Jane Heng Jewellery

I came across Jane Heng’s beautiful debut jewellery range on instagram a few years ago. Jane Heng Jewellery is an evolving collection of dainty gold pieces designed in Melbourne. Her pieces are individually hand-crafted by talented artisans using the finest gold and semi-precious gemstones in Cambodia. They are inspired by the hand craft culture of her Cambodian heritage and her nomadic stints around the world. Not only are her pieces incredibly beautiful but they are so wearable and comfortable!

Jane asked me to photograph her new range for the lookbook and I was happy to help out. I had so much fun working with Jane and the stunning Steph (model). Below is a selection of images from the photoshoot. Check out the complete lookbook here. I chatted to Jane about how she got involved with designing jewellery and all the things that inspire her creative process. Enjoy!

How would you describe/explain what you do? I’m a jewellery designer based in Melbourne. My first collection of delicate gold rings are designed to be worn and layered for the everyday. I’m so privileged to work with highly skilled goldsmiths in Cambodia who individually handcraft each piece.

What is your favourite colour or colour combo? For jewellery, I currently love black with rose gold or deep blue green emerald with rose gold. They are both very striking combinations.

Your favourite cafe and or bar in Melbourne? I was brought up in the West and I’ve never really left! Common Galaxia in Seddon has great food and coffee. Candied Bakery in Spotswood for sweet treats. And a recent discovery is the hidden Alice Nivens Cafe in the city. Best iced soy chai!

What shop/store in Melbourne inspires you? I love shops that have a curated selection of art and unique gifts. Mr. Kitly, Third Drawer Down and before it had closed it’s doors, Dagmar Rousette on Gertrude Street. I also enjoy popping into Casa Verde Flowers in North Melbourne. The ladies there have a knack for creating really beautiful posies from seasonal flowers. For fashion I like browsing the wares at Incu, Somebuddy Loves you and Monk House.

Who is your favourite local creative and why? There are soooo many in Melbourne. We’re lucky to live in a city that fosters the creative community. I’m always in awe with anything that MISO does. Her work, always done by hand, range from large scale street art, delicate artworks using pin pricks and her homemade tattoos. Her work is so beautiful and considered. There’s some really amazing local fashion labels such as Kathryn Beker, ffixxed, Kinoak, Dress Up, Kuwaii…there’s so many more. They are all very different in regards to their designs but what I admire is the intriguing stories and inspirations behind each collection.

Tell us about your background – what path lead you to what you are doing today? To my parents dismay who wanted me to become either a lawyer or doctor, I had always known that I would be doing something creative. For as long as I can remember, I had always loved drawing and making things with my hands. I gravitated to the art and graphics subjects at school and it was a natural progression into fashion design.

After graduating from fashion design at RMIT, I moved to Sydney to intern with Akira Isogawa. It was here that I learnt a lot about prints, textures, colours and production. After a few years working in various design and production roles, I wanted to explore the world. I had always wanted to volunteer in Cambodia which is what I did!

Moving to live and work in Phnom Penh was a big turning point for me. I had the privilege of working with co-ops and social enterprises who were all doing amazing work to provide vocational training and support for vulnerable women. It opened my eyes to the talented artisans who worked in the areas of silk weaving, pottery and jewellery. Since then I knew I wanted to start a label that would help to provide a sustainable income for the makers I had met who often found it difficult to get enough work to support their families.

So here I am today, having just started my jewellery label, I hope customers love my designs and discover the story behind the label.

When was the moment you decided to start designing jewellery? When I lived in Cambodia, I discovered the brilliance of semi-precious gemstones sourced from the mountains of Cambodia. At the time, I was already designing things I needed such as clothes and shoes and so it wasn’t a big jump for me to start designing jewellery pieces for myself. My friends started asking me about my designs which gave me the idea to start a jewellery label.

Where do you source inspiration for what you do? I think inspiration can be taken from anywhere! For my first collection, I wanted to design delicate simple rings with intricate detail which can be worn everyday. I played around with the classic forms of the dot and the heart. To me these two shapes represent kinship. A word that I think perfectly describes this collection.

Photography: Alexsia Heller & Sharnay Sherratt
Styling: Alexsia Heller & Sharnay Sherratt
Model: Stephanie Philip from WINK Models
Jewellery: Jane Heng Jewellery

Jane Heng Designs
Website: janeheng.com
Facebook: facebook.com/janehengdesigns
Instagram: instagram.com/janehengdesigns/