Hong Kong Dispatch: HK Folklore’s Jewels Are Hong Kong–Designed, Artisan-Crafted

Photo courtesy of HKTDC

A model wears the Tia-Sitrae necklace by Folklore HK

The 32nd annual HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show took place in Hong Kong March 4–8. This week I will be sharing what I saw, who I met, and how the industry fared at the show.

Sripriya Ganesan and Sneha Mathew, the Hong Kong–based duo behind Folklore HK, were ecstatic to be exhibiting at their hometown jewelry show last week. It was their very first show, full stop—that it happened to be one of the biggest jewelry shows in the world was a happy coincidence. What is more, they reported that they had steady traffic to their booth, a dream for a first-timer (or an any-timer). 

The pair are doing exciting design work using traditional artisan techniques. Even more exciting, however, might be their commitment to the people behind those techniques. Ganesan, who previously worked as an architect, is an extensive traveler. When she started designing jewelry, she knew she wanted to incorporate the traditional craftsmanship she had seen in her travels into her designs. She went a step further, employing men and women in countries throughout Asia to realize her designs using their time-honored techniques.

One example: The Rouge-Amour Teardrops are made using the Indian and Pakistani art of thewa, which incorporates silver foil and molten glass. Though Ganesan designed the earrings, she cannot explain exactly how the technique is done. That is because the art is a family-only affair, a closely held secret passed down son to son (daughters are forbidden from knowing the secret of thewa, because they eventually will marry and leave the family). 

I asked Mathew if the Folklore HK had a particular aesthetic. Not as such, she said. Their designs were meant to be statement pieces, but statement pieces that could balance between casual and everyday wear to more fancy events. But, she said, the whole company really comes back to one idea: for women, by women. 

Rouge-Amour Teardrops with silver and inlaid glass

Tiye-Lapis Lazuli Dangler with lapis lazuli from Afghanistan