Candelabra Capsule Collection

LOOKBOOK took to the coast to place Jan Ernst’s ocean floor forms in their natural habitat

Words Modupe Oloruntoba  Photography Manesha Caldi  Art Direction & Styling Charl Edwards & Storm Ross

Scuba diving in crystal clear Kenyan waters would inspire anyone, no? Local ceramicist Jan Ernst turned a pre-lockdown trip spent observing the Indian Ocean’s wonders into his new Candelabra Collection. It lives in two parts, Veld & See, the latter inspired by the organic forms of coral, sea sponges, and other upward reaching residents of the ocean floor. 

This sea-themed capsule was brought to life by the LOOKBOOK team and photographer Manesha Caldi. The result is a contextually-styled visual story that presents the collection in nature while also putting the studio’s playful streak on display.

“You can see how the things that live and grow on the ocean floor are just shaped by the movement of the waters and the current,” Ernst says of the naturally haphazard patterns that found their way into the collection’s textures. Like much of Jan’s work, the pieces invite you to touch them – they are art that lives and breathes in interaction instead of observation.


Ernst’s hope for this functional art collection? Quite simply, that we use it. “Because I come from an architectural background – I’ve always tried to design with the intention of something being used.” 

“Sometimes I get a phone call like, ‘Oh my goodness Jan, how do you clean this thing?’ because it’s so textural. You don’t clean it – you leave it, and the wax allows the piece to change into something else. The pieces talk about time and change, and I quite like that.”

To find out more about the collection, visit Jan Ernst Functional Art, follow @jan_ernst_ on instagram or email