Frequently Asked Questions
What happened to Hellkat Designs?
When I began Hellkat Designs (HKD) many years ago, it was primarily a blog to share all the different crafty things I made - ceramics, jewellery, eco-printing. I was regularly exhibiting quite different work in galleries at the time, and thought it best to keep my craft separate from my art, photography and design.
HKD treated me so well - without it I never would have started participating in local markets, pursued a career as a maker and had access to many amazing opportunities such as my residency at Billilla Studios. It gave me space and time to try new things, make connections in the local creative scene and build up a practice.
My creative career has many facets - artist, ceramicist, photographer, designer, curator, producer - and now all these aspects are united under one umbrella: Kristen Halkett.
Can I eat off your ceramics?
Yes! All ceramics are fired twice to a high temperature and (if glazed) only use food-safe glazes. They are also all dishwasher, oven and microwave safe - though please take out the string of any embroidered ceramics first!
Ceramic jewellery seems a bit fragile...
It's tougher than you think! I've been wearing my porcelain bangles in particular for well over 5 years now. If looked after well, ceramic jewellery - like ceramics in general - will last a very long time. If china plates can handle knives and forks and kitchen sinks, ceramic jewellery can handle a few bumps! A simple rule of thumb is - don't put on or take off ceramic jewellery while standing over concrete or tiles....no sense in tempting fate.
How do I clean porcelain?
I personally prefer to wear unglazed porcelain jewellery as I like the matte effect and texture. If your piece of unglazed porcelain becomes slightly dirty (make-up is particularly guilty of this), it's luckily very easy to clean. Much like the dishes in your kitchen, porcelain jewellery can be cleaned with a bit of detergent, water and a gentle scrub! Old toothbrushes are perfect for this use.
What metal do you use in your jewellery?
Wherever possible, I use Stirling Silver on all my findings (studs, crimps, hoops etc.). Occasionally studs will have a stainless steel backing which some people prefer to wear. I do not use nickle findings due to allergy concerns. Please check the product listing for more specific information.
My cat/dog/child/minion found one of your pieces and now it's broken. Can it be fixed?
Oh no! Send me an email with a picture, I might be able to give you some tips and tricks on how to go ahead.
Where can I buy your work in person?
How did you do X/Y/Z?
The majority of my practice is through experimentation and exploration of materials. I strongly believe in learning by doing - have a go, watch some YouTube tutorials, follow a blog how-to or book in to a workshop with a local maker. You never know where your new-found skills will take you!
What is your favourite medium?
While I do use many different mediums, painting and ceramics are the ones I hold closest to my heart, and keep me engaged the longest.
I'm seeing a lot of cats on your site...
Yes. CatLady and proud.
Cats are great and all, but I'm a dog person. Can you make me a dog plate/brooch/painting?
Unfortunately I never quite worked out how to draw dogs. Or horses for that matter. Every time I've tried in the past they always turned out looking like lambs to me! Luckily there are a lot of cat lovers out there so I'm not too fussed about it.
How do I look after [insert material here]?