Today I am thrilled to introduce the incredible Susanna Hanl, designer/maker of precious metal and gemstone jewellery.
All of her pieces are one-offs in silver and gold, as well as bronze, copper and brass. Many of them are set with diamonds, pearls or unusual precious and semi precious stones.
I had a chat with Susanna to find out all about her fabulous designs…
Who are you, and what do you do?
“I am a jewellery designer/maker.”
“I haven’t had any training, evening classes or courses and have taught myself by reading books, trial and error and a lot of hit and miss. All my pieces are handmade and more or less one offs, I don’t cast , all pieces are made from scratch.”
When and why did you start your Company?
“I have always been creative and enjoy making things, originally I wanted to become a painter, I have made costumes for theatre productions and discovered making jewellery when I moved to Britain in 2001.”
“It’s not the sort of glamorous job people think it is, it’s dirty, physical and not without danger, I have the cuts, burns and bruises to prove it.”
“But it is a beautifully creative job that allows me to show various sides of my personality in different collections.”
What inspires you?
“I draw inspiration from almost anything, nature, architecture, art, conversations and the material I use, stones sometimes dictate a certain way of setting, but I love to experiment and also to see what happens if I let materials do their own thing“.
“Often commissions inspire, they can be challenging , which I love, or there is so little/much in a customer’s brief that a lot of designing/creating is involved, which then can lead to new inspirations.”
“Sometimes making mistakes creates something new and exciting too.”
Do trends influence your work?
“I try not to be influenced by trends, I don’t want my work to be flavour of the month.”
“Too many jump on the bandwagon when it comes to trends and swamp the market with samey products.”
“I’d love my work to be recogniseable, timeless and ageless, I try not to design for an age-group or type of customer, I think my style is very continental.”
“People should love wearing my pieces, even better if they mean a lot to them.”
What is your greatest achievement?
“I think my greatest achievement is to be where I am now.”
“I left my native Austria in 2001 to the shock and disbelieve of family and friends, gave up a well paid job and security, to start afresh in Britain.”
“I had no job, no connections, no help and it has been very hard, lonely and scary at times.”
“The jewellery business is a very comeptitive and tough one, and it has taken years of hard work, disappointment, despair and sleepless nights to get my work into galleries and shops.”
“Only now, slowly,Ii am getting somewhere. And what I do makes me happy, it doesn’t feel like work – I do what I love, so I feel very lucky in that respect.”
“Despite the suggestions of going more commercial and into mass-production, I have stuck to what I believe in: handmade (by me) one off pieces, that are as unique as the people who wear them and of as high a standard and quality as I can produce.”
My pieces might not be as perfect as some machine made ones, but they are made by a human being for human beings.
What do you see as the future of your Company?
“I hope the future will be a bit more of what I do now, a few more stockists, commission work, which I greatly enjoy.”
“More new designs and collections, I am constantly playing with new ideas, constantly learning and improving, and hopefully more people will love and buy my work.”
Thank you so much to Susanna for sharing her wonderfil gemstone jewellery.
I love how the weathered look of the metal adds such personality to the designs, its almost as if the blemishes add to their character.
From the delicate to bold statement pieces the textured look of the pieces breathes life into the jewellery scene with designs that truly stand out.
To Contact Susanna Hanl
Phone: 0131 261 9499 or 07904 292841