As part of our series, The Circle, we will be linking with and introducing brilliant women and their crafts. First up is the beautiful Zaza de la Hey, owner and artisan of Four Ones, a jewellery collection based in London. Zaza’s pieces are all individually hand crafted, with all of her beautiful energy infusing itself into each piece. One of our first jewellery collections, we are so lucky to be connected with this incredibly talented woman and are so, so happy to introduce her as the first volume of this series.
What do you love about your craft?
I really do put a lot of myself and love into each piece I make, I am always so humbled when I am asked to make something as each piece is attached to a beautiful feeling and sentiment from the customer to its recipient.
Working with my hands is almost therapeutic to me and it gives me a sense of peace and total inner calm, I lose hours at my bench making things.
Something that I find particularly pleasing about working with precious metals is that nothing goes to waste and you never lose any mass. At worst case scenario I can melt everything down and start again. There is something very comforting about that knowledge.
What’s your most favourite piece you’ve ever made?
So far I am lucky and I have loved the process of working on every piece I have ever made.
For sentimental reasons I would say that if I had to choose it would be the first recycled gold token I was asked to make. It was a custom piece for my spirit mama, the late Amanda Moss.
She gave me some sentimental gold jewellery that I melted down, hammered into a coin and hand stamped with an A.
I’ve since been gifted it by her lifelong partner Adrian, I’m very attached to this piece and never take it off.
Who is your inspiration?
I feel very inspired by the exchange of energy I have with people, animals and nature.
Everything I make is very much feeling led, sometimes I’ll get a flash that I should work with a certain stone or I am asked by a customer to fill a brief and I just go with my gut.
I am inspired by free thinkers, strong characters and people that look for betterment.
I crush on, Georgia O’Keeffe, the woman she was first and foremost, she was highly sensual, free spirited, independent, hard working and she loved the men in her life with all her heart without fear.
Some random musings:
What’s the best DIY you’ve ever done?
I love manual work, give me a hammer and a ladder and I am totally in my element, I’m a firm believer of busy hands, happy soul.
In the past I have worked as part of the art department for theatre and film and also set up many events for venues and various brands, but by far my biggest accomplishment has been working on the building of the studio that I share with my lovely Ma. It’s my home away from home and where Four Ones was born, so it’s quite special to me.
You’re on a road trip – where are you going and what’s in your tape deck?
The most obvious choice would be the desert, any desert in the world, it makes me dream and makes my heart sing. I love to travel and see new things so at this point in time I would say take me any place sunny and I’ll be beaming.
Music is really very important to me, I am partial to a bit of Psych, great road trip sounds would be Tinariwen a Tuareg band formed in the 70’s, Goat an incredible Swedish band that look and sound equally as rich and eclectic, and new favourites Colour Haze, in particular their self titled first album reminds me of a very nice passage of time and is quite simply purely sexual.
A piece of clothing, (can be shoes, too), present or past, that you wore to death?
My studio jacket, it’s an old French workwear jacket I picked up in a flea market when I was living in Alsace, I over-dyed it in black and my good friend, Charlotte Willingale, who custom hand chain stitches, put the words Four Ones and my logo on the back. I love it and always wear it at my bench. It marks the start and end of my working day.
If you had all the time in the world, what new skill would you learn and why?
Oh that’s easy I would learn all the languages so that I could communicate in words with everyone I met.
What do you hate?
What do you love?
If you could bottle a scent, what would it be?
This question is awesome and honestly the one I have been pondering over the most. Smell is one of the least rated senses but it’s power is potent, smells can help trigger memories of time and loved ones we thought we had forgotten.
There are so many smells that speak to me, tobacco, wood, moss in the shade, the desert, I’m too greedy with smells I don’t think I could just choose one. Hmmmm, maybe the smell you get of the grass when the sun comes out after a shower, that’s a good one.
Who is your hall pass?
Well I’m a one guy type of gal so honestly I wouldn’t use it even if I had the chance if I was attached and if I was single I wouldn’t need it right? Hahahaha.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
I’m not sure on the best advice I have received currently as nothing springs to mind but the best piece of knowledge I have is that we are all responsible for our own actions and happiness. If you dream of something the best person to make the dream a reality is yourself once you know how to do that everyone else that comes into your life is a bonus and adds to the richness of the tapestry.
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