As well as being an established jeweller working in a variety of media Hayley Kruger teaches a wide range of classes at London Jewellery School – and has recently been highlighted as an inspirational maker by Triumph Lingerie and Stylist magazine.
How did you get into jewellery?
I have always dabbled in making and creating things from dolls clothes, my clothes, art and of course jewellery. I even used to make beads and components from the clay soil that our house was built on.
However I assumed that I would work in fashion, but it was once I had done a short course in silversmithing that I found my true calling.
I loved and love the elemental feel of connecting with and working with metals and materials that come from nature. And so from there I decided to do a BA in jewellery and silversmithing.
Has jewellery been your only career?
No, prior to this I worked as a visual merchandiser in South Africa and I have to admit that I have done my time doing many odd jobs too: bar work, retail, fruit picking and working in chicken sheds and landscaping.
Yes you did read right – I worked in a Kibbutz in Israel mostly doing farm labour and then I went on to work for a garden landscaping company. I am proud to say that I laid the irrigation pipes that water the palms at the country’s main airport.
What is your favourite type of jewellery/technique?
I am a bit of an all-rounder really, as I have worked with a wide variety of mixed materials. From costume, silver and suede to pearls and gold. But I have recently fallen back in love with stone setting and I have a few projects in mind that I can’t wait to start working on.
Tell us about your own work and where we can see it. And what famous people have worn it?
My collections have mostly incorporated colourful suede, whether it be in my bold statement costume pieces or my more commercial medallion range. I have found that the tactile vibrancy of suede helps to portray the influences behind my designs.
At the moment I am selling on my own website (although it is currently being updated), In several boutiques here, in France and the USA. And my pieces have been seen in music videos for Russo, Ayah Marar and JLS and been featured in publications such as Stylist magazine, Vogue online, The Telegraph, Pride magazine and US online editorial accessoriesmagazine.com
Where do you get your inspiration?
The inspiration behind my jewellery stems from gowning up in Southern Africa through to establishing my life in London. It encompasses the vibrancy of the regions that I have lived in and the strong personalities who have influenced my life.
But my first love of jewellery came from visiting the traditional craft markets in South Africa where the ladies used to make the most striking jewellery from hundreds of small beads, woven grasses and woven, brightly coloured telephone cables.
You recently featured in an article about inspirational women makers in Stylist magazine as part of Triumph’s competition for women makers. How did that come about?
This has been a wonderful campaign where I was recommended as a maker. Subsequently I was able to recommend another designer in a different discipline, who’s work I admire, so she could do the same. It was a wonderful example of how makers and designers can support and compliment each other in this challenging industry.
If budget was unlimited what piece of jewellery would you make or even buy?
With my rekindled love of stone setting I would have to seek out some stunning and brighly coloured stones. I would love to get my hands on some rather large tanzenites and green tourmalines. Why: because of their rich colours.
And finally… what is your favourite biscuit?
All of them! That’s the problem
Are you making any new year’s resolutions?
There are different types you could make and many of them are more fun than losing weight or giving something up. We’ve been thinking about the different sorts of resolution you could make.
Why not do something new this year or set yourself a goal that’s a little outside your comfort zone.
It could be overcoming a fear of water through canoeing or entering a marathon because you’ve said you would one day.
Or in jewellery terms it could be trying out a new technique. If you are beader why not have a go at Perspex this year or if silver is your focus take the time to felt or work in polymer clay this year. You could even try a contrast to traditional jewellery by learning other accessory techniques such as knitting or millinery.
It can be very hard to carve out a little me time in this busy world, so a great resolution is to give yourself a little treat every now and then. It could be as little as a new lipstick or earrings each month, setting aside a regular allowance of bead shopping or you could decide to give yourself an evening a month to try out different techniques by booking up for some taster classes.
The life change
May be this is the year you really make a big change – and I don’t mean a haircut or finally shedding that half stone.
Is 2014 when you change job or take a sabbatical to travel the full length of the trans-Siberian railway or help conserve wildlife in Borneo?
Perhaps it is time for a complete career change. And if that means a step towards a creative job you could start with one day-a-week on one of the LJS jewellery diploma programmes.
The serious one
If you run your own business, it is the time to set some goals for the next year such as sales targets, cash flow plans or deciding what events to take stands at next year. If you run or plan to launch your own business we can help with your planning through web skills, business courses and the Business Bootcamp.
And whatever your new year plans, we wish you a prosperous and happy 2014.