An interview with jewellery designer Hayley Kruger
The Upcoming caught up with Hayley Kruger, jewellery designer. She was kind enough to answer our questions.
Seduction is not just a game of striking make-up or killer high heels. It’s something much more, what does seduction mean for you?
What images have you hung up your SS12 mood board?
As this collection was designed in the winter, I was yearning for a warm and tropical summer holiday, which made me remember dancing my youth away in the 80s to Wham’s Club Tropicana and Duran Duran’s Rio. It was the videos to these that set the tone for my mood board. High glamour and women who exude a strong sense of self confidence, so images on the mood board included sexy women in high cut swimwear, dynamic make-up and tropical colours.
Which female icons have inspired you?
What materials have you used?
As I predominantly design costume jewellery, I use chunky chains and components plated in gold, gunmetal and most recently rose gold. However, my trademark material is suede that gives my pieces a tactile and luxurious quality.
What is the piece you’re more connected emotionally with and why?
I feel like I am connected to every single piece. They are like my babies as I have spent so much time nurturing them.
However, some of the very first pieces that I designed at University, such as some striking headpieces, were the benchmark for where I am now, so even though the pieces aren’t as well finished I still love them.
Also, the black-fringed Talis necklace was a breakthrough for me, and defined the direction I now take as a designer.
Can you define the collection in three words?
Some jewellery designers are focused on combining contemporary design with tradition and craftsmanship. Is this the same intention with your creations? And what does tradition mean to you?
Without even realising it, all designs, in particular jewellery, are full of tradition. We are still using skills and techniques today that were used by our distant ancestors. A trip to the V&A or British Museum will show you how sophisticated these ancestors were, and yet they did not have the tools or machinery that we have.
Also, the culture that I grew up with in Southern Africa, has subconsciously influenced my work. The bright colours and boldness of tribal jewellery and adornment have certainly made their mark on my pieces.
When do you feel satisfied with your creation?
There is no true answer for this, it just feels right. Sometimes I can spend too much time on a piece and overthink it, then it becomes too difficult and frustrating to complete, and I start to dislike it. If this doesn’t happen, it’s a keeper.
Regarding the future, what projects are you working on?
I am scaling pieces down for next summer, even though there will still be some large-scale pieces; I want to create a collection that is accessible to a wider range of wearers.
When did you realise that you were meant to be a jewellery designer?
Although I have always been creative, I only got into jewellery design and making at the age of 26.
I did a short course in beginner’s jewellery making. And sitting at the jewellers’ workbench with silver in hand, a saw and a hammer I knew I had found my calling.
Every step of this adventure has been challenging, so if I didn’t love it with a passion, I probably wouldn’t have stuck with it. This is because starting your own business means financial cutbacks, working long hours, and perseverance even when things aren’t going according to plan.
What’s your first thought in the morning and last at night?
I will answer this the other way around! Often when I go to bed I have been working late, and so my thoughts are fuzzy as is my eyesight. When I wake up, my head is clear, and any issues, problems or thoughts have often been resolved in those wonderfully precious sleeping hours.
I now know that sleep is as important to my craft and business as hard work; so good night and sleep tight!
Laura Di Vitorri
Find out about the SS12 collection here.