Designers & Companies


Heleen Sintobin (°1992) is a Belgian designer and maker, graduated from the Royal College of Art in London (2019).


Inspired by ancient and future making methods, her work strives to convey the power of materials in a contemporary design context. Her practice focusses on the tension between digital technology and traditional crafts which she expores through hands-on material research, experiments and happy accidents.




Vegetal tanned leather
Different height: 25-30cm, diameter: 8-10 cm
Different cups height: 9-12 cm, diameter: 8cm

Leather vases between digital innovation and craft tradition

Heleen Sintobin is fascinated by craftsmanship and its future in the digital age. Her leather vases, mugs and bottles combine ancient skill and technical innovation, such as CNC milling. This results in a leather structure which can be easily molded into these suprising organic shapes.

The project is also the result of lengthy research into natural ways of treating the material. From the outset, she collaborated with the belgian tannery Radermecker  that still treats skins in the traditional way with plant-based tannins made mainly from bark and leaves. She then carried out research on forgotten colouring techniques, rediscovering and experimenting with vinegaroon, a blend of vinegar and steel that reacts with the tannins inside the leather to give it a deep black hue. The finishing touch: artisan sewing handiwork and waterproofing also achieved with natural products.

Digi-Terra Collection

DIGI-TERRA COLLECTION explores the aesthetic language of digital crafting within contemporary ceramics. The collection showcases CNC milling on wet porcelain and clay exploring the fingerprint of the machine. As the tool collides with the clay, digital imperfections reveal themselves. The project unpacks CNC technology from a craft perspective and looks at the digital tool in the historical craft process of retooling.