Traditional gold jewellery rethought by Laud
Awah, creative director of Laud, unveils his intricately embellished new jewellery collections
Awah brings an offbeat sensibility to jewellery design with his brand Laud. Established three years ago, the emerging jewellery brand intertwines a range of influences for pieces which play with geometry and rethink traditional motifs.
The new collections, available at Dover Street Market and Browns, rethink symbolic motifs in yellow and white gold pieces inspired by both African art and Awah’s Ghanian heritage. The eternity band and the signet ring, reconsidered through Awah’s lens, nod to the intricacies of stained glass, its patterns interpreted in irregularly placed speckles of diamonds. ‘Visually, there’s a perpetual homage to stained glass in all Laud jewellery and objects,’ Awah tells us. ‘Each piece is hand carved, resulting in no two pieces having the same finish. The placement of diamonds are therefore dictated by the shapes of finished facets.’ The paved settings, sitting on the curves of facets, fragment light in the same way as stained glass panels, creating a dazzling distortion. ‘It is directly inspired by Dalle de Verre stained-glass; a time-honoured process that sees glass cut into desired shapes and then selectively faceted to enhance the refraction of light,’ adds Awah.
Although the pieces play with faceted silhouettes and juxtaposed textures, they remain essentially simple. ‘I task myself with trying to achieve simplicity without being simple. I have always been captivated by the stark contrasts, deceptively simple forms and lines infused in African art, particularly in sculpture and furniture,’ says Awah. A childhood spent with intricately handcrafted objects left a lasting approach to his design aesthetic which is reflected in the delicate patterns on rings and carefully considered fundamentals of form.
For Awah, history is inextricably entwined in his modern jewellery design. ‘I strongly subscribe to the notion that to move forward, you must be able to look back. I have an affinity for the classic and modern sensibilities that have been very prominent and co-existed in the spaces around me. The marriage between the two worlds is an organic one. Through exploration of classic jewellery and objects such as eternity rings which originated from Egypt or Akan gold weights from West Africa; I’m able to explore stories and re-imagine them through the Laud lens.’ §