Hazel designs and handcrafts her jewellery in her studio in Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, using traditional gold and silversmithing techniques and sells all her work in the adjacent Gallery. She is the owner of the brand HP Jewellery.
Her jewellery offers a meaningful language between what she creates as a designer/maker and those who connect and engage with her work.
“Each new piece or collection I design becomes a part of me as I work through my ideas. I wear the original prototype. I like to feel how it is, how it sits on me and consider how someone else will value it over time, when it becomes a part of them. I always keep and cherish these initial pieces.”
Strong influences from her travels living and working in Africa and her home in the Scottish Highlands, are what inspire her designs and allude to her textured yet classic style.
“My time spent in Africa - Nigeria and Durban, had a great impact on my designs. The materials and textures of exquisite swathes of folded, patterned materials, with wonderful vibrant colours and beautifully, patterned wood carvings, along with the rugged landscapes of Scotland, have been very evocative inspirations for me from design concept to fruition.”
Throughout her collections and bespoke pieces Hazel incorporates diamonds, various gems, stones and pearls, encased within elegant classic structures.
“I am continually pushing the boundaries of working with precious metals. I love the mistakes which happen – the evolution of accidents determine another outcome cultivating another lesson in something different and new, forging a new dimension to my work.”
While studying for her degree in jewellery and metalwork she opted to do an elective in ceramics where she was introduced to porcelain.
Her love of porcelain has continued, experimenting with some previous, original ideas and developing these further, combining it with pure silver and gold to be able to introduce one-off larger, sculptural pieces.
“Working at college with this wonderful material helped stretch my design capabilities and creativity. At the time I was also experimenting with PMC (precious metal clay in pure silver and gold) in the metal department. Porcelain and PMC looked very similar in their raw state but very different in the scale and amount of product used in each case. Using such varying scales of material was intriguing! Forming larger scaled objects encouraged me to express myself more freely and this helped me communicate my jewellery ideas with greater intimacy."
“It's important for me to create a balance in the jewellery I design. Although I love texture, for me there's a fine line between too much and maybe not enough! To maintain a satisfying contrast I develop the design to incorporate highly polished sections of gold and silver, to create a balance and harmony in the composition of textured layers, precious stones and pearls. I strive to create jewellery which is eloquent and evocative, bringing an elegant edge to my tactile designs and aim to strike an equilibrium with comfort and style."
“Ultimately, it’s the wearer who brings my jewellery to life and begins its journey and who gives it a new dimension to develop and grow. I don't want you to leave your jewellery in a box or put it in a drawer and only take it out for 'special occasions' – wear it – let it wear with you. Let it change with your way of life and be etched by the things you do and places you go. Let it travel in your world and be a part of you. Bring it to life once I’ve made it. It will flourish into something far more meaningful and symbolic with time. For whatever notion you chose it, it will evolve from all those sentimental, emotional or whimsical reasons into another dimension of you as a unique individual. Then the connection is made, the intimacy between the maker and you."
"I studied in Glasgow, Dundee and Canada and completed a BA Hons Degree in design, specialising in jewellery and metalwork, in 2001. I also attended various trade fairs and exhibited in London at the Barbican, Mall Galleries, 'One Year On' and New Designers' Exhibitions. In 2005 I was invited by the American Embassy to exhibit my work at the 31st G8 Summit in Gleneagles. In February 2008 I was presented with the 'Highland Business Woman of the Year Award".
Three years ago Hazel moved into a building, in the Old Town in Inverness, which houses Two/8 Studios and brings together an exciting mix of businesses.
"It’s a great space to share with other like-minded people all working hard in their own careers, all sharing ideas and helping each other when we can. It's invaluable and inspiring to me and I look forward to going into the studio every day".😊