Natalia Criado is a Colombian-born, Milan-based designer who creates unique, jewelry-inspired objects for the home. Natalia talks to us about how she started experimenting making jewelry and the creative process behind her metal and stone serving sets.
WW: Where did you grow up and where are you based now?
NC: I was born in Colombia and now I've lived in Milan for the past two years. I chose to live in Italy because I like to be in touch with art and design.
WW: Tell us about your background and how your design studio came about.
NC: I began to learn and experiment with jewelry making thanks to my personal jewelry brand, a project I developed in Colombia eight years ago. One of my dreams was to work directly with artisans around the world so I started developing my project ‘Joyas en Casa’ two years ago. I started everything when I returned to Italy, where I studied and where the design is growing everyday.
WW: How does life in Bogota and Milan inspire your work?
NC: Both countries inspire me a lot. Colombia for its colors, traditions, and crafts -- we have more than 140 handicraft techniques in Colombia. Italy for its history, art, and design. Travel always inspires me as well.
WW: Can you walk us through your process from conception to completion of your metal and stone pieces?
NC: First inspiration, then moodboard, and finally Prototype creation. Some of my objects are created directly during experimentation and most are made with jewelry techniques. In the case of the set of spoons created for Wynne Ware, I worked with artisans in Italy and Peru. The stones were carved by a Peruvian craftsman, who works with Jewelers in Colombia.
Photograph by Carmen Colombo
WW: What do you do to find your way out of a creative rut?
NC: Being in contact with the artisans themselves, I learn new techniques and this leads to new ideas and objects to develop. I also like to take courses and workshops where I learn about new techniques and materials.
WW: What is an object in your home that has particular meaning to you and why?
NC: I like vases, they represent femininity to me. I like to collect them from old markets.
WW: We love vases too!
WW: Do you have a personal philosophy you live by?
NC: Follow your intentions.