Creator Jess of Studio Éter makes objects as a ritual. A silversmith, ceramic artist and avid beekeeper, we loved getting to know this inspiring maker and fellow flower admirer. Read on as Jess shares her inspiration, nature, history, folklore and Portuguese heritage and love of bees.
We are inspired by your multi-disciplined talent and love for clay, wax and jewellery! Can you share with us how you began your business and what led you to work with these forms?
I've always been interested in design and how things are made. Over the years, I've done a few workshops in silversmithing and ceramics, and the rest has been self-taught through research and trial and error.
When I started Studio Éter, I worked in an administrative capacity at a university. It was quite a good role; however not fulfilling creatively. In my spare time, I began tinkering in what is now my studio space. Shortly after, I began selling pieces through friends and family and eventually started doing commissioned works in ceramics and jewellery.
As it was always my dream to work for myself, one day, I decided to create a brand for my business. I had just started when Covid hit, and I could not access firing services for my ceramics, making things difficult. But ultimately, it gave me space and time to expand my candle-making practice, which is now a huge part of my business.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in nature, history, architecture, folklore and Portuguese heritage. At the moment, I'm inspired by Portugal's architecture and colourful cities.
What's it like keeping your bees, harvesting the wax and creating candles?
Beekeeping has been among the most rewarding of all the rabbit holes I've fallen down. There is something so magical about the relationship between humans and honey bees.
As my hives are relatively young, I haven't had to process wax as such and have been able to cut off excess wax from frames and add it directly into my wax pot, along with wax sourced from other local beekeepers. I will need to harvest and process the wax in older frames soon, which is a pretty simple process in itself, although it is time consuming.
It's very satisfying having context of where a product comes from and knowing it is the best fuel and most sustainable way to produce a piece.
Can you share your plans for the remainder of the year? What beauties should we expect to find you creating?
I would love to have some jewellery ready for the end of the year, but at the moment, my primary focus is madly preparing a new range of ceramics and making enough candle stock to fill wholesale orders and my own stock.
How do you wind down, and what small things make you happy?
At home, I love to sit in the garden with the flowers and watch the bees. It's oddly grounding and surprisingly interesting. Outside of the home, I still love to get my nature fix, whether it's on the beach or the bush.
What are you listening to, reading and eating atm?
Mostly SoundCloud channels such as Séance Centre - anything with a dreamy, shoegaze vibe. Now I'm reading about beehive management (I want to split one of my beehives from one into two!), and I'm currently addicted to bánh mì!