Halina Mutinta Jewellery | The official blog for Things&Ink

26-year-old Halina Mutinta Hamalambo is a silversmith and a part time photo re-toucher at a photography studio based in Brighton. We caught up with Halina to find out more about the jewellery she creates, what inspires her and of course her growing collection of tattoos…

How long have you been making jewellery? I’ve been making jewellery for around two years now, and I started my first jewellery class in early 2016.

How did you get into making jewellery? I was actually doing a photography degree at the time I got into making jewellery. I was interested in finding a creative hobby alongside my photography degree (said no student, ever) and jewellery making/silversmithing seemed to appeal. So I enrolled on an evening jewellery making class in Brighton. Armed with my new skills and knowledge I’d picked up at my classes, I started looking for work in silversmithing, that’s when I began working once a week for Freddie Grove in London.

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What did you do before? I dropped out of college and became a dental nurse at 16 – I did this for around six years. Dental nursing was a huge part of my life at the time and I genuinely thought that was it; that was what I’d be doing forever! After years of working in a medical profession I figured that a dental nursing career wasn’t my calling, I felt there was something more creative within me and I wanted to explore this in my day-to-day work. That’s when I started studying photography at Brighton University. I never studied jewellery at university, only photography – they both amalgamate pretty well though, which is a bonus!

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What inspires your designs? A lot of things inspire me to create my designs, my background is pretty diverse – I’m half Polish, half Zambian and I was born in Sweden; so I’m fortunate enough to visit some amazing places. Nature, animals, insects, books, art, anatomy, tattoos, textures and patterns are just a few things that inspire me. Oh and my mum! She always wore heavy, chunky silver and large stones around her neck and hanging from her ears. Since I was a kid my mum has always passed her jewellery she’d outgrown down to me, which I’ve been collecting for years.

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How would you describe your process? My process usually starts from sketches, I’ll then figure out the materials I would like to work with (mainly silver) and then I begin making. Some of my designs are created in wax and then cast in to silver or gold; this is so I can reuse particular designs. Initial ideas don’t always work out so it can be challenging, yet it’s fun and rewarding. Silver can easily be recycled too; I can melt it down and forge it, which is great – no waste.

What is your work station/room like? I love my little workstation, it’s usually pretty tidy with MOST things in order – it’s quite literally the opposite at home though! I’ve gained so many great tools too, my boyfriend’s mum used to make jewellery so she’s handed down loads of her cool tools and stones from around 30 years ago. I never thought I would I enjoy tool collecting so much!

Can you tell us about your tattoos? I’ve been collecting tattoos for a while now, I have some that are pretty shitty but they mean a lot and a load that are personally meaningless yet the coolest designs. My most recent tattoo was an anvil made by Adam Sage.

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Do your tattoos influence your designs? In some ways yes, they definitely do. A lot of my friends are also tattooed and my boyfriend, Jack Thomas Newton is a tattooist so there’s always a load of inspiration around me – especially in our home. Jack influences me a lot creatively. My next tattoo will be a Rangoli, so I reckon some of my next designs may be inspired by Asian art and culture.

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How do tattoos make you feel? Tattoos make me feel good and I’m sure this goes for most people that have some! I think it’s amazing that we can wear a piece of art – even if that is something meaningful, decorative or even just silly.

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