Featured Designer: Jen hall designs

FK talks to Jen Hall about her lovely Melbourne based jewellery label, jenhalldesigns

Can you tell us about your jewellery label and what we can expect to discover?
jenhalldesigns produces handmade photographic wooden jewellery. At the moment its all about blonde plywood and florals and foliage. Each piece is unique and easy to wear, as well as being a bit of fun.

What do you love about photography, and how does it interact with your work?
The ease of photography and the ability to capture instantaneously a snippet of colour or texture or pattern is the main reason that it sneaks so often into my work. I also find the idea of using the photographic medium in a decorative way kind of fun and unexpected. I chop up photographs and zoom in on little forgotten sections of the background. I like the idea of being able to wear a little piece of somewhere.

What is your background and how did you come about starting your own label?
I am originally from Scotland and moved here in 2003 hot on the trails of an Aussie boy. I studied textile design here in Melbourne, majoring in screenprinting and am currently in the 2nd year of a graphic design diploma. Somewhere in between the two I hope to find my perfect job!

I started making jewellery for myself a few years ago and it has grown gradually into a mini label with a manageable handful of lovely stockists. I basically make things that I really want to wear and I am completely self taught on the technical side of things. From a background and a love of textiles I never imagined I would end up making wooden jewellery but I love looking back through the jenhalldesigns back catalogue, its come a long way… Having my own label is an excellent creative outlet and the perfect part time job.

What keeps you motivated and what do you find the hardest about managing your own label?
Having stockists run out of stock is the best motivation to keep going! It is such a buzz to think of people out there wearing the things I have toiled over at my kitchen table with my hands and eyes. I always have a heap of new images and ideas to turn into jewellery, luckily I have structured the way I work to involve regular releases of new ranges so things are constantly evolving and keeping me interested. I love developing the ‘themes’ and packaging for each new range, its probably my favourite part of the process.

I do unfortunately thrive on a bit of last minute pressure so its hard to keep things just ticking over nicely and not succumb to panic late nights and suddenly looming deadlines. Working from home seems to go hand in hand with constant tea breaks, fridge raids and endless blog browsing, all very dangerous habits.

What do you love to do on your days off to get inspired?
jenhalldesigns is my part time job, and so it creeps into my ‘days off’ and keeps me nice and busy. Inspiration and imagebanks come mainly from travel, as I go home regularly to Scotland to visit family and usually manage to sneak in a detour or interesting budget stopover on the way. Collections of old dodgy postcards, wacky vintage fabrics and old colour encyclopedias are an excellent source of inspiration. I am a great believer in stuff, and surrounding yourself with interesting things. I love making clothes, drawing, a spot of amateur veggie growing and long walks with a camera. Melbourne is such a fun place to be, there is always something going on.

What are you looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to picking up a few more stockists this year, although I am happy working on a small scale and the freedom that this gives. More of the same please.


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