Shalke is a Dutch born designer based in the UK. After traveling the world extensively as a model she came to the UK in 2000, which she now calls her home. Travel, nature and her own cultural upbringing have become the center of her imagination. Her thirst for knowledge and to explore different cultures like the native Americans or Maasai, just to name a few has been a great source of inspiration for her jewellery design. Her fashion background has given her the insight to create jewellery that is current, fun, wearable and long lasting. Being self-taught as a designer she was keen to expand her technical expertise and therefore started to take courses at Camberwell college of Art and at Flux Studios in Camberwell.
Her jewellery represents simplicity; it is meaningful, luxurious and very wearable. She uses semi precious stones, sterling silver, Gold-filled findings, leathers and other precious materials in her designs.
How did you get into fashion?
I was scouted as an 18 year old in Paris whilst I was on a school trip.That was my introduction to Fashion.
How did you come to start your own line?
I started years later after I had done lots of traveling for work and started collecting crystals, semi precious stones and feathers on my journeys.First the interest of the metaphysical properties of stones have caught my attention and the love for nature, naturally drew me to exploring to creating pieces that I could wear and were meaningful. I then had friends, family and collegues show interest and it developed from there.
Tell us about your collections
I would say my collections have a connection to symbolism, My current Lotus Love collection as an example represents new beginnings, blossom no matter where you are or are at in your life. It is a little reminder that you can always shine.
I feel that it is important to have a positive feeling and hope to get that across in my jewellery. So whether it is the meaning of the stones a symbol or an affirmation, nature it is all connected. My lotus love collection comes in sterling silver,9krt gold on request and vermeil(sterling silver that is gold plated)
I have the more dainty pendant and studs and the larger still delicate feminine but statement pieces. My pieces are handmade and hand finished in London UK.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I would say visually my pieces are delicate feminine, However there is an personal aspect to the jewellery what draws people to the pieces and that is the meaning of the pieces it is that personal aspect that I would say comes back to me from people when I ask them what draws them to it.
How much does travel influence your designs?
Yes travel is essential but it has changed a bit as before I felt I had to travel to get inspired, Now my travel means looking outside of myself and seeing what surrounds me living in London you can look around you and be and feel inspired by so many cultures just by walking in town. For nature yes nothing beats walking on a beach looking for shells seeing amazing flowers animals water and sunsets. Yeahh the depth of creating and the heart does come from connecting to that for me. So a bit of both.
Is there any place in the world you haven’t been to yet but would like to visit from a professional perspective?
I would love to go to Peru for so many reasons and part of that for the jewellery. When you create all is connected and everything can become inspiration
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
OOh my personal fashion style varies in the seasons. I would say in summer a more bohemian look and in the colder months fitted suit jackets jeans boots so more classic.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
Travel, Nature, symbolism, affirmations, yoga, stars, indiginious stories
Which phase is the most delicate in creating a piece of jewellery?
It is translating that what you have in your head into something tangible. Sometimes you have this idea that seems so simple and it can then be that the materials you need are a nightmare to get your hands on or are limited so you then have to re think what you want to do with your product.
Can you tell us an anecdote of your experience with clients that revealed itself to be a big lesson?
The anecdote would be as I mentioned before I created a piece earlier on and assumed that the stones I used would be available. After she bought her necklace she decided she wanted to have more of them to stock in a shop in Marbella. I went back to stock up on stones to find that the suppliers only has a couple of strands. Now fortunately the lady trusted me to create something similar but I could not offer her the exact thing. I have learned to make sure to be able to either make as much of what I need to use or to be clear what I offer without assuming materials will be there. A great learning curve. But it can still be tricky now and then.
What piece of advice would you give a young designer who just graduated from college?
oh that’s a tricky one but I would say keep with what you love a lot of jewellery has possible be done one way or the other but what you make is made by you so has your vibe on it. Try to make your style visible which is like your type of design your story. Social media is huge now and there is a market out there for you it is a big world. And yes value yourself the most difficult thing for creative is putting a price on it.
What is elegance according to you?
Elegance is Cate Blancett. Elegance is shining your beauty from within. Elegance is caring for your self that is how you will carry yourself in life too
What’s next for you professionally?
Magazine exposure is the focus a couple of lovely shops to retail in in different countries. Some of this is happening as we speak and to link to some amazing causes, which will be connected to my yearly collection for inspiration, and to be inspired which will take me all over the world. Hope fully real soon.
To find out more about the brand please visit: Shalke Jewellery