Gabriella Levy: Porcelain Artist
Gabriella Levy has always been enamored with the natural beauty of porcelain and created ImmerLit Designs [‘immer’ translates to ‘always’ in German] in 2013. From individually handcrafted lighting fixtures, candle votives and centerpieces, Gabriella's work elegantly illuminates spaces with the natural beauty of porcelain, translucency and light—and she's thrilled to be sharing it around the world.
Based in Cambridge MA, ImmerLit’s current line of pendant lighting, table lamps and
candle votives seamlessly integrates fine art, design and function. Balanced in their
‘complex simplicity’, immerLit lamps are customizable, from size to shape to color.
immerLit works closely with individuals, designers and architects to create unique pieces.
immerLit’s signature porcelain can be found in high-end residences throughout the
Northeast and is sold in retail locations such as the store at the Institute of Contemporary
Gabriella currently works out of a 300 sq. ft. warehouse space next to Iggy's Bakery, one
of Boston's best, and across from a beautiful reservoir. Equipped with a workbench (handbuilt), wall to wall shelving, a desk and a kiln, Gabrielle has all she neesds— oh and of course, ImmerLit fixtures are hanging everywhere!
What is it about porcelain in particular that fascinates you?
Porcelain is immerLit’s super star. The unique natural ability of porcelain to allow light to
shine through it sets it apart from all other clay bodies. It’s malleability, versatility and
natural beauty offer endless opportunities for this functional art form. Working with
thickness of both glaze and porcelain results in a surface of unpredictable undulations,
varied translucency and shadow from the fired porcelain.
What does your typical day look like?
I enjoy a little NPR on my 15 minute drive to the studio. I’ll start the day emailing and
Instagramming with coffee and breakfast. I’ll spend at least half of my day with porcelainwhether
that’s starting new projects, working on existing ones, unloading or loading a kiln.
I take an early afternoon break for a walk or run around the local reservoir and lunch. The
rest of the day is spent either at a coffee shop working on promo materials, emails,
planning, back at the studio continuing projects or meeting with clients and retailers. I also
bartend a couple nights a week, which can be a fun change of pace.
What inspires your work as a creative?
My work is inspired by my passion for porcelain and functional art. While studying
ceramics in college, I focused my efforts on the potter’s wheel creating perfectly
symmetrical, clean lines. About half way through my senior year, a visiting artist sat in on
our class and challenged us to step outside our comfort zone. Had it not been for this
woman, I would never have discovered my fondness for hand building or my appreciation
for the ‘beauty in imperfection’. Full of crevices, undulations and uneven rims, immerLit’s
signature porcelain embodies natural movement, elegance and finesse. And that’s what I
How do you come up with ideas and designs for your products?
It often occurs by accident, or as a solution to a problem. That is not to say that I don’t
research, sketch and plan. But it’s the actual trial and error with the porcelain that propels
immerLit forward. When I was first starting out, there were endless iterations of my first
prototype. So much so that I amassed boxes and boxes full of rejected porcelain: different
shapes, glazes, sizes, porcelain varieties, thickness, placement and size of openings for
hardware. It takes considerable patience and time until I’m satisfied with a new design.
And even then, there’s still more work to be done.
Outside of your work, what sparks your creativity?
Downtime. That precious time when you’re not thinking about the million tasks you need to
check off your list, can be the most important time for me. When I can truly clear my mind
and relax, new designs and ideas flow. That’s not to say that deep focused thought and
time isn’t necessary to create new products; it most certainly is. But that spark comes
beforehand, sometimes in the shower, sometimes on quiet walks or drives.
Did you grow up in a creative household?
Both of my parents are professional musicians and always encouraged me to participate in
the arts- dance, visual, music, theater- from a young age. Their belief in the importance of
creativity through the arts has certainly rubbed off on me. For a long time, I insisted that I
would grow up and have a ‘normal’ job, unlike my mom and dad. But I guess it’s true what
they say, you really do grow up to be like your parents:)
What are you currently listening to?
For long days at the studio, my go-to playlists are full of Taj Mahal, Phish, Talking Heads &
the Head and the Heart.
How do you find balance if your life/work/combination of both?
It is far too easy for a creative entrepreneur to take a long lunch with a friend or sleep in on
a Monday morning because there’s nobody else watching. You’re in charge of your own
schedule. You’re the only one who will know if you left the studio early - so what’s the
harm? Well, I feel that in some cases there is none. Sometimes, if the ‘creative juices’
aren’t flowing, you can’t force it. A midday walk can provide that necessary break to
‘recharge’ the mind. I try to keep the following in the back of my mind at all times: If I
weren’t self-employed, how would my boss feel about that?
Any advice for readers wanting to start their own creative business?
1. Be prepared to enjoy the highest of highs and bounce back from the lowest of
2. Do as much research as you can, but know that you’ll still be surprised.
3. Learn to separate yourself a bit from your creative work.
4. Never give up. 100% of people won’t love your work. You cannot please everyone.
5. Be open to criticism and change. Art and design should always evolve.
6. Trust in yourself and your work. It will make others believe too.
7. Starting a business is hard, but starting a business centered around your own work
is exponentially harder. Cut yourself some slack (just not all of the time).
What is your intention when you create?
My intention is to create something structurally sound, perfectly imperfect and undeniably
Over the coming years, immerLit plans to expand it’s collection to include floor lamps,
sconces and chandeliers. The hope is to begin seeing immerLit in commercial spaces
including restaurants, bars, boutique hotels and spas in the coming years.