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natalia criado

NATALIA CRIADO: “I DRAW WHENEVER INSPIRATION STRIKES”

Certain people, brands, or other life cases have emerged OUT OF THE BLUE. When taking a closer look, there’s a long journey that lets them walk the path leading to where they are now. Today: the story of NATALIA CRIADO. Cover image: Pier Giorgio

Also, read: IZABEL MINAS, IZABEL DISPLAY: “I’VE LEARNED TO TRUST THE PROCESS”

Natalia Criado is a creative like no other. Her talent was noticeable from a young age; she was attentive to details and loved her ceramic classes and drawing. When her uncle once gave her a quartz stone, she hid it under the earth like a treasure. “I’ve always been drawn to colors and shapes.”

Criado’s work is one of a kind and reclaimed internationally. Born and raised in Colombia, Natalia’s journey into design began at an early age when her natural talent shone brightly. Her passion led her to the prestigious IED in Milan, where she earned a diploma in industrial design. The unique blend of inspirations from her home country and Italy has paved the way for her all-encompassing career, culminating in launching her eponymous jewelry and accessories brand in 2011. Today, Criado’s creations embody her innovative spirit and the vibrant heritage she carries with her. The question arises: how does she do it?

IN CONVERSATION WITH NATALIA CRIADO

Walk us through an average morning of yours. Do you swear by any rituals?

“Yes, I do. Every morning, I wake up, make my bed, and start the day with a thank-you meditation. I eat breakfast at home, take my time in the shower, and always finish with cold water. This routine sets the tone for my day.”

How would you describe what you do for a living?

“I design and create objects, primarily tableware, collaborating with artisans in Italy and Colombia.”

What motivated you to start your brand?

“While interning at an interior design company in Bogotá, I constantly sketched and conceptualized my products. My manager then suggested I should work for myself, and my father encouraged me to start my own brand. I began experimenting with various materials and found metals fascinating because they can be melted and transformed.”

Natalia Criado

And look at you now! How do you generate ideas and bring them to life?

“I draw whenever inspiration strikes—sometimes from things I’ve seen, other times from dreams. I create linear drawings and use my iPad for designs. Pinterest is my go-to for mood boards, shapes, colors, and brainstorming ideas.”

How do you integrate your expertise in different design disciplines into your brand?

“From the initial creative concept to sketching and production, I blend my expertise across various design disciplines to create cohesive and unique products.”



Your work blends Colombian heritage with Italian design. How do you make this work?

“I draw from the rich cultural legacies of Colombia and Italy, seamlessly blending them through collaborations with artisans from both countries.”

Natalia Criado

Why did you fall in love with Italy?

“Italy captivated me from my first visit to Rome and Milan at age 12. Studying industrial design in Bogotá, where we learned about Italian designers like Ettore Sottsass and Gio Ponti, deepened my desire to immerse myself in Italy’s design world. Italy has always held my heart.”

Can you tell us more about Joyas en Casa?

“‘Joyas en Casa,’ meaning “Gems at Home,” is a collection of tableware and bowls with a robust sculptural essence. Accented with natural stones, these designs bring a jewel-like quality to everyday objects, blending seamlessly with an industrial personality. The collection aims to reintroduce the joy of daily rituals at the table and the culture of sharing.”

Natalia Criado

What are the most critical values in your work?

“Time is the most essential value, as creating these pieces requires a deep understanding and appreciation of the time involved.”



What’s your favorite material to work with?

“Right now, metal is my favorite material.”

What’s the best part of what you do?

“The best part is seeing a finished product.”

What are you most proud of?

“I’m very proud of the ‘Joyas en Casa’ collection. It started as a playful experiment and has become beloved by many.”

What excites you most about the future?

“I’m thrilled that one of my pieces has been selected for the permanent collection at the MoMA.”

@nataliacriado

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