MAMM + MYRGH Goldsmiths found their name in the ancient language of their home in Cornwall. Literally translated as Mother & Daughter this talented design duo are made up of “Mamm” Amanda and her daughter Greta “Myrgh”.
To celebrate Mother’s Day we invited the talented pair to share with us how they took this creative step together and their experiences in working as a family.
Firstly can you tell me a little about your backgrounds?
Amanda (Mamm) started as an apprentice Goldsmith back in the late 70s to a Hatton Garden Jeweller based in Bath. She moved down to Cornwall in 1981 to work as a Jobbing Jeweller at Truro Goldsmiths, and had her own repairs business. Recently she finished a BA degree in silversmithing and Jewellery at Truro College.
Greta (Myrgh) initially studied BA Fine Art in Bath then moved to London to study CAD design at the Holts Academy in Hatton Garden. She has worked as a freelance Jewellery designer and Sales consultant.
What first got you interested in working in jewellery?
Amanda (Mamm) was 17 when she left school and went to work for a Hatton Garden Jeweller that had relocated to Bath. He used to create master pieces for the Fine Art department in Harrods these really inspired her to pursue a career in the jewellery industry
Greta (Myrgh) Watching mum on the bench from a young age really inspired me to get on the bench and start making myself I’ve always thought of the whole process as quite magical.
What inspired you to make this current collection?
The John Waterhouse painting A Mermaid. We imagined her as a modern day muse and what treasures she would collect and wear from the seashore.
"Who would be
A mermaid fair,
Combing her hair"
Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem The Mermaid (1830) thought to be the inspiration for Waterhouse's painting.
Have you ever found anything strange whilst beachcombing?
We thought the mermaid’s purse we found was pretty special. We electroformed it in copper to preserve its beauty; we tried wearing it as a necklace but its very heavy! Other things we have found are Sea Potatoes, dried up they look like alien skulls-very creepy! Also we have found whale vomit (Ambergris), which believe it or not, is very expensive as it is used in the perfume industry to prolong the scent.
If you weren’t jewellery makers, what would you be doing?
Amanda (Mamm) I would love to make handmade toys if I wasn’t a jeweller.
Greta (Myrgh) I’m currently learning how to be a full time mummy to my gorgeous baby girl Zenna, but would love to do a GIA Gemmology
course at some point.
What was the first thing you made together?
A cake probably containing a lot of chocolate!
What are your favourite pieces of jewellery?
Amanda (Mamm) the ring I made on my interview day as an apprentice when I was 17. It was solid gold and very plain but I felt so proud that I did it and after the interview he said I could keep it.
Have you ever made anything for each other?
Greta (Myrgh) I have a gorgeous sapphire ring that my mum made for me for my graduation I wear it every day. I did make mum a fretted silver disc when I was studying in Hatton Garden it was a practice piece and I didn’t think it was any good but she insisted it was and wore it all the time.
Mamm & Myrgh means Mother & Daughter in Cornish, what’s the best thing about working with your family?
One of the perks is you can have business meetings in your pjs! We have always been quite close and intuitively know what the others thinking. It’s a very special mother and daughter bond that makes it work so well in business.
Do you have any advice for working with family?
Having regular catch-ups and only discussing the business. Staying focused is key.
Bringing different skills to the one business and working towards a common goal and vision.
How will you be spending Mother’s Day? Or what is your ideal day to spend together for mother’s day?
We plan to make a pancake breakfast and head off for the day walking along the cliffs hopefully get a few rays of sunshine! This year is a special one, as Greta became a mum last year so we are celebrating as three generations!
What are your plans for the future, is there anything else you would like to make or do together?
We are currently working on a new collection in solid Fair trade Gold and looking to get a commercial workshop and gallery space open which offers a repair service and also day workshop classes.
We hope Greta, Amanda and little Zenna all enjoy a sunny pancake breakfast. Happy Mother's Day from all of us at Gill Wing Jewellery!