Graduating from Central Saint Martins, Jewellery designer Haya Lutfullah creates minimalistic but versatile designs using a unique and distinctive style. Haya was kind enough to do a Q&A with us, talking about her jewellery, what inspires her, and so much more.
What does jewellery signify for you?
I think it’s an extension of your personality. Everyone has a different aesthetic and style according to the type of jewellery they wear. It also has sentimental meaning, it’s almost like capturing a time frame. Look at jewellery that’s passed on from generation to generation, like engagement rings. It’s a way of capturing time.
What is your most treasured piece? Is there something personal that was passed to you?
Well, it hasn’t been passed on to me yet. It’s a choker that my grandmother gave my mum on her wedding day, and when the time comes it will be given to me. It’s a beautiful and timeless piece that dates back to 40 years ago. The idea of how this piece has travelled through the family is what makes it so special.
How did you get into designing jewellery? What made you think you wanted to become a jewellery designer?
Originally I wanted to become a painter and a sculptor but weirdly enough my A-level portfolio was on jewellery. When I was 6 or 7 years old, I made jewellery and sold it at fairs to raise money for charity, but I never thought I would pursue it as a career. After studying art, I realised that art was too broad for me and I needed something more specific, something that involved using my hands, because I think in 3D, so I think using my hands.
I love the fact that jewellery is multifaceted, It’s not just something pretty. With jewellery I’m able to create a connection between my art and the person wearing it, the whole experience is so cathartic. I never planned on becoming a jewellery designer, but Looking back, I can see I had stepping stones leading me directly to this field.
Let’s talk about the design process.
As I previously mentioned, it all starts with my hands. For example, my collection with Maravilo was based on music, so whilst listening to music I would just play around with copper and brass wire until the music stopped, then I would let the piece be just as it was. After that I would photograph it, look at it from different angles, and start sketching. From there I would turn those simple drawings into 3D using a 3D pen. Most of my work is like that, I don’t draw until the very end, it’s kind of a reversed process.
Can you describe your creations? Describe your jewellery style in two or three words.
Would it be cliche to say “unique?” I’ll go with “Art Jewellery.”
What is your earliest memory of jewellery?
My mum also loves jewellery, I remember I would always used to look through her jewellery box and go through her pieces. I would try it all on at once, secretly wishing that I could have it. I still do it to this day.
What inspires you?
A lot of things inspire me, but I think what inspires me most is music and art. I like the idea of taking other disciplines and turning them into jewellery. For example, taking music and transcribing that into jewellery or taking art and making that into jewellery. I find it fascinating, that interdisciplinary feel I get from breaking the boundaries between two different things.
Are there any particular artists that serve as a source of inspiration?
I don’t actually look at the jewellery industry for inspiration. For research I do, but not otherwise. I think If I see something that is even the slightest bit similar to mine, I won’t go on to make it. I wouldn’t want to feel that I’ve created something after looking at somebody else’s work. I look into music and art though, Coldplay and Caravaggio are two of my biggest inspirations.
What keeps you motivated? What keeps you going? What is your life motto?
Instead of a motto, I would say I have people who I look up to. My parents and sister are such strong people, and that inspires me. In terms of work, there are times where I’m like “I don’t know how to do this-maybe I’m not right for this”, but it’s just for those two seconds, then I go back to my work and forget those negative moments and know that I’m exactly where I should be.
At this point I have to ask, how do you feel about what Maravilo is doing?
Regarding the collaboration, I was blown alway with how Maravilo were able to capture the idea in my head and translate it into a design. My designs are not very straightforward, they’ve got a lot of curves and complicated features, so the fact that they were able to see my vision and bring it to life unaltered, is remarkable.
I would tell them to wear it and style it depending on their mood, that’s how I wear my jewellery. There are days where I literally want to bathe in jewellery, I pile on rings, bracelets, earrings, everything! On other days I wear pieces that I only wear occasionally. I think it’s all about your mood, go with how you are feeling.
What is your favourite part about being a designer?
It’s seeing your creations that once existed only in your mind come to life, it evokes such a strong and powerful feeling. You think to yourself “my goodness! That was in my head, and now I can see it and feel it!” But my favourite part has to be seeing other people wearing and enjoying my jewellery.