concentrating on, are Cloisonné and Champlevé enamelling on fine silver and 24 carat gold foil. Enamel is basically glass fused to metal.
Cloisonné means “enclosed” and Champlevé literally means “raised field” in French. They are both very involved techniques requiring many different metal working skills such as piercing, fusing and soldering. You need a very steady hand and a lot of patience. In Cloisonné I use very thin silver or gold wires to section-off areas in the silver piece and then I inlay wet enamel into those areas. Champlevé is the creation of a recessed area(s) either through cutting and fusing, or through etching the metal, and again, wet enamel is inlaid into those areas and then fired in a kiln at around 800ºC. It is a process that I repeat over and over until the piece has been fired multiple times and has multiple enamel layers. After the firing is finished I sand the silver, give the piece one last flash-firing to enhance the luminescence of the colours and then polish it.
My pieces tend to be purchased by people who share this interest. They identify with my work because it reflects their own story, reveals and confirms⏤in artistic form⏤something deeply meaningful to them. Having a compassionate interest in the natural world transcends age, gender, race, religion...and all the accompanying stereotypes.