In the spotlight with Jewelley Maker Elin Horgan

In the spotlight with Jewelley Maker Elin Horgan


In the Spotlight is a Q&A series with artists making a living from doing what they love. 

I caught up with Jewellery Maker Elin Horgan to find out about her creative process, her use of recycled materials and her love of form over gems 

Tell me about the art you create?

I make bold and modern handmade jewellery from recycled silver and gold.  I’m a bit obsessed with architecture and clean lines and shapes so my work has quite a strong geometric aesthetic.

How did you get into this work?

As a kid I wanted to be a jeweller, but I didn’t really know anyone who did a creative job for a living and so never really thought seriously about it as a career. 

I ended up going down a totally different route for university and subsequent jobs, but I really felt like creativity was missing from my life. 

I ended up enrolling on a silversmithing evening class at a local college and things went from there. 

After the birth of my first child I decided I wouldn’t return to my job and would instead try and make a living from my jewellery. 

I’m so glad I took the plunge, it was the best decision I ever made!

What does an average creative day/ week look like?

My week is fairly varied (one of the great things about working for yourself), but typically each day involves some creative/making time and some marketing/admin time. 

I also mentor students on a jewellery Diploma programme with an organisation called Jewellers Academy, so I’m often catching up with them over Zoom.

I actually really enjoy the mix as I think it helps to keep things fresh and interesting.

What range of mediums do you work with? And do you have a favourite?

Almost exclusively recycled silver and gold.  I love working with both, but the higher carat golds are probably my favourite material. 

Unlike many jewellers I’m not really a gemstone person…I’m probably more about the form than the materials to be honest.


Do you have a favourite time of the day to be creative?

I’m definitely better in the morning than the evening (how times have changed!), so I try and make the most of that, focusing on more creative things then and leaving the computer-based stuff until later in the day.

Do you have any rituals or practices to help you get into the creative zone?

I don’t do it enough, but a bit of doodling/sketching always gets me in the zone. 

I got a bit stuck creatively a few years ago and found the Morning Pages exercise from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron really helpful, but I’m not a natural writer so it was hard to keep it up!

What are the different ways you monetise your art? 

I sell my jewellery collections online and through independent shops and galleries and I also undertake bespoke commissions.

As well as making my own work I also teach in person wax carving classes and do some making and business mentoring.


And what has proven to be the most successful?

It really varies depending on the time of year which makes me glad I have a variety of income streams. 

The last quarter of the year tends to be busy for jewellery sales whereas the first few months are always a good time for jewellery making workshops.

What social media channels have you had the most success on?

I’ve tended to focus on Instagram as my main social media outlet so that has naturally been the most successful. 

I think it’s better to pick one channel rather than trying to do everything or you end up spreading yourself far too thin.

Favourite thing about your job? 

There’s no one to tell you what to do.  I love the fact that you are free to pursue your own vision – it’s not easy, but you own both your successes and your failures.

And the biggest challenge?

There’s no one to tell you what to do!!  There’s upsides and downsides to it, right?!

It can be hard to keep motivated and stay on track when you’re not really feeling it. 

The best way I’ve found to deal with this is to just make sure you do at least one thing towards your business every day.  Even though each step might be small, together they all make a difference.

What things boost your mood?

Music.  Oh and coffee ; )

What plans do you have for the future work-wise?

I’m working on some new designs to launch this Autumn….they’ll be an evolution of my existing Arco collection so fingers crossed they’ll be well received.

I’d like to explore more opportunities for corporate jewellery making workshops.  I’ve done a few of these recently and really enjoyed them so it’s something I’d like to do more of.

What tips would you give to any aspiring artists?

Keep going.  Even when you don’t feel like it just take some small action that moves you forward. 

Also, don’t take things too personally (easier said than done I know).  We’ve all had people make rude comments about our work, but it’s not a reflection on you it just means they’re not the right audience for what you do. 

The right people are out there : )

Find and follow Elin here:

Website: ElinHorgan

Instagram: @ElinHorgan

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