Gleneagles Townhouse
Behind the brand:

Meet jewellery designer, Grainne Morton

30 July 2021
Grainne Martin making jewellery in her studio

Stroll through our Retail Arcade and you’ll likely be lured into Gaia, our ladies contemporary fashion store bringing together an eclectic mix of hand-picked independent designers from around the world.

One of which we are lucky enough to have based locally to us in Edinburgh, and recently had the privilege to be invited into her home studio.  Jewellery designer and antique lover, Grainne Morton creates unique handcrafted heirloom pieces inspired by her upbringing in Northern Ireland. A childhood spent surrounded by traditional crafts, folklore, music and fairy tales of the country. Exclusively, Gaia is the only shop in Scotland where Grainne’s handmade jewellery pieces can be viewed and tried on.

We visited her beautiful home and studio in Edinburgh, a reflection of her own designs – inviting old-world charm, with unexpected collections of objects at every turn. Welcomed in by Grainne with the warmth and familiarity of an old friend.

She’s just too lovely to keep to our self! Step inside the beautiful world of Grainne Morton.

Grainne Morton at home
Designing jewellery

How do you start your day?

My morning ritual is to start the day with a large glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon and an ever-growing quantity of vitamins and supplements.

I feed our dog Bear and take her out for a walk – almost always to Easter Craiglockart Hill which is steps away from our house. I love watching the seasons change the landscape on our daily walk. On return I try and fit in a short yoga session, around 10 minutes then I go straight into the studio with a coffee and usually toast.


What led you in the direction of becoming a jewellery designer?

By the time I reached secondary school I knew I wanted to go to Art College and eventually have my own business. Many family members were self-employed and inspired me to work for myself too. I have always loved clothing and style and had thought it would be fashion that I went into although it just didn’t click when I chose it as one of my design blocks at Edinburgh College of Art. Jewellery was the last subject to try in my foundation year, I had found my niche. The scale is perfect for me.


If you were to describe the style of your pieces in three words what would they be?

Eclectic, Unique, Covetable


What do you do when looking for inspiration for your designs?

I have two main continual sources of inspiration. The extensive materials that I collect that inspire designs in themselves and antique jewellery, from the Georgian and Victorian periods in particular, which I refer to time and time again.


Who are your style icons…dead or alive?

Gloria Vanderbilt. I was obsessed by her jeans as a teenager although in recent years I’ve found her sense of personal style and how she decorated her homes so inspiring.

Loulou De La Falaise for her true Bohemian style, she also worked closely with one of my all-time favourite designers Yves Saint Laurent. She didn’t like to be called his muse as “To me, a muse comes to have cookies and a chat and looks frightfully smart,” she said. “I didn’t see it as someone who worked as hard as I did.”


Do you have any favourite stones to work with and why?

I don’t think it’s really in my nature to have a favourite anything however if I was to choose one stone that I use in several of our designs it would be an Opal for its unique colour combinations and character traits.


What is your most irreplaceable piece of jewellery?

My wedding ring which I made myself. It’s not characteristic of my style. We got married in 2000 and I wanted a ring that was stylish for the period (minimalism was the trend, not my favourite period) simple and stylish. It’s a square band, made from square wire in white gold.

I also wear a vintage gold Aquarius charm necklace everyday. It was given to me by a friend in New York for my birthday. A stressful flight diversion  meant I was on a bus trip from Boston to NY instead of celebrating my birthday in Brooklyn, but I had a wonderful show, which was the purpose of the trip and it’s become a special talisman. When I travel I carry a collection of charms in a small leather pencil case.

Finally, ‘When you wear a piece of Grainne Morton jewellery you feel ______’

Grainne’s handmade jewellery pieces can be viewed in our jewellery cabinet at Gaia.

Retail Arcade