One look at Henriette Botha’s jewellery and you will see a kaleidoscope of cultures as each piece is rich in history with African, South American and Indian influences as well as inspired by elements of nature. What makes Henriette’s pieces unique is that each is handcrafted locally with her signature use of materials such as brass, bamboo, semi-precious stones, crystals and crochet.
Her use of bold colour and her attention to detail in her latest collection puts accessorising in a whole new light. Her latest collection titled ‘The Fall’ is perfectly suited to the new season’s approach to statement jewellery: bold and colourful pieces layered for a modern approach.
Wrap bangles, beaded and chain crochet necklace
What I love about Henriette Botha’s jewellery is that she offers bold, chunky statement pieces for the fearless woman as well as dainty and feminine designs that have a more subtle strength.
– Jenna McArthur
We chat to Henriette here:
Desert Rose Crochet Necklace
How would others describe you? Different, unique; maybe even a little geeky.
Current obsession? Shoes and kimonos. Actually they’ve been an obsession ever since I can remember.
My jewellery is… an expression of my current state of mind.
I use elements of African craft and mix different materials as well as bold and colourful beadwork combined with semi-precious stones, beading and crocheting techniques. With every collection I try to push boundaries.
3 Chain Necklace
Tell us a bit about your journey as a designer. When and how did you start designing?
I was studying BCom Law but found it terribly boring. I have always been a bit of a maker and realised then that I needed to take a more creative direction. So I gave up on law and began exploring my interest in jewellery design. I ended up studying jewellery design at the University of Johannesburg and then fashion design at Instituto Marangoni in Paris.
When did you launch your first jewellery collection?
I made my first range when I was living in Paris in 2012. I called it ‘I am African’. As beautiful and dramatic as I thought it was, it was eccentric and the pieces were showpieces rather than wearable. I used a lot of sterling silver and intricate beading.
Any favourites from your latest collection?
The Aztec necklace with the gold chain and the Darwin necklace that has a silver-plated chain. I also love the fun, vibrant colour combinations of the Nomatemba pieces.
The Aztec necklace
Desert Rose Neckstring
Who do you design for?
Bold, fearless women who are not afraid to express themselves. I design for women who appreciate beauty and I hope my pieces make them feel beautiful.
I see my jewellery as… powerful and unique
What is your creative process?
I don’t really sketch. It’s more of an organic process that starts with an idea and is followed by research that results in a mood board where I process my thoughts and ideas. From there I start playing with techniques, colours and materials so that the pieces slowly take on a life of their own.
Psst…We’re not the only ones swooning over the collection. ELLE editor Jackie Burger and Marie Claire editor Aspasia Karras were spotted wearing Henriette Botha’s pieces recently!
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