Work To Live, Don't Live To Work! - Genna Delaney Jewellery Artist

Work To Live, Don’t Live To Work!

I’ve not posted in a while as I’ve been in a strange place lately. Struggling with anxiety and work life balance. I’ve realised that I’ve not been happy in a long time as I have only been focusing on my business for the past 5 years.

Things started to change, 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid and was told I’d be on pills for the rest of my life. It’s not one of the severest illnesses but it definitely had a major knock to my mental health, my energy levels, my confidence, my focus and concentration. I had been healthy all my life and I suddenly realised I’d been taking this for granted.

It made me rethink how I was living my life. My main focus was my business, I was addicted to working and felt guilty if I wasn’t working, but my body was finally telling me things had to STOP.

Work To Live Don't Live To Work Quote

Work To Live Don’t Live To Work Quote

I started meditation, changed my diet and tried to see friends more often. It helped for a while but as my health improved I started plunging back into my business again, I had bills to pay.

It wasn’t until this year 2016, when I got engaged in April and turned 35 a few weeks later, that something clicked in my head. I had to live life, not live for my business. I realised that I was focusing too much on making money and selling rather than being an artist. I first started making jewellery as I had a passion for designing and experimenting with materials, as well as producing innovative work and bespoke pieces for individual clients. But the retail world had converted me into making commercial pieces and I was stuck in the rut of making what I knew would sell. I didn’t allow time to play anymore or experiment like an artist as I was stuck in my business.

There’s been many amazing things happening in Dundee since being voted as UNESCO city of design, including the regeneration of the waterfront and the start of the V&A construction. Dundee’s creative and cultural scene is booming and I want to be part of it. I decided to sign up to a CARVE your own wax ring class during the Dundee International Design Festival. It was so much fun and made me realise that it was time to be an artist again. I’m definitely going to produce a new series of rings. Here is what I made in the class, (excuse the white tack!) I will soon be setting stones into this piece and it’s the first ring I’ve made just for me. It’s also given me some new ideas on how to progress my 3d printed collection.

Carve Ring

Carve Ring

It’s came to my attention that I want to be around more people and not work on my own all the time. I enjoy taking on interns and have started renting benches(hot desking) in my studio. I’d like to collaborate with other creatives, especially from different disciplines. I have built up a lot of knowledge over the nearly 10 years of running my creative practice and I am eager to pass on the knowledge and help others by offering mentoring. When I graduated from art school in 2006 I had always wanted to go into teaching but I started my business and I didn’t go back into education.  My kickstarter campaign pushed me to finally start my own jewellery classes and I absolutely love teaching and spreading skills.

I feel there is light at the end of the tunnel as I start to allow myself to become an artist again. I will surround myself with positive people, make time to play, participate in other creative classes which will encourage experimentation and expand my own knowledge. There’s still a lot to come from Genna Design as I reach my 10 year anniversary in October I will reflect on what I have achieved so far.

Watch this space for exciting things to come…


Can't thank you enough it was exactly as we asked for and a lot more x better start saving for the Eternity ring you're going to be making next for June .... a very happy couple xx


My family bought me a voucher for a 1:1 workshop to make a silver ring for my Birthday. Genna's workshops are informative in the process of jewellery making and good fun. Genna has a lovely teaching style.

Best of all you go home with a beautiful ring you made.

I would definitely do another workshop and if I could give Genna 10 stars I would. Thank you.


Picked up my Wedding Ring today and words can't describe how happy I am. It looks amazing. Few wee (happy) tears on the way home. Thank you so much. p.s. thank you from my "Mum" too xxx


Genna design recently carried out a repair on my wife's engagement ring. I could not fault Genna's workmanship and the cost of the repair was very competitive. I would not hesitate to return in the future.


I had a fantastic time on Saturday, thanks Genna for being patient. Love my ring. Robert asked what I was making next so I might be back. Thanks once again for a great day x


Had a lovely day with Genna making our wedding rings! What a great touch to add to our special day! Would definitely recommend her to anyone looking to make their wedding rings, more than just a ring!

Stephanie 2018

Genna created my engagement and wedding ring and they are absolutely beyond perfect! She really took her time at the initial consultation and went over all of the tiniest details - when we got the pictures of the finished rings I was totally blown away - they were exactly what I had pictured in my head, if not better!!


Genna, it was lovely to meet you last evening and I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for the beautiful necklace. It is truly gorgeous. What a talent you have. I've not taken it off since last Thursday! I was even wearing it for Crufts all weekend!

Keep following your dream!

Jenny Campbell 2018

Really enjoyable and educational day, we both had loads of fun. Would recommend to anyone looking to make there own personalised ring

Gordon & Gill

As Alison and Ron’s neighbours we have witnessed first hand this special and devoted love and the beautiful commission pieces you made reflect beautifully their enduring love . Alison wears them with humble pride.


Today my mother enjoyed her Christmas treat from us – a four hour ring making class with jeweller Genna Delaney. She totally loved it and has made a wonderful ring. She reckons Genna is a natural teacher. As a former head teacher she’s good at spotting such talents. If you want to learn jewellery making then Genna is the person to see!

Prof Mike Press

Whoah this blog is fantastic. I love reading your posts. Keep up the good work! You know, a lot of people are searching around for this information, you can aid them greatly.


I'm over the moon with my ring! Thank you so much for creating such a beautiful piece which means so much to me. I absolutely love it.

Irene 2018

Thanks so much for the beautiful ring I bought yesterday!! Will be in touch about a commission a piece soon!!

Julia Wang, NY

Genna has lots of lovely jewellery to buy. The best things are bespoke though. She made me a few unique items using much loved heirlooms and updating them.

Bonnie Lee, TX