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” which 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 1993 was made from used materials. I originally used biscuit tins and bottle caps and ended up (for now) using used / vintage sterling silver.

At the same time it is 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 has been recycled and refined using environmentally safe practices.

My most recent jewelry collection consists of pre-owned / vintage sterling silver chain and other vintage components (profile pendants and charms). Sometimes I leave inscriptions and some of the patina on the components intact. It shows their history and adds to the new design. But due to the soldering process and subsequent cleaning many pieces may look “new”.

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.

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