Andreea Braescu is a talented Romanian interior artist with a passion for porcelain light sculptures. Her masterful handcrafted lighting designs draw inspiration from the natural world to create an intricately beautiful centrepiece for any space. 

When did you first discover your passion for lighting design, and how has your career evolved since then? 

I grew up surrounded by art, living and breathing it really. My grandparents are both painters, my mom is a sculptor and dad is a designer. It’s in my DNA I guess!

I studied art at the National University of Art in Bucharest. Since then I have spent the past six years or so developing my own emotion-led approach, with the aim of recreating the spirit and energy of nature within interior spaces. The idea of making lighting objects out of porcelain came naturally because the porcelain I use is the finest of its kind, with a translucency that’s unequalled.

How would you describe your style philosophy? 

I know I have succeeded when my work evokes joy and happiness. When you want to convey an emotional message or a sense of calmness, organic shapes serve the purpose best. In nature, nothing is regular.

“The most fascinating thing about nature is the way it creates harmony through apparent randomness”

The most fascinating thing about nature is the way it creates harmony through apparent randomness. The organic part is not necessary the gingko motif, but the pattern they create that allows each leaf to capture the light. In this apparent chaos, there is a perfect order, where between all leaves there is a sensitive dependence. 

Could you tell us more about the merits of using porcelain within your designs?

I work with bone china which is a material that is notoriously difficult to tame. But it is also the perfect artistic medium; it offers a pure channel of creativity, allowing the most richly-detailed, expressive work possible. The porcelain that I use is the finest of its kind, with a translucency that’s unequalled. When creating illuminating objects, this is the key. 

Could you discuss the design and manufacture process in a little more detail please? 

I have a wonderfully talented team of technically brilliant artists, designers and engineers who work with me in my studio, and we’re constantly refining and perfecting the making process.

We use technology and modern techniques, but ultimately everything has to be handmade. That’s essential to staying true to my vision. I try to replicate nature’s skill of creating harmony through apparent randomness, and machine-made pieces would always have an element of uniformity that’s the antipathy of that. 

“Every element is imagined, made and placed individually with absolute precision, allowing me to create bespoke pieces that work in perfect, natural synergy with the space and light they inhabit”

A small chandelier, which is made up of about 150 leaves, takes roughly two weeks to complete. Some of the large, bespoke pieces are over 5m long and hold over 1000 individual elements. They can take up to three months. Every leaf is precisely positioned to best capture, illuminate and reflect the space it’s designed for – so there are no short cuts.

Where do you find your inspiration? 

The natural world … its beautiful, spirit-nourishing energy. I’m fascinated by the infinite complexity of natural structures, yet they appear so simple. Everything works together in perfect harmony. And I believe the positive effect that being in nature has on our emotions is so powerful and life-affirming. It’s endlessly inspiring.

Is it important to you that your designs should always have handcrafted elements? 

I consciously erase manufacturing conformity from my work. Every element is imagined, made and placed individually with absolute precision, (allowing me to create bespoke pieces that work in perfect, natural synergy with the space and light they inhabit.)

In a chandelier for example there are 141 porcelain leaves, and every leaf is placed in a unique position to best capture and reflect light.

We use technology and modern techniques, but ultimately everything has to be handmade. That’s essential to staying true to my vision. I try to replicate nature’s skill of creating harmony through apparent randomness, and machine-made pieces would always have an element of uniformity that’s the antipathy of that. 

Could you talk about some memorable work you’ve completed for the hospitality sector?

Recently I did a really beautiful piece for a public space in New York. The light sculpture has around 155 hand-crafted porcelain leaves. It combines 24K gold-covered porcelain leaves with engraved porcelain leaves for a precious look.

Where do you picture your designs within a hospitality environment, and what response do you hope to evoke from guests?

I pictured my designs as the central piece in a lobby. Because it has a sculptural shape I can offer the guests a different view from every angle. The warm light filtered by the translucent porcelain will generate a soft, delicate light.  People tend to feel good, more relaxed when they are outside, in the middle of nature; if I can bring the sensation of living nature inside, I think people will be amazed and happy at the same time.

What would be your dream hospitality commission?

My dream project is a boutique hotel in Paris in a renovated building from the 19th century.

www.andreeabraescu.com