Handcrafted jewellery; beautiful semi-precious stones; elements of earths hidden treasures suited to any age, mood or occassion, this is what is captured by Black Betty. Fascinated with the lines and especially with the use of stones (which I’m currently obsessed with), I complied a little Q&A with the designer, Kristin Weixelbaumer, to get to know more about her design process and her creations.
1. Hi Kristin, tell us about yourself and how you started your label?
Black Betty began in 2012 when I set out to combine my 10 years of experience in the design world with my passion for stones and their magical powers.
I’ve always been driven by my passions for design, travel, and mysticism, and it all reached a logical conclusion in northern India, encountering the centuries-old tradition of gem craftsmanship. At the intersection of cultural, spiritual and geological fascination, a calling rang out and my first range, KOLA, was born.
2. What were your aspirations growing up?
I was brought up in an entrepreneurial, design oriented family – my father, an architect and mother an interior designer so working for myself in the creative world was always the goal
3. What drew you to jewellery, and more specifically, stones?
My explorations in my mother’s jewellery box began at a young age. I could lose myself for hours in this treasure chest but it was only after studying stones and their properties which opened up my path to jewellery design
4. What materials and techniques do you favour?
Handcraftsmanship is the cornerstone of our creative process, and we value the essence of humanity inherent in imperfection. Mainstream jewelry has become all about symmetry, flawlessness and a misconstrued obsession with perfection. I am inspired by natural beauty found in simplicity, imperfection and the mysterious. Trying to understand the intimacy and complex relationship between beauty and imperfection and the importance of preserving and presenting it in its natural state.
5. What inspired your current collection? COSMOS
COSMOS is launching in April. It is a state of mind; an expression of unlimited freedom and endless possibilities. These ultra-feminine pieces are not only elegant adornments, they are the glimmering celestial bodies in your own personal universe. The appeal of this range is derived from its lively geometric design, and the subtle lustre of colorful gemstones set in gold plated silver. The COSMOS collection contrasts the design principles of minimalism with philosophical notions of the infinite. Each handcrafted piece is as unknowably complex as the cosmos, yet as beautifully simple as gazing at the night sky.
6. What is your favorite piece you’ve ever created – and what made it so special?
When looking at Black Betty’s ranges I will have to say the The Topaz Studded Cross Earrings from the COSMOS range which is launching in April. It makes for a stong but delicate, graphic piece with a line of sparkles to draw onlooker’s attention
7. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
This might sound a little weird but the symbiosis between natural elements (mountains, forests, skies, seas etc…) and the human experience (exploring new cities, cultures, coffee shops, people, graphic design and fonts) & getting out of my comfort zone.
8. What is your favorite stone to work with?
I’m a sucker for black (surprise surprise 😉 so black spinel, onyx & diamond – you can not get sexier then black & gold.
Thanks Kristin for the interview!
Here are a few of my favourite pieces I spotted on the Black Betty Website
The Black Angle Ring – R780.00 available here
The Stoned Ring – R775.00 available here
The Flat Stoned Ring – Rose Quartz – R450.00 available here
The Golden African Necklace – R640.00 available here
The Five Stone Bracelet – R730.00 available here
The Opal Necklace – R890.00 available here
Gorgeous right? Which piece is your favourite?