Cutting her design teeth

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 07:32 15/01/2014
Charlotte Burkhart

Young entrepreneur: Blenheim-born Charlotte Burkhart is running her own jewellery company, Little Sister Designs.

Charlotte Burkhart
Charlotte Burkhart works on another L.S.D design

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A Marlborough-born jewellery designer has made a name for herself internationally with her unique jewellery designs, including pieces made with human teeth.

Charlotte Burkhart's passion for jewellery design started when she was about 10, but in the past four years she has hit her stride, and has even set up her own company, Little Sister Designs.

Miss Burkhart said during the past few years she had discovered the wonders of silver and how well she could use it to express her fascination with the fictitious wizardry world and the unseen parts of life.

She became fascinated with teeth after having her wisdom teeth removed.

"To me teeth are more precious than diamonds and certainly harder to come by," she said.

"Some people felt squeamish about my teeth jewellery, but some see their incredible beauty," Miss Burkhart said. "Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder."

The teeth she worked with are sent to her from as far as the United States and some from dentists in New Zealand.

"All the teeth are given to me and I clean and sanitise them thoroughly before using them," she said.

Her most memorable piece was a custom design for a family friend and included human hair.

"She wanted a piece that included the first cutting of each of her two children's hair.

"It was fun to design, until I discovered I got chickenpox from one of the children's hair," Miss Burkhart said.

She was also inspired by and loved working with animal bones, antique photographs and acrylic.

She said sales had tripled in the past year, but focus had been on the international market.

"My online store is doing great internationally, but my focus this year is to get into the New Zealand market."

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- The Marlborough Express

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