The vibrant tones of colour you see on Irish jewellery designer Clair O’Neill’s silk scarves are literally forged in fire. Clair has been creating enamel jewellery all her life, alongside her mother Meab, who set up the eponymously name Meab Enamels in 1963, and during a recent quiet spell – aka the pandemic – she embarked on a series of explorations to see how she could extend her beautiful and vibrant designs to other media. Silk soon proved to be the perfect canvas to display and bring to life the vibrant colours, and natural curves and twists of her designs.
Each design is created using Clair’s bespoke open-fire enamelling process. A hand-cut copper plate is prepared as the base for the design, then shaped and crafted to allow the enamel powder to adhere to it, Clair chooses the colours and then the magic happens when the fine glass enamel powder melts and intermingles to produce tones of colour. It takes an eye for design as well as precision, a steady hand, and a cool head – figuratively speaking – the temperature required to melt the powders has to be 1450 degrees Fahrenheit! High-definition images of the design are produced and then sent to her factory in Italy.
Loved by classic beauties everywhere and long acknowledged as a vital accessory by style icons such as Grace Kelly and Irish/Australian actor Genevieve O’Reilly, who is an enthusiastic fan of Meab scarves, it helps that silk squares are making a comeback. Since Clair launched her silk range online, there has been a surge in demand worldwide with her unique designs gracing the necks of classic beauties everywhere.
See more of Clair’s beautiful designs at meabenamels.com.