Tell us about your experience collaborating with the BRIT Awards to create a collection of custom nominee sculptures.
It was a wild ride, and I loved every minute of it. I spent hours watching the BRIT Awards as a teenager. It is such an iconic British establishment in the world of music and beyond. It was an opportunity I jumped at. Being nominated for a BRIT award is a massive deal and should be celebrated accordingly. They were really keen on creating something precious and super special to honor each nominee. That’s when we started talking about what the nomination award should be, and what it could look like. It got me thinking in wider terms about the objects we use to recognize achievements—medals, trophies, awards, etc.—and how I could play on those, but create a new idea.
What was your inspiration behind the design?
I created this design to sit within dystopia—a sort of Mad Max-inspired feel, almost as if it had been pulled together from whatever remained after a fall-out. It has hints of a punk and DIY elements, but I wanted the materials to feel beautiful to touch because it is something that you handle. I wanted it to have a certain weight to it, a feeling of value. So, the piece has elements of luxury balanced with dystopia. I was trying to create something between a sculpture, a handheld object, and a piece of jewelry. I wanted it to have a sensual and comforting feel when held in your hand. The size was chosen specifically to fit nicely in a palm.
Tell us about the creative process and development of these unique awards.
From the initial conversation with the team to the completion and delivery of the sculptures, development took over six weeks. It was a super intense pouring out all of that creativity. The design process itself was literally about 48 hours. It all came together so perfectly, which really doesn’t happen that often. It just flowed. Then we had to figure out how to make them. I hand-carved the sculpture in plaster for a couple of days. It was great to get down and dirty with this—something I hadn’t done in years. I actually wanted to be a sculptor and studied it in art school before discovering jewelry. Anyway, I had recently quired a whole box of ebony off-cuts that had been saved from the trash by a friend and I started playing around by making little stacks of them. These eventually became the stands for the sculptures—playing with the traditional materials used in creating trophies. The sculptures were then cast in bronze (another traditional material) by a foundry that makes art pieces. This was an amazing experience. Working on a scale much larger than we are used to was great to be a part of.
What is the significance for the Hannah Martin brand to design such a prestigious award?
Music has always been a driving force in my work, and in my life in general. It is a huge part of my identity. The brand has always been closely linked with musicians and the industry, so to be asked to work with the BRITs was hugely significant for us. It also just makes so much sense.
How has being a jewelry designer influenced your creative approach to designing the award?
I think being a jewelry designer has given me a real awareness of tactility and how something should feel when touched. I also wanted to make something that could actually become a piece of jewelry. I made it so that the sculpture was separate from its plinth. It came wrapped in a super cool neon rope that you could use to make it into a huge Beastie Boys style medallion. That was definitely the jewelry designer in me coming out.
What are some of your dreams and aspirations for the Hannah Martin brand? Are there any upcoming milestones or projects?
We’ve got some super exciting plans for 2022. It’s going to be a big year. Spending a lot of time in LA and developing our business in my favorite city is definitely one of the highlights. I have a couple of collaborations in the works—which are under wraps at the moment—but they will involve musicians and are going to be very cool. I’ve been working on a new element to the brand as well– a collection of piercing jewelry expected to launch in LA and London before the summer. I am massively excited about it.