Colette van Essen


I was born in Canada but moved to the Netherlands at the age of twelve. I later graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven and trained as a goldsmith for 5 years.

Even as a child I can remember liking old and weathered objects. Later I learned about the Japanese concept of “Wabi Sabi”. This describes the sense of melancholy and spiritual longing I felt and still feel when experiencing the marks that time, weather, and loving use leave on an object.

That’s why the jewelry I began designing in 1991 was made from used materials. I originally used biscuit tins and bottle caps and transitioned later to used / vintage sterling silver.


It is very important to me that my jewelry is sustainable. That means that I make sure my manufacturing process impacts the environment as little as possible. And that my materials are from responsible sources. Also, any “new” silver I use is recycled silver and has been refined using environmentally safe practices.


The first collections are made from of pre-owned / vintage sterling silver chain and other vintage components. Sometimes their history is visible as patina and or inscriptions and this adds to the new design. Very different in this last aspect are the Party Balloon Necklaces. I polish them to perfection to resemble the foil counterparts that inspired me.

Who wears them

I design my jewelry for people with a modern individual style that want to wear unique pieces of jewelry. Preferably ones that were produced responsibly. But ultimately my goal is to make beautiful jewelry people will cherish regardless of the source.

My shop

If you see something you like in my shop but it is not in your size, please let me know. I can make sure there is something for you in the next “batch” of jewelry I make.