Reflecting the contemporary and historical mix of Dublin’s aesthetic, Maria Parsons uses the rich textures of the city to inspire her contemporary jewellery. All Maria’s pieces are solid sterling silver or 18kt gold-plated and are hallmarked in Dublin Castle.
We chat to her about the meaning behind the name ‘Terrible Beauty’, meeting Imelda May and why she would love to visit New Zealand.
How did your brand begin?
“Terrible Beauty was inspired by the events of the Easter Rising in Dublin in April 1916. These historical events also inspired WB Yeats to write the iconic poem, Easter 1916, where he identified a shifting Irish landscape after which things 'changed, changed utterly...A terrible beauty was born.'”
What inspires your designs?
“My inspiration comes from the rich texture of the urban aesthetic. From the contemporary visage of modern architecture to the monuments of once vibrant communities which echo the rhythms that were the heart of Dublin's inner city.”
How is your jewellery crafted?
“The prototypes are handmade in our workshop in County Wicklow and the production pieces are made by specialist suppliers selected to ensure optimum quality.”
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
“Yes. We know Imelda May has gifted a proclamation tag to Bono and we would love to see him wear this piece at one of his gigs!”
Can you recall a particular moment with a customer that will stay with you forever?
“It was when Imelda May asked us to meet her in Weirs of Grafton Street to present our collection to her. She spent about 2 hours in this iconic store and we were thrilled when she picked a number of pieces she would later wear at special events.”
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
“I like to wear the Constance Seven Signatories Ring because it has been crafted so beautifully. It also has real meaning because it represents the seven signatories of the Irish proclamation of 1916.”
If you could travel to one place in the world right now, where would it be?
“I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand. I believe it’s very similar to Ireland and it's far enough away to make a difference!”
What’s your favourite quote?
What are your plans for the future?
“We have plans to market our brand in New York, Paris and London over the next few years. We hope to be one of the leading Irish contemporary jewellery brands in 5 years’ time.”