After watching Anne van den Boogert’s film High Voltage you’re probably intrigued by who Kyle Hopkins might be. Luckily Anne had time to ask him some questions too!

Volt Café: When heaving you’re High Voltage moment, what do you smell? Hear? Where are you? What kind of colours? How does it feel? Temperature? What kind of emotion?
Kyle Hopkins: It sounds like when Curtis by The Revenge, and Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band’s ‘Stay Away’ was a man and he met a girl named Fables of Faubus by Charles Mingus, in a bar called ‘Iron Giants by the Heavy Eyes’ and bought her a ‘Hectik Rivero. ‘I feel Fine’, he spoke. ‘Look this way by Fantastic Man’, and she agreed saying ‘Maya Jane Coles, The High Life’. They talked in a corner that felt like ‘Spanish Key’ by Miles Davis until the lights came on at Iron Giants. So they left together walking out into a city built by Arkist called Rendezvous, never to let go of each others hands, ever.

Smells like stale coffee, fags, fire, all with a general scent of precious metals, and that taste in the back of your mouth that you get from a bloody nose (iron). When I polish stuff, the polish gets inhaled as well as some of the silver, gold, or brass.

I’m in my studio at 4am singing dancing and shouting while the rest of London sleeps, the city is mine when the streets are clear at 4am.

The colours are a lot like running through fireworks in the middle of a desert, an explosion of warm tones lighting the entire skyline. But only one person knows the desert is alight. It feels like the last dance I’ll ever get, so you dance till you pass out.

It’s always hot. Fire, hot metal, movement, it’s always hot in the studio.

The Emotion is release, satisfaction, affirmation, and a kind of confirmation.

VC: Can you describe in the most poetic way what your High Voltage moment looks like.
KH: I don’t ever see it coming. As if I were Tom Sawyer on the river, I wake up to the subtle difference in the way the river moves, the sounds change, I speed up, and before I can turn back or save myself I’m looking down a waterfall surrendering to it. My moment is fast, it’s clean, it’s always at 4am. My moments are the reason I do this, the reason I design, they intoxicate, sweep me away into fits of action, laughter, and lone talking. I talk to myself, dance, work, smoke too many fags and drink to much coffee.
The mess unfolds, enveloping all it takes. When I get in one of those moments, it’s a lot like a one night stand right as potential turns to momentum. Tools litter the studio, sketchbooks are swept of to make room finding various bits of the floor, metal is cut rejected thrown and cut again, all focus moves entirely to the thought, the project, the goal.
Finally I finish, sit a minute and recognize what I’ve done. Resting, thinking, then, a coffee and a fag before I go for more. I’m obsessed with that moment.

VC: Is there anything you like to share with people relating to you as a designer?
KH: If I could say anything to the people who watch this it would be to keep pushing away from what’s comfortable. If you find yourself feeling safe, RUN, for feeling safe is the name of the street that Settling lives on, and there is a house next to the one Settling owns, it is for sale, and it is called Regret, the bank says your credit is perfect, and you can have that house for a steal.
The down payment is low and monthly payments are easy. You never want to find yourself sliding into that neighbourhood. Run towards the part of town you can’t afford, where your credit rating is poor and people don’t know you, that is where you’ll find a street called Hard Work with a place called Contentment and a house you could maybe afford called Happiness.
I do what I do because it’s an uphill battle, I make this jewellery because it’s the one place I can throw blows into the face of a congealed tradition with any hope of breaking its nose. I like fighting up hills, because if you’re not going up hills you are cruising down them, and nothing good was ever at the bottom of a hill except perhaps the discovery of another mountain.

Words Anne van den Boogert


Anne van den Boogert, Kyle Hopkins,