Hannah Martin has become the first jewellery designer to be stocked by the prestigious Design Museum shop; an emporium known for inviting only the most exciting and contemporary designers to contribute their work. Renowned for the collectable quality of her monochrome jewellery, which fuses hard lines and materials with intricate, almost delicate details, Martin’s debut collection for the shop, which launched just last week, centres entirely on the shape of a triangle. From the iconic ‘Pyramid Ring’ to the ‘Shaman’ Triangle Bangle’, as well as a variety of other triangle inspired pieces, the designer has also created a series of celebratory limited edition letter openers. We spoke to Martin about how the project came about and her plans for the future…
Dazed Digital: How were you selected for the Design Museum shop?
Hannah Martin: We got an email earlier this year from Alice Marsh, the buyer for the store. She had spotted the jewellery somewhere and felt it would work well in the store. And things just went from there. The irony is, I actually worked for Alice many years ago in a Paperchase store near where I grew up in Bristol.
DD: What is it about triangles that appeals to you?
Hannah Martin: The Shaman’s Triangle series is the first series of Story V. This story is called ‘The Man Who Knows Everything, and was inspired by the infamous Comte St Germain – an alchemist, who allegedly had discovered the elixir of life. I was looking a lot at esoteric symbolism and masonry and the triangle shape just kept coming back to me. It is such a powerful symbol, and I love the geometry of it. I also enjoyed playing with the lines and skewing the shape. It just felt right for this collection of pieces. It has become a minor obsession of mine at the moment!
DD: And why did you decide to focus your collection solely on them?
Hannah Martin: Because this is the first series of the collection, we had to find a way to break it down into design stories – the triangle shape was a strong thread for this series so I launched with this. The next series in the collection moves away form the triangle, but sticks with a very strong, spherical and geometric theme: expect a take on a planets orbit, constellations and all in very night time colours. We will have one ring available from the new series only online at our store, called the ‘Solaris Supersize Ring’. It’s a hand carved shape and comes in sterling silver – it’s a really tactile shape.
DD: How do you see the brand developing?
Hannah Martin: We have spent much of the past year developing our online strategy, including launching a brand new site in the last few weeks. We are very much focused on this area at the moment, it feels completely right for us and we are keen to push the boundaries of traditional jewellery retail and communication. We are also developing new product lines – we have a collection of small leather goods that I have been working on this year launching in Spring 2012, which is a really exciting development for us.
DD: What appeals to you about jewellery design in general?
Hannah Martin: I went to St Martins with the idea that I wanted to become a fine art sculptor. I fell in love with jewellery as it satisfied my love of sculpture and creating things in 3D. But it also satisfied my need for functionality and interaction with the body. It also allows me to indulge in my enjoyment of the craftsmanship process.
With jewellery design, and the way that we present our collections, I am not tied to a seasonal product, which I would be with clothing. Creating a jewel is creating something that will last a lifetime, a future collectible that can be passed down the generations.
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