Henriette Arcelin: poetic art between illustrations and ceramics

Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera

Collaborating with an artist we admire is a privilege. Giving her carte blanche on a project and discovering that she has exceeded our expectations is a delight.
Because I am very proud of this new collaboration, I wanted to share with you the essence of Henriette Arcelin, this inspired and passionate artist.

Henriette Arcelin is a garden in its own right, a large plot with always room to create. Born in France, Henriette is a ceramist and illustrator currently living between Lisbon and Paris.
She graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London in 2013, studied ceramics in Lisbon at Ar.Co and trained in various workshops. Her illustrations and ceramics can be seen in various restaurants and hotels in Portugal and France.
Her creative process consists of gathering objects or photographs from which she draws inspiration to create. This is how she "invents imaginary spaces inspired by botany, natural history illustrations and marine biology".

Currently, it is in her workshop "As Congeladas" that she works in Lisbon. This place that was once a frozen food shop is now a place of endless creation.
Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


1 — How did you get to Lisbon?
"Well, in 2013 I finished fine art in London, at Chelsea College of Art and Design; I had already done a lot of pieces in the ceramic workshop there, I really wanted to do a more complete training on ceramics and to really learn a skill, to move towards a more artisanal practice, so I found the Ar.Co school where I did a ceramics course. This is what brought me to Lisbon, even if I had already visited and it had inspired me a lot, it was probably also the starting point of my love for ceramics; that first trip."

2. What are your most important encounters?
"When I was at Ar.Co, I used to practice at Caulino (atelier in Alfama), that was the starting point for working in ceramics and discovering a lot of things... it was very formative and there I met a lot of people who still are part of my circle today. Afterwards I met Joana Simão with whom I also shared a workshop for quite a long time in Mouraria. Then I worked with Anahory-Almeida which was an architecture and interior Design Studio. This is where I met Felipa, with whom I still collaborate today, almost 10 years later."

Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


3. What are your favorite artistic fields?
"Of course drawing, watercolours… Everything related to drawing, painting and ceramics, which is what I practice the most. I also love to experiment with a lot of things: weaving lately and a lot of different painting techniques or screen printing, everything related to craft techniques where the hand is important and the more complicated the process, the more I like it.
This is why I particularly appreciate ceramics or designs with a very slow process, such as the designs for the Luz collection. I also take science illustration classes at the Natural History Museum, where you really learn how to draw pointillism and I particularly appreciate the illustration applied to several supports, whether it's textiles, tapestry, azulejos... I really enjoy the transformation, the versatility of the design, it fascinates me to be able to link it to traditional techniques from Portugal."

Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


4. And what projects have you been most excited about since you've been here?
"A lot! I would say my first panel in azulejos, in Alentejo at Quinta do Quetzal. It was an important moment for me, I had no idea that I could do the job of illustrator, it came a bit like that. And then there was Anahory-Almeida who offered me to do a series of nature drawings for São Lourenço do Barrocal, that's when I said to myself that there was something to do in this field. And finally, a little more recently, all my collaborations with Felipa, a work that links craftsmanship, decorative arts, all research on ancient techniques, everything related to tapestry of Portalegre based on one of my watercolors and reproduced identically by weavers for a year. It was a project for "Lisbon By Design" last year, and this year is also going to be great with the "Pomar" collection".

Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


5. How did this collaboration with Luz born?
"It was a very organic meeting. I met Paula a few years ago, when she came to do an interview with me in my studio, which at the time was my home. Since then, we have continued to be in contact, we often saw each other again and we are from the same neighborhood. When she made the proposal to me, I was delighted because I love her taste and I find everything she does very delicate, very thoughtful. I was really happy to be part of this adventure."

6. Where does all this inspiration come from?
"I am inspired by real life, like during my walks in the countryside. I look around me a lot, I collect specimens, I also take a lot of photographs so as not to forget anything, to serve as inspirations. I draw lots of fruit and lots of animals, I've always loved botanical and naturalistic illustration, I love doing it lying in a field looking at orange trees above my head… and of course I love orchards , and this word "pomar" that I find very beautiful in Portuguese, another reason to love my latest project."

7. If you had to choose, which model would you highlight?
"If I had to choose between the three models it would be the pears. I really like drawing pears because of their shapes. it's them that seduce me the most, I can't explain why, but it's surely the design to which I'm most attached."
Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


8. And finally, a Luz product that you love…
"Oh I love the Maia pendant lightThe collection is absolutely gorgeous. I like slightly vintage pieces brought up to date with super original enamel colors. The whole universe of Luz pleases me a lot."

Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera



For Luz Editions, Henriette Arcelin has imagined a collection of useful and decorative linens from the angle of the botanical theme. Like drawing boards as in dictionaries, she chose three fruit trees linked to three regions of Portugal.
Thus, each piece can be transformed into a utility item as well as a wall hanging, according to your desires.
If the collection seems classic, it is nonetheless poetic and rural.
All this freshness and bloom makes you want nature and Portugal!

Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


Each cloth is uniquely silkscreened by hand on linen; in which the sewing stitch frames everything for a magnificent result! 

Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera

Henriette Arcelin, Panos Primavera


Thank you, Henriette.

Follow her work on instagram, @henriette_arcelin and https://henriettearcelin.com/

Visit As Congeladas: Rua Nogueira e Sousa 21, Lisboa.

Get Luz Editions x Henriette Arcelin tea towels collection.

Get Maia Pendant Light here.

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