Ceramic artist and jewellery designer Henriette of LËTTE Ceramics handcrafts beautiful porcelain designs that stand out in an industry of fast-paced creations. Join us today in this week's designer interview as we chat with Henriette to learn more about her crafting process and how working with porcelain is sustainable! 

Is there anyone in particular who has heavily influenced/guided you as a designer?

I think my family background influenced me the most. My father was an artist. His father as well. His father as well. His father, ... you guessed it.

Making a good living, and being an artist, were never two things that cancelled each other out. Quite the opposite. I had so many role models around who proved; to do what you love, put all your passion into it, and everything you need, will fall into place, eventually.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

Life. When you pay attention beautiful colours that blend harmoniously or extravagant patterns are everywhere. Nature is truly a master of art and humans transformed it into paintings, sculptures, jewellery or cushions since the beginning of time. Almost daily I see inspiration, somewhere and begin to think how I could transport it into my jewellery.

How do you ensure your designs are ethical and sustainable?

Porcelain is, first of all, a natural product that can be recycled. This is one of the reasons why I love the material so much. In the crafting process, I make sure, that no material goes to waste! I use an upcycling technique to turn the left-overs into "fresh" material.

When I fire small pieces for jewellery I use one of the smallest kilns on the market that can reach these high temperatures. This ensures fast heating and no unnecessary waste of energy.

My packaging is also as eco-friendly as possible. I use cotton bags for my jewellery-pieces and recycled papers for my business cards. The filling, for stability, is made of paper, and it is sent to you in a carton, wrapped in a compostable protection bag.

How are your products made?

All my products are designed, shaped, crafted and refined by me, in my small Studio in Bern, Switzerland. They go through several firing and refining processes. Shaping, bisque-firing, glazing and high firing and, in some cases, a gold refinement which includes an additional firing.

Are there any specific manufacturing/crafting techniques you use?

I work a lot with lustre gold. This is chemically liquefied gold that regains its hardness and familiar colour at about 750°C (1382°F). The process takes a lot of finesse and attention, but the results of the refinement of the ceramic are worth it.

How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?

Foremost; care-free! Porcelain is surprisingly light, but then again absolutely strong. A perfect combination to wear without any worries. But additionally, whenever I wear my pieces I feel, I can express my personality through them without any words needed. And I hope they do the same for my customers. They should underline your beauty and creativity effortlessly.

If you hadn't become a designer, what would you be doing?

I worked for almost 8 years in radio/broadcast production as a writer and speaker. I still feel passionate about it and also take on projects alongside my business, if the time allows it. However, when working with ceramics I feel like I can truly express something inside me that I was never able to express before. So If I wasn't doing this work, I'd probably still be on the hunt for a passion that will finally allow me this feeling.

Do you work with any charities?

Since the very beginning, I put money aside (5% of each purchase) to donate, at the end of each year, to the Europeans Women's Lobby. They support several projects and I truly admire their work.

What music do you play in the studio whilst you’re working?

Most of the time, things that soothe my mind and allow me to feel calm, happy and concentrated. My playlist is a wild mix of classical music, bossa nova, blues and oldies, mainly from the 50s and 60s.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

An artist has an urge to produce. And that urge leads to art. Every skill you need can be learned. So focus solely on keeping that "urge" alive. See what it needs and take action. That is your responsibility.

How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?

Truthfully, that's still a project in progress. I try to be as honest with myself, as possible, about my limits and my energy levels. Spending days in nature, or with people that I love and that make me feel happy, is essential for me to recharge.

How do your brand values align with those of JewelStreet?

JewelStreet is very selective with the art and artists they represent on their platform. In the products you can always see time, effort, passion and uniqueness. I always felt this way about my products, and I'm very proud to be part of the JewelStreet Community from now on.

If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?

I think it would be the hangers with rose-petal colours or lavender. I love to add a bit of "statement" with my earrings and feel it's best done with colours that stand out a little.

What is your favourite quote?

"I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself." - Michel de Montaigne.

Thank you so much for talking with us Henirette!

Discover porcelain jewellery designs over at LËTTE Ceramics on JewelStreet.