Nathalie Lautenbacher

(prev. Lahdenmäki)

Studio Nathalie L. focuses in small scale production of porcelain tabletop series. The production is completely handmade in her studio in Kauklahti, Espoo.

Finnish-French ceramist and designer Nathalie Lautenbacher (b.1974) graduated 1999 from the University of Art and Design, Helsinki, from the Department of Ceramics and Glass. Lautenbacher works also as a designer for the Finnish ceramics and glass industry, Iittala and Arabia brands. Since 2002 she has worked as a lecturer at the Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki.

She has received several prizes, such as the Design Plus Award 2002 in Frankfurt Germany and the Bronze Award from Mino Competition 2005 and 2014, Japan. In 2008 she was awarded the Young Designer of the Year in Finland. Her works can be seen in several collections, among others the Rhösska Museum in Sweden. She presents actively her works via exhibitions in Finland and abroad.

Lautenbacher depicts her studio work as follows:

“Through craft techniques I can shape, colour and finish the objects just the way I want. With ceramics, the manufacturing techniques are rather slow, which suits me well. Nevertheless, I often wish I could slow the process down even further. Perhaps the slowness would then transfer to the finished product—why not to the eating occasion as deliberation. I feel that what I am trying to do, is promoting beautiful things to create consolation in the everyday life.

The qualities of the material inspire me again and again in ceramics. I am mostly interested in the texture, shape, weight and colour combinations of objects. Culturally ceramic vessel shapes refer to something simultaneously very permanent and fragile. In my newest works I consider the idea and value of searching and preserving as relevant themes. Vessels are like shelters, idea keepers.”

Curriculum Vitae


1993–1999  Master of Arts, University of Art and Design Helsinki (UIAH), Department of Ceramics and Glass



2014–  IAC. International Academy of Ceramics

2002–  Ornamo. Finnish Association of Designers


Professional Experience

2008–  Freelance Designer. The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. Shiroyama Co., Shigaraki, Japan    

2005    Guest Artist. The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Shigaraki, Japan

1999–  Teacher, Research Assistant and Senior Lecturer. UIAH, School of Design, Ceramics and Glass.                       (since 2011 Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture)

1999–  Ceramics Studio. Helsinki

1997–  Freelance Designer. Iittala and Arabia factories, Designor Oy, Iittala/Helsinki.                                                     (since 2012 Fiskars Home Oy)


Solo Exhibitions

2018 PRINTEMPS. Together with Naoto Niidome. Lokal, Helsinki

2017 HARMAA HETKI. Täky, Lappeenranta, Finland

2016  POLKU. Elephant, Tokyo, Japan

2014  NATHALIE LAHDENMÄKI. Elephant, Tokyo, Japan

2014  NATHALIE LAHDENMÄKI. Matrix, Basel, Switzerland

2012  KOLME HUONETTA - KERAMIIKKAA. Galleria 5, Oulu

2012  SMÅ TING - SMALL OBJECTS. Butik for Boarddaekning, Copenhagen, Denmark

2008  LAINAUKSIA. Gallery Johan S, Helsinki

2008  YOUNG DESIGNER OF THE YEAR. Together with Naoto Niidome. Design Forum Finland, Helsinki

2005  NATHALIE LAHDENMÄKI. Gallery Kaolin, Stockholm, Sweden

2001  EARTHENWARE AND BONE CHINA. Artek store, Helsinki

1999  PISTE. Arabia Museum Gallery, Helsinki


Group Exhibitions (main)

2018 10 000 VUOTTA MUOTOILUA – IHMINEN, AINE, METAMORFOOSI. National Museum, Helsinki

2017 ENTER AND ENCOUNTER – KUTSU HUOMISEEN. Designmuseum. Helsinki

2017 MOBILE HOME 2017 – KOTI SLEEPOVER. Finnish Institute, Paris

2017  ECHOES – 100 Years in Finnish Design and Architecture. Museum of the History of Polish Jews, POLIN. Warsaw


2015  GAME OF WHISPERS. Nordic Craft Pavilion, Révélations Grand Palais, Paris

2015  LES MAINS DANS L´ARGILE. Finnish Institute, Paris

2014  KERAMIIKKA TILASSA. Designmuseum, Helsinki

2014  INTERNATIONAL CERAMICS FESTIVAL '14 MINO. Tajimi Exhibition Hall, Japan

2013  VERDENSUDSTILLINGEN - BESTIK. Butik for Borddaekning, Copenhagen, Denmark

2012  3X5 DESIGN VISIONS. Kuparipaja, Fiskars, Finland

2012  DESIGN COLORS LIFE - CONTEMPORARY FINNISH DESIGN. Radical Design Week, Shanghai, China

2012  10+ VIEWS ON CLAY. Designmuseum, Helsinki

2012  EVERYDAY DISCOVERIES. Helsinki Design Week, Suvilahti, Helsinki

2012  TASTE & FORM. Makasiini, Fiskars, Finland

2012  6 SCENES OF BEAUTY. Vantaa Art Museum, Vantaa, Finland

2011  FINNISH DESIGN UNWRAPPED. London Design Festivals, UK. Designmuseum, Helsinki, Finland

2011  BETWEEN TRADITION AND FUTURE. Finland in Cheongju International Craft Biennale, South Korea

2011  AVOIN 140. Designmuseum. Helsinki, Finland

2010  LUX ARCTICA. Design House Idoli. Ivalo, Finland

2010  HIRAMEKI DESIGN X FINLAND. Living Design Center Ozone, Tokyo, Japan

2010  COLLECT. The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects. Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

2009  HELSINKIMADRID FinDesign. Madrid, Spain

2009  NORDIC SELECTED. Code 09, Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

2009  MUODON VIEMÄÄ – LED BY FORM. Kuparipaja. Fiskars, Finland

2009  LEUKU II. Siida, Inari, Finland

2009  COLLECT. Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

2008  FENNOFOLK. Design Museum, Helsinki

2007  KAUNEUTTA ARKEEN - Maire Gullichsen 100 years. Artek, Helsinki

2007  MADE IN FINLAND. Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland

2006  THE 30th ANNUAL PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART CRAFT SHOW.  Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, USA

2006  EUROPEAN CERAMIC CONTEXT 2006. Hjorths Factory Bornholm – Museum of Ceramics, Bornholm, Denmark

2006  FINNISH HOME IN PARIS. L'Institut finlandais, Paris, France

2005  INTERNATIONAL CERAMICS FESTIVAL '05 MINO. Tajimi Exhibition Hall, Japan

2005  CERAMIC TABLES AND TABLEWARE. The Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, Shigaraki, Japan

2005  GLOBAL LOCAL. Design Forum Finland, Helsinki. Victor and Albert Museum, London

2004  SYVÄLLÄ SAVESSA. The Finnish Crafts Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland

2004  TALENTS. Ambiente Japan/Interior Lifestyle, Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan

2004  FINNISH CERAMICS AND GLASS. Tsinghua University, Beijing. Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen, P.R. Of China

2004  KERAMIIKKA 2004. Kuparipaja, Fiskars, Finland

2003  TALENTS. Tendence Lifestyle, Messe Frankfurt, Germany

2003  CONTEMPORARY CRAFTSPEOPLE. National Museum of Finland, Helsinki

2002  A CENTURY OF FINNISH CERAMICS. Design Museum, Helsinki

2000  ARABIA ARTISTS IN RETRETTI. Retretti Art Center, Punkaharju, Finland

2000  YOUNG FINNISH DESIGNERS. Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland

1998  INTERNATIONAL CERAMICS FESTIVAL '98 MINO. Tajimi Exhibition Hall, Japan

1998  THIS SIDE UP. Arabia Museum Gallery, Helsinki



Awards and Grants

International Ceramics Competition, Mino, Japan, Bronze Award 2014, 2005

Press Award, Helsinki Design Week 2014

Muoto 2012

Prize  Koti & Keittiö Magazine, Helsinki 2012

Young Designer of the Year 2008

Design Plus Award, Ambiente Fair, Frankfurt 2002

Maire Gullichsen Award 2002

The Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation Grant 2009

Alfred Kordelin Foundation Grant 2007

Finnish Cultural Foundation Grant 2018, 2010, 2006, 2003 and 2000

Arts Council of Finland Grant 2016, 2006, 2003 and 2000

Hackman Pro Design Foundation Grant 1999

International Ceramics Competition, Mino, Japan, Honorable Mention 1998


Works in Collections

Finnish State Art Commission (Finnish National Gallery). Designmuseum, (Helsinki). The Rhöss Museum for Design and Applied Art, (Göteborg, Sweden). The Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, (Shigaraki, Japan). Åhlens Art Association, (Sweden). Arabia Museum, (Helsinki). Finnish Glass Museum, (Riihimäki, Finland)


Works in publications

Mäkelä M. (edit.) 2016. Ceramics and its Dimensions: Shaping the Future. Aalto Arts Books, Helsinki

Durme J. & Goethals P. 2014. Scandinavian Designers at Work.  Luster, Belgia

Lahdenmäki N., Lingren C. & Niidome N. (edit.) 2012. Sakura – Japanilainen Keittokirja., Helsinki

Hagelstam K., Visser P. & Lamppu E. 2011. 20+12 Design Stories from Helsinki.  WSOY, Helsinki

Grill S., Ehmann S. & Klanten R. (edit.) 2008. Fragiles. Porcelain, Glass & Ceramics.  Gestalten, Berlin

Yilong H. (edit.) 2005. Works by Ceramic Artists from Around the World.  Shanghai Fine Arts Publishers

Leppänen H.(edit.) 2003. Ruukun runoutta ja materiaalin mystiikkaa – sata vuotta keramiikan opetusta ja tutkimusta. Ilmari Design Publications, Hollola