We are delighted to have been mentioned on a double page spread celebrating the launch of Iona My Heart on the 10th September 2023. Read the article published by the Scotsman to learn more about about how Alexander and Euphemia Ritchie are an inspiration to us and so many people in Iona.
Alexander and Euphemia Ritchie met in the 1890s at the Glasgow School of Art and married in 1898 before living and working on the island of Iona. They produced jewellery, leatherwork, and embroidery which was inspired by the Celtic art of the ‘Book of Kells’ and the ancient patterns found in the crosses of the island. Alexander and Euphemia opened a small shop and silversmithing workshop, eventually creating ‘Iona Celtic Art’ and having their designs produced in English factories. Their business was successful and contributed to the Celtic Revival movement.
The Ritchies then passed their pieces onto their apprentice Iain MacCormick who later gifted the Iona Celtic Art creations to his descendant Mhàiri Killin to continue the legacy. Maeve and Mhàiri originally met on a BBC programme about Celtic jewellery and then later found a shared passion to re-imagine and share the story of the Ritchies. Together designer Maeve Gillies and Mhàiri Killin (founder of Aosdàna) have created a new collection of Iona jewellery inspired by the work of the Ritchies. They hope that by creating authentic jewellery using the original touch of some of “Scotland’s greatest treasures” created by Alexander and Euphemia Ritchie, will represent and celebrate the rich history that Iona has to offer.
The collection admiring the work of the Ritchies’ includes nine stories as a part of a 40-piece collection, all with historic meaning. Every ‘Iona My Heart’ product is made on Iona using 100% sustainable materials such as ethical sterling silver sourced from electronic waste through the NHS ‘AgAin’ initiative and SMO gold.
"This collection is about honouring families, ancestors, island culture and illuminating these lives of great talent." - Maeve Gillies