Born in Sweden to a Polish mother and Zambian father, Halina moved to the UK when she was five. Growing up in Essex, UK, she followed creative subjects at school before studying art at college. However, she struggled to find her true creative outlet and instead dropped out, deciding to follow the path of her dentist father by becoming a dental nurse.
Working in the field for six years, her career satisfied her desire to work with her hands, but deep down she knew she was destined for a more artistic path. She moved to Brighton, UK, and studied a photography course at Brighton University while taking a jewellery course in the evenings. It was jewellery that really captivated her attention—an art form she’d always been passionate about and was inspired by the heavy, chunky 90s jewellery that her mother had passed down to her when Halina was a child.
Realising she’d found the path she wanted to take, she set out to learn everything she could. She reached out to endless jewellers in Brighton and London and soon found a shop in Brick Lane, London, that was taking apprentices. She worked with the third generation jeweller, Freddie Grove, and learnt invaluable skills including how to work intricately yet efficiently, and how to run a business. Next, she worked with Brighton jeweller Stef Warde at Peculiar Vintage. There, she mastered important skills including how to interact with customers.
Now with her own jewellery studio in Kemptown, Brighton, Halina has taken her own route—something that is evident in the unique nature of her designs. Classing her work as a combination of fine jewellery with her love for alternative culture, she’s inspired by nature, Indigenous art and ancient pattern work. A subtle but ever-present combination of ancient with modern is evident in her creations. Halina works on her own, often using ancient processes like lost-wax casting to create her designs, with many of the tools she uses similar to those she handled during her time in dentistry.
And as of 2020, driven by a feeling of uncertainty around her identity, she started to delve further into her Sub-Saharan heritage. Poring over books, she began researching ancient art and jewellery from southern Africa. Great Zimbabwe, a ruined medieval city in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, particularly captured her attention. Abandoned in the 15th century with its precious artefacts including jewellery later looted, melted down, or misplaced, very little of its history exists today. This loss has inspired Halina to have her own say on how this jewellery could have looked—and recreate it.