Behind the Craft: Meet Lady Christine Hill, Artist & Designer 

Words by Megan Greaney

Lady Christine Hill

Lady Christine Hill designs several of our most-loved exclusive jewellery Collections – but her Michael Hill story goes much further and begins right back at the brand’s beginning. Working with Sir Michael, her husband, on opening the very first store in 1979, Lady Christine’s artistic talent has always been integral to the business; from designing the earliest store interiors to illustrating the first catalogues.  

Her passion for design can be seen in four exclusive jewellery Collections here at Michael Hill, including Spirits Bay, Knots, Willow, and Endless.  

This month, she also lent her handwriting to a special, limited-edition Love necklace. Her script design has been brought to life in precious metals, crafted with care in our Australian workshop. 

As we celebrate a heritage of design and craftsmanship, we spoke to Lady Christine about her design influences and the stories behind her Collections. 

Lady Christine Hill
Lady Christine Hill

1. What was the very first jewellery piece or collection you designed? 

My first collection, Spirits Bay, was based on the shape of a worn shell often found washed ashore on the Northern Beaches of New Zealand. 

The shell grows below the low tide line and is washed ashore during storms, where it becomes worn away by the wind and waves into fantastic shapes, with only the strongest part of the shell remaining. The worn shape has fascinated me, as no two shells are ever the same. I have created various art works using the shells. 

The jewellery I designed based on the shell are very special, and are a symbol for strong women who persevere. 

2. You’ve always been an artist – did designing jewellery come naturally? 

I originally felt that I would need to be proficient in the making of jewellery, in order to design. But I realised I can visualise and draw designs for a qualified craftsman to bring to life. It is an exciting process seeing my drawings become a finished product for other people to wear and enjoy. 

Knots Collection
Lady Christine Hill

3. How do you find design inspiration? 

Many of my ideas originate in the natural world. I keep a sketch book with many drawings of plants, shells, and bones, which always provides inspiration. 

The exception is my Knots Collection; I spend a lot of time boating and knots are an integral part of boating. What began with learning the various knots and then drawing them became a jewellery Collection, and the deeper meaning behind knots symbolises our connection to family and friends. 

4. How do you want people to feel when they wear one of your pieces? 

I hope people feel excited, proud, and special. I hope they have an affinity with the piece and understand its symbolism.  

Shop Collections by Lady Christine Hill:

Discover meaningful jewellery pieces - perfect for celebrating you, or gifting to a loved one. Shop all exclusive jewellery Collections >  

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Words by Megan Greaney

Megan has been a writer for over 10 years, and has been writing content at Michael Hill for over two years where she has gained an extensive knowledge of jewellery – from styling and craftsmanship to materials and stones. With a background that also includes fashion, and studies of Journalism and Anthropology, she is perceptive of the emotions and cultural contexts linked to what we wear.

Last updated 16th August, 2021