An International Woman
Today is International Women's Day, so what better way to mark it than be paying tribute to - no, not Ola! - but to one of Ola's greatest inspirations, Margaret Macdonald Macintosh.
Born in in 1864, near Wolverhampton, Margaret Macdonald moved to Glasgow at a young age, and became one of that city's most original and celebrated artists. Along with her sister, Frances, she was the first female day-student at Glasgow School of Art (just as Ola was later the first jewellery graduate of Aberdeen Art School.) Margaret and Frances had already established their own studio, and developed their own unique artistic style - a blend of Celtic legend, Aubrey Beardsley and the Art Noveau they'd seen on their travels through Europe - by the time Margaret married an up-and-coming Glaswegian designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, in 1900. For the next 25 years, Margaret and Charles worked closely together, sometimes collaborating on shared projects, sometimes complementing each other's work.
One of Margaret's most famous works is The May Queen, which was commissioned for Miss Cranston's tearoom in Glasgow, alone with a partner piece by Charles called The Wassail. Sixty years later, Ola and designer Emma Gale based a jewellery collection on The May Queen - one of several collections inspired by the works of the original 'Glasgow Girl.'
The May Queen is still one of our best sellers, and seems a fitting tribute from one great designer to another, one inspirational woman to another