Meet Our New Guest Designer Kirsty Halsey
You may have seen a new face on the TV recently! We have had a new Guest Designer joining the JewelleryMaker family. Her name is Kirsty Halsey and we’re incredibly excited to introduce her to you. So, you can all get to know Kirsty a little better, we grabbed her for a quick Q&A.
Q&A With Kirsty
Hey Kirsty, welcome to the JM Family! Can you give us a little info on who you are and a bit of your history in jewellery making?
Hey! I'm Kirsty, a self-taught metalsmith based in Essex. I started making jewellery back in 2004, when my occupational therapist for ME recommended I take up a therapeutic hobby to help me cope. I started out with stringing gemstones, then some wirework, then hand stamping and now metalsmithing.
What first piqued your interest in jewellery making?
I've collected gems and shells since I was little, so as soon as a therapeutic hobby was mentioned, I wanted to do something that allowed me to use gemstones. Jewellery making was the obvious path!
How long have you been in the jewellery industry?
I've been making jewellery since 2004, so 17 years now, it's gone by so fast!
What is your main point of interest in the jewellery industry now?
I now focus on metalsmith, working with sterling silver, as there are so many options available to create with silver. I also love that I can reduce any waste and recycle it to use again.
What is your favourite piece of jewellery in your personal collection?
My brother bought me a silver cat ring from Canada from Christmas a few years ago, and I wear it all the time, I'm cat obsessed!
What is your favourite piece of jewellery you’ve ever made? Pics please!
My favourite piece is usually the piece I've just finished making! But I absolutely love my lapis lazuli moon ring, as I got to use a few different techniques and it was the first stone I'd set that was an unusual shape!
What’s your least favourite thing to make?
I don't have a particular piece that I don't like to make, but I prefer to make my pieces in smaller batches, as large batches aren't as much fun, I like to mix it up a bit.
What have you got planned for your upcoming shows on JewelleryMaker?
I'm hoping to introduce some disc cutters for cutting sheet metal, and a rolling mill from Durston too! I have a mill myself (called Dudley!) and there are so many things you can do with them, they're great pieces of kit!
Are you excited to be one of our new guest designers?
I'm really excited to be one of your new guest designers! It'll be so exciting to be behind that famous desk and getting to chat jewellery!!
How did you get involved with JM?
I actually became one of the JM brand ambassadors last year and made some pieces for Jewellery Makers Instagram. From there, the TV team picked me up through Instagram, it was a bit of a shock, and I didn't believe it was real to begin with!
If you could go back in time, which gemstone do you wish you discovered?
If I could go back in time, I'd love to be the person who discovered Tanzanite! It's in such short supply and so beautiful, I could stockpile my own secret supply of tanzanite to use!
So, you’re still in the past… what piece of jewellery do you wish you were the first to ever wear?
(e.g. necklace, earrings, bracelet, etc).I would love to have been the first person to wear rings! I love rings, and I feel lost if I leave the house without mine!
We have a lot of animal themed makes on JewelleryMaker – If you were an animal, which would you be and why?
I'd have to be a cat! I love cats and I have grown up with them! I love all animals, but cats have such great personalities, they get to do what they want all day, and sleep for 16 hours!
Where can we follow your future adventures?
You can follow me on my Instagram account - @littleblackcatjewellery and you can find me on Facebook – The Little Black Cat