There’s a magic that spills from every HLSK piece, an essence that transcends just their ethereal quality… an evident touch of time, love and appreciation – every detail carefully considered, each element handcrafted with the utmost quality materials and jewels into designs on par with the modern woman’s values.
And it’s these values that are synonymous with designer Hannah Stewart’s philosophies and practices; sourcing gemstones from age-old merchants, retailing at practical price points, lovingly handcrafting each jewel in her Melbourne studio, working alongside a small team of artisans, and her master jeweller – her father. So when invited to step into her world an take an up-close look at the making of a HLSK piece, we were in awe of the magic we found…
You’ve grown up with jewelry playing an inherent part of your father’s craft, how did that influence you from a young age and lead you to create your own label?
Jewelry definitely is second nature to me as I’ve grown up around it my whole life. I didn’t quite appreciate it as much when I was younger but as I got older, at 18 years of age, things changed and I started to take a big interest in it. I began working for my father as an apprentice jeweller shortly after. He is an incredible teacher and has worked in the jewelry industry for over 45 years. This wealth of knowledge of the trade has allowed me to develop my skills with the upmost respect for quality and craftsmanship. My father now works for me as the master jeweller at HLSK, and oversees all aspects of production.
“It’s important to me that when selecting gemstones that not only are they high quality, they must have a realistic price point.”
You use some intriguing colored gemstones for your Engagement rings, what inspires you when sourcing and designing these?
One of the best parts of designing something is choosing the stone. I’m really drawn to certain colors and cuts, so personal taste is a big influence when I create my collections. It’s also important to me that when selecting gemstones that not only are they high quality, they must have a realistic price point. There are some stunning stones that are out of this world but so is the price! To me it’s all about the customer experience and ensuring they get an amazing design that’s also price-conscious.
“I have used the same diamond
and gemstone merchants since I
started HLSK 7 years ago, so there
is an exceptional level of
trust and assurance.”
All HLSK pieces are made here in your studio in Melbourne, talk us through a bit about the artisans you work with and the techniques and processes they’re using to create a HLSK piece?
We use the classic technique of lost wax casting and cast 3-4 days a week. From there we grind, polish and set them. Each jeweller at HLSK has a work bench with their preferred tools, mine is a BenchMate that I use to set most diamond pieces daily. Making jewelry is a long and sometimes challenging process but I’m really proud to say that each item is handcrafted in-house and we don’t outsource.
It’s so important for consumers now to know where and how their diamonds and gemstones are mined, how do you keep track of this when sourcing and remain transparent with your customers?
All of our gemstones and diamonds are sourced directly from miners themselves and trusted local suppliers. In particular small family run businesses, who also follow strict ethical and sustainable guidelines like us. I have used the same diamond and gemstone merchants since I started my company 7 years ago so there is an exceptional level of trust and assurance. I visit my suppliers at least 1-2 times per year at a minimum and make sure all of their practices and certificates are of an exceptional standard and up to date.
We’re also constantly updating our website with information on our materials which is a great way to educate our clients on something they may not have known.
On my travels I love uploading stories for our customers. I think it is amazing that I have the opportunity to take them behind the processes in the diamond industry and who we work with, where as 10 years ago this wasn’t happening.
So, what’s next for HLSK?
We’re so excited to be having several pop-up stores in Sydney, Los Angeles and New York in 2020, and introducing a bespoke service for some more amazing clients.
For details on upcoming pop-up stores, to book a consultation or shop the engagement collection, visit HLSK.
Photography by Chloe May.
Find our handpicked edit of Photographers from around the world on the Directory.