Ola Gorie Jewellery is an Orkney company with a wealth of great stories to tell. Ola herself pioneered an industry for which the islands are now rightly famed. She has inspired generations to follow in her footsteps. But where did Ola’s own inspiration come from?

Ola Magnus 70.jpg

In mid-March we were contacted through NB Communication by Duncan McLean, managing director of Ola Gorie Jewellery. He asked whether we could produce a series of videos, based around Ola's 80th birthday. 

The first of these would tie in with the 900th anniversary of the martyrdom of Orkney’s Saint Magnus. When Duncan explained that Ola had grown up in a flat above the family shop in Broad Street – right opposite St Magnus Cathedral – the imagery began to create itself.

An interview was setup with Ola in the family flat, while Ola’s granddaughter, Cara, agreed to model some pieces of the St Magnus jewellery – one of Ola’s earliest collections, inspired by a stone carving within the cathedral.



Of course, we like to explain to clients how it’s our attention to detail in the planning of a video production that makes everything come together beautifully, but in truth it’s often the chance moments where much of the magic happens.

I’d envisaged Cara walking through the cathedral representing a young Ola exploring the building and absorbing the story of Magnus. But it was only during the editing stage, when Duncan sent through an image of a young Ola sitting at her work bench, that I realised how strikingly similar she looked to her granddaughter.


It definitely brought an extra element to the film to be able to cut from this lovely black and white picture – a little piece of Orkney’s creative, cultural and industrial heritage – to the shot of Cara in the cathedral.

We also used Cara alongside Ola in the final video, which has just been published. It's been a fabulous project to be involved in, and one which has pushed us to challenge ourselves technically and creatively - that's what you get when you work with a pioneering spirit like Ola! 




Fionn McArthur