“ One of my earliest memories is as a three year old playing with plastic popper beads.  I still remember the satisfying sound they made when clicked together, and then adjusting lengths of them for necklaces and bracelets to wear. On holiday as an eight year old girl I also remember scouring the shops in small towns in West Cork for leather boot laces to suspend the dozens of cowries I had patiently drilled with a bradawl I had taken from my father's tool box.  I went home to Belfast festooned in shell necklaces and a faint tang of the sea. 

Today my workshop is still filled with shells and "interesting" stones picked up from beaches around Ireland, but also with dried seed heads, leaves and seed pods gathered from garden and hedgerow. These are the source of inspiration for my work.  I am not only drawn to them for their intrinsic beauty in colour and form, but for the intricate organic engineering that underpins their structure and for the intricate patterns and textures they create en masse. ”

To read an interview with Inga Reed go to the

Sunday Independent at:



inga reed

portrait of the artist as a young jeweller