Momoko Hatano is a Japanese-Australian jewellery designer and artist. Drawing inspiration from all facets of her life, including her travels, nature, contemporary art and everyday objects, she designs and handcrafts each piece in her Sydney studio.
“Delicate and refined, Momoko’s jewellery also has a sculptural, valiant quality inspired by nature and her travels.”Nadine Bush Creative director
How did you get started?
I majored in painting and drawing at COFA inSydney, and although the media are different, my fine arts background still informs the way I approach my design concepts. After I completed my degree I was hired as a silversmith at Dinosaur Designs based on my drawing skills. The technical skills involved in drawing are similar to those of jewellery making – you need to be precise and patient. From then on I learned the various facets of jewellery design and manufacturing on the job.
Take us through your creative process.
Each design process is so different. One design might only take a day to realise; another, months. I even have designs I’ve been sitting on for years that I still haven’t figured out how to complete. An idea might pop into my head while I’m walking down the street (I walk everywhere) or watching a movie, while others can be a result of hours of labour in the studio. But once I have an idea, I’ll draw it, then make various prototypes, then edit, edit, edit until I'm happy with the final piece.
Each of your pieces is handmade. Do you have colleagues who work with you?
I am mostly a one-woman band. Almost all my pieces are made by me. However, during Christmas or when demands are high I have amazing jewellers that help me in my studio.
Many of your pieces can be worn in a variety of ways.
It’s a deliberate design decision. I try to incorporate versatility in my designs because I believe jewellery truly comes alive when it’s worn, so I want the wearer to have the freedom to choose and be playful with how they wear it.
Are there any pieces that you’re particularly proud or fond of?
The Hold Tight Hoop earrings and the Two Way Tangle earrings are definitely among my favourites and are on high rotation! I think they represent all the values that are meaningful to my brand and me as a designer. They are entirely handmade from Australian recycled silver, they’re timeless in their simplicity, yet possess an edginess. And they’re versatile – you can wear them in a minimalist or more embellished way.
You work almost exclusively with sterling silver. What is it about that medium that appeals to you?
I use predominantly sterling silver and gold because of their beauty and dynamic qualities. They can be shaped in any form, take on various textures, and look beautiful delicate or bold, rough or polished. Also, they can be melted down and reused over and over. Their potential is endless, so I never get bored.read less