Hellhound Jewelry

Hellhound Jewelry

Welcome to our blog! Tshatshke's vision is for an enriched community of jewelry makers and lovers which will be accomplished by  creating a platform to uplift independent jewelry artists who align with one or more of our values.

We hope this blog brings you even closer to the artists that we feature in the shop.

Interview by Maddy Hirsch (if you click the link, scroll to the bottom of the page):

Laura Nunzi / Hellhound Jewelry

-What are some of your earliest memories related to jewelry?

My earliest memories of making jewelry would have to be sitting in my room for hours making jewelry out of this plastic stuff called Gimp in the mid 90's. Sort of the precursor to the hemp craze which I also heavily took part in. >> Insert laughing emoji here! << It was neon colored, or sparkly, and the glow in the dark kind was my favorite. It was more similar to weaving or macrame because you had to learn different knots, and braid patterns. Lots and lots of friendship bracelets were loved and lost during my childhood - teen years.


-When and how did you start making jewelry?

I would say I have had a constant interest in jewelry making in some form since I was about 10. But beyond that, I first took metal smithing in college in 2006, which sparked a deeper interest in metals and learning new ways to fabricate tiny objects. I really started taking it more seriously when I moved away to San Francisco in 2012 and had 0 friends there or money. I began making jewelry and selling it to make some extra cash and it provided a little world I could get lost in and focus on for hours and hours by myself listening to music/getting creative. It's all I had when I lived out there to be honest. I looked forward to it which led to me wanting to take up metal smithing once again to learn new techniques. I moved back to Philly in 2015 and I heard about a little place called Ritual Ritual in No. Libs. Word on the street was that they had a metal studio in the back of it's shop. I walked in without knowing the owner, Angela and told her I would clean her bathroom if she let me apprentice with her. She said "Come in on Tuesday at noon." I have literally never stopped since then.

-Why did you keep making jewelry?

I fell in love with every aspect of it and also I think I need to be occupied. I have always felt more calm and focused when I have a hands-on project right in front of me. Creativity feels like therapy sometimes. I cannot function in that 9-5 life. I have to be be creating to feel that life has meaning to it.

-How did you come up with your brand name/alias?

I really wanted to name my Jewelry brand Lawless Jewelry. My jewelry mentor said I couldn't because she knew someone who called theirs Lawless Jewelry. I began looking up mythological creatures and stories because that sort of thing interests me. I found the story of Cerberus which in Greek mythology is a 3 headed dog with red eyes that guards and protects the underworld or the gates of hell, AKA a hell hound. I've always been a huge wolf/dog person. Wolf Alpha energy is my vibe. >> Insert one more laughing emoji + wolf emoji here << It just felt right and made sense to me. I felt the name Hellhound Jewelry also matched the aesthetic of my earliest pieces which was a bone cross made from coyote bone castings, and lots of daggers. It felt like armor, hence the guardian of the gates of hell connection.


-What inspires your designs and how has that changed over the years?

It's usually something connected to music, which then bleeds into the fashion connected to the specific music. Music is pretty much the most important thing to me in life. And music is art, art is fashion, fashion is music and art. It all goes hand in hand. I would say my jewelry has managed to sustain a pretty obvious aesthetic but lately I've really been digging the English Mod era of music and fashion, which you can see in some newer pieces.


-Has your craft taught you anything about yourself?

It has taught me that I have a bad habit of taking on too much. Too many events, too much work, too much stress and pushing myself too hard. It's also taught me that I am really handy at figuring things out without help but NEED to learn to ask for help when it's needed. The last year or two I have become better at not putting myself through Hell to finish an extreme amount of work. Letting go if not every last thing gets done when I want it to... I'm at a point where I've worked really hard on HHJ, I love it a lot and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. But life is too short to stress over goals that you create for yourself. I've learned to ask for help when it's needed, and leave my jewelry at the studio. It used to consume my every waking thought the first few years that I started HHJ officially.

-What do you hope people will take away from seeing your work?

I hope they feel intrigued and inspired by it.

-What do you hope people will take away from wearing your work?

I hope they will feel strong, sexy and powerful. I've always felt like jewelry has properties of protection or magic, like armor.

-What are some of your hobbies off the bench? How often do you try to make time for them?

I chill hard with my 9 yr old Chiweenie Ziggy and I play bass in a garage punk rock band called The Out-sect. I also DJ occasionally under the alias Laura Lawless which is where the original name idea came from. I truly do not know how my crazy ass goes to work, owns a jewelry business, has band practice, plays shows, etc. etc.

-Favorite things to listen to while you work:

Obsessed with true crime podcast Morbid. I loved Root of Evil as well. It's told from the perspective of the family of who is believed to be the actual Black Dahlia murdered and it is really messed up. So I don't suggest listening to it if you're not into hearing about some really sick sh*t. Apologies for my true crime addiction.

If we are talking music, I constantly make my own playlists on spotify to share with friends. I currently can't stop listening to a Philly band called Deep Tissue. The album is called Patience or Fear. They are no longer a band but are playing one show in the Fall so check em out. Very Siouxsie and the Banshees, cure influenced but more than that, different than that. Speaking of the cure I have listened to their album Faith (their best and one of the most underrated albums of theirs) SO MANY TIMES, while working on Hellhound Jewelry. My friend Kiki and I have a joint gangster rap mix that we have been adding songs to for the last 3 years that I also listen to A LOT. If you really want to know you can check out my public playlists on Spotify. My username is Laura Lawless.

At Tshatshke, we aim to uplift jewelers who align with one or more of our values of holistic sustainability as we define it to relates to the planet, the economy, social issues, community building, and craftsmanship. In what ways do you hope to uphold an ideal of holistic sustainability within your practice and your business? 

I melt down and recycle silver as much as possible. I buy all of my metals and supplies from U.S. operated small owned businesses. I try to only use paper boxes/ recyclable packaging! I think supporting other small businesses is very important even in daily life. And yes, it's more expensive, but it forces us to think carefully about what we are buying rather than buying a higher quantity of lower quality items thus leading to less waste environmentally. Things we buy from small businesses are usually higher quality than buying products from huge companies that outsource on a large scale with cheaper products/materials. Shopping small disperses our money back into the local economies which is also extremely beneficial to sustaining any kind of social voice or power as well. SHOP SMALL!!!!!!

Laura working at her bench.

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