Sensuality and Structure - Bliss Lau
How did you get into jewellery design?
Jewelry found me. I was a handbag designer, launched with my thesis collection out of Parsons at 22! I originally studied women apparel, fearless and ignorant to all things business I started my company. After 7 years of designing bags, I created a style inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge with chains hanging down the front like the cables of the bridge. Using the model form from college I draped a body chain. This was my first foray into jewelry.
Eventually, I began making silver rings. Then I fell in love. My now husband proposed to me with a sketchbook and thought it would be the most fun for me to design my own ring. Now another 7 years later I make custom rings for people all over the world, it is wonderful.
As a jewellery designer, what are your major influences?
My work explores how to encapsulate emotions, experiences, poetry, with a goal to create tangible beauty, with physical inspiration from architecture and combining spacial relationships with ethically sourced materials with meaning.
Recently I have been working on an autobiographical collection, jewelry inspired by the death of my father - pieces designed to represent protection and strength in remembrance of a loved one. I am also expecting which has to lead me to a path of thinking about what it means to grow something new, created from an idea, this idea of birthing a business, nurturing a life is fascinating and exciting. I love the idea of creating a memento in jewelry that will represent that growth experience to remind ourselves of what it felt like.
What is your design philosophy?
I believe in exposing the body within each design if I make something for you, you should see yourself in it. Therefore each piece has moments of coverage, then the human, and then combined with a gemstone or carefully placed texture. Ultimately each design is an expression of the wearer so I always like to know who you are and how the piece can amplify your person.
Describe the typical Bliss Lau wearer
My client seeks something different. They do not want to wear what everyone else is. They care about their community and how the pieces are made, our recycled gold policy matters to them deeply. Provenience is of value to them when it comes to gemstones and the philosophy behind each design.
What does ‘jewelry as a physical experience’ mean to you?
One of the reasons we all love to wear rings is that once you buy them, you enjoy them. You get to look at them on your hand every day, see the stones sparkle or enjoy it during a menial task even. Those little moments are what build our lives into something joyful and great on a larger scale. I think that life is often full of tiny win’s - challenges - learning and growth. When you wear one of our body chains underneath your clothing (as it is supposed to be worn) you are wearing it for yourself, because it makes you feel sexy or powerful. To me, all of those moments encompass jewelry as an experience.
How is jewelry powerful to you?
Jewelry is an object. It is the person inside of it that is powerful.
What are you currently working on?
I am also relaunching my Mysterious Concealment body chain collection soon which is very exciting. Updated to match my aesthetic today rather than in 2007 because I have changed, so the jewelry must evolve with us.
What can we expect from Bliss Lau in the next few years?
I have a very long list of goals. Because I run my company based on both a reaction to what happens in the world and what I discover makes me most happy I never truly know what is to come. I can say that what I care about now is helping - we are working to grow our connections with NGO’s and those working in mindful sourcing to further support women in mining, non-invasive practices and make sure that our products are serving communities from start to finish the right way.
Photography: Ellinor Stigle (Bliss Lau Portrait)