The Swedish jewellery designer Julia Otilia is passionate about capturing and reflecting nature’s fine details in her work. She notes ‘the twirling dance of a falling leaf’ or ‘the gentleness of an unfolding flower’ as sources of inspiration. Her ethical and sustainable jewellery is made in Utrecht, the Netherlands (where her studio is located). The jewellery includes materials from distant corners of the world: seeds and nuts from the Himalayas, Brazil, and Nepal, and certified wood from Indonesia. When combined with details in (locally recycled) gold and silver, Julia’s earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets become uniquely personal and decorative objects.
For Julia Otilia, her craft is one that serves to create ‘conscious jewellery in alignment with nature’. Each singular piece of jewellery is designed and handmade by Julia in her Utrecht studio. It is a philosophy that LZF very much respects and practices—every one of its wood veneer lamps is consciously and meticulously handmade at its buzzing factory in Chiva, Valencia.
Tim van Caubergh is the partner of Julia Otilia. A designer and builder of organic architecture and furniture, he created a quiet and refined studio for the jeweller. The studio features LZF’s Swirl lamp, designed by Ray Power. The story behind Swirl’s inclusion in the project is highlighted in Tim’s self-penned ‘ode to my muse’ (his ode to Julia), an edited version of which follows:
Ode to my muse
‘Born in Sweden, Julia spent her youth strolling through deep forests and exploring the islands of the archipelago with its raw and untouched beauty: this is reflected in her work as a jewellery designer and maker. With a fine touch she expresses the delicate elements of nature in minimalistic Scandinavian design. The interior of her design studio is an expression of her design aesthetic and philosophy.
Tim and Julia met ten years ago on the Canary Island La Palma and were immediately drawn to each other. Tim is a furniture designer and maker. His field of work moves between architecture, art, and craft. In his Utrecht-based studio he designs and builds bespoke interiors and high-end wooden furniture. Tim has a great fascination for the ways in which nature constructs itself, designing pieces inspired by natural growth forms and phenomena such as the wind, water currents, or the flight of birds.
Two years after Julia came to the Netherlands, she started her jewellery studio. Later, she commissioned Tim to build her a design studio that would be representative of her design ambition—the sources of inspiration are similar to those that inspire Julia when she creates her jewellery designs.
The one missing element in Julia’s studio was a lamp to fit with the carefully designed ensemble. After an intense search, Julia found the Swirl suspension lamp. The way in which the sheets of ash veneer curve and twist reflect the varied shapes found in Tim’s La Chaise chair. However, the Swirl suspension lamp adds another dimension to this family of shapes: light. The Swirl’s beautiful, shining light emphasises the twists and twirls of the La Chaise by adding highlights and shades. Hanging above the table, the Swirl lamp is a centre point for the interior.
This project is made with love and dedication. By asking Tim to create furniture with the look and feel of fine jewellery pieces, Julia encouraged him to push his technical woodworking ability to the next level. It is an ode from an artist to his muse.’
Photography by Raf Celis.