Mary MacGill

Jewellery Designer

Designers / Mary MacGill

Jewellery designer Mary MacGill has always spent her summers on Block Island – the smallest island of the USA’s smallest state, Rhode Island. “I’ve been going there since I was in my mother’s womb,” she says.

This home away from home has fuelled her imagination: “There’s nothing like the feeling of stepping outside and seeing a vast expanse of ocean. In my work, I’m always looking for materials that remind me of that, like aquamarine, pearls and sharks’ teeth.” Mary has been making her own jewellery since childhood, and now works out of an upstate New York studio, with a small team around her. With a laugh, she explains: “It takes a village to have a handmade jewellery company.”

The Garnered - Mary Macgill Studio Process The Garnered 14

Mary’s inspiration often starts with the raw materials: “I’m interested in finding stones that have a lot of flaws,” she says. “All the pearls that we work with are baroque pearls, so they have imperfections and no two are the same.”

The Garnered - Mary Macgill Studio Process The Garnered 22

Most of her jewellery is made without heat or chemicals. Often it uses 14-karat gold wire, hammered out to create pieces with clean, simple lines. The hammering process compresses the molecules of the gold and helps it to keep its form.

The Garnered - Mary Macgill Studio Process The Garnered 60

Nevertheless, her wire bangles can be a little malleable – and that’s part of their charm. “It’s what I love about them,” she says. “They come alive on your wrist, which is beautiful.”

The Garnered - Mary Macgill Studio The Garnered 43
The Garnered - Mary Macgill Studio The Garnered 43
“Not everyone makes handmade jewellery any more because you can’t replicate it, but for us, that’s exactly the point. Every single piece we make is unique – it’s one of a kind, it’s special, it’s yours.”
Mary MacGill