By: Caitlyn Garrity / Feb. 23, 2021
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and for Americans, it is just another holiday to crack open a cold one and celebrate. For others, especially of Irish heritage, the day means far more than day drinking. Just ahead of the green holiday, Alexia Connellan, a fine jewelry designer with deep roots in Ireland, has released two new pieces of delicate jewelry that celebrate Hibernian culture.
Alexia Connellan and her Irish Heritage
The designer grew up on the East Coast with connections to Jamaica. Having visited Jamaica plenty of times as a child, she grew to love the culture and colors of the tropical island. However, it was not until Connellan married her husband, Playwright and Novelist Brendan Connellan, when she began to explore the Hibernian culture.
Connellan has visited Ireland 10 times and each time she says she falls in love with a new aspect of the culture. In honor of the green countryside and family-orientated atmosphere, Connellan is using the influences of Ireland and incorporating them into her fine jewelry.
As for Connellan’s background in business and jewelry making, she graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Art History and Visual Arts. Afterward, she headed to the School of Visual Arts in New York to study sculpture. Her designs are inspired by architecture and using elements of cultures close to her. She finished her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Jewelry Design and Gemology.
Connellan’s Mission Behind Her Jewels
Other than her inspirations from rich cultures, Connellan has other, more personal goals when it comes to her company. Connellan has dedicated the sourcing of her materials to support the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mined (ASM). ASM is a community mostly of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), like Connellan herself. Supporting others and caring about other’s wellbeings is a value Connellan shares closely with people of Irish heritage.
The Hibernian Jewelry
The color green is arguably a beautiful and accurate reflection of Ireland. With green countrysides and their love for the color, Connellan knew that she needed to incorporate that color into the gems and styles she selected. Drawn from the majesty of Ireland, Connellan has hand-crafted two new fine jewelry pieces that are a reflection of her love for the island.
Inspired by Irish immigration and the idea of the American dream, these earrings are meant to reflect the beauty of the Celtics yet the possibilities of being American. Connellan said the green tourmaline is to show, “the light at the end of Daisy’s dock in the Great Gatsby: the green light of endless possibilities.”
Another ring inspired by a piece of art, a John Evert Mills’ painting, this ring uses the velvety, deep emerald green that naturally shows in the landscape of Ireland. The ring reflects the meshing of the green from the land and the teal from the Caribbean sea, an hommage Connellan’s Jamaican connection. Ophelia Ring also features elements of intricate gold, often found within Hibernian art and architecture.