Tuesday, December 21, 2010

DANAI LEOSAWATHIPHONG

Koh Samui, located on the far end of the Thai Gulf in Thailand, is a stunning location of natural beauty with limestone formations, waterfalls, as well as an aquarium. Thailand is also home to featured jewelry designer Danai Leosawthiphong.


There is no question that gold and sterling silver renderings of flowers or leaves are visually stunning but in my opinion they are no comparison to just how beautiful the real thing is.

Leosawathiphong’s implementation of real flowers preserved in resin, lacquer, and 24-karat gold is hands down some of the most beautiful designer jewelry I have seen.

Thirty-four years ago, after studying engineering at London’s University of Leeds, Leosawathiphong returned to Thailand intending to get into mining.

However, upon setting up his lab to study ores and minerals a colleague “suggested that we also use the lab to create something representative of the area. So we came up with the idea of covering natural products, like exotic flowers and plants, with gold.”
For two years, with the help of his wife, Ilkay, who studied polymer science, Leosawathiphong experimented with electrolytic solution and anodes attempting to find the right balance that would generate the effect he wanted.

“We tried and we tried until we had our first flower covered with metal but it actually looked like a shrimp. We eventually developed a process called electro-forming that provides a thicker layer of gold with a more leveled surface than electro-plating,” he explains.

The bulk of gorgeous items featured on his Novica page highlight fully bloomed roses, daisies, and the classic Thai flower orchid encased in clear, glossy resins allowing the flowers’ natural colors to shine through.

Delicate pendant necklaces suspended from 24-karat gold-plated chains as well as accents of enamel, and gemstone beads complete the sweepingly natural aesthetic.

The exquisite forms of real orchid and oak leaves, cast in glistening sterling silver, make highly distinctive cuff bracelets showcasing the leaves' unique shapes and complex vein patterns.
Leosawathiphong‘s fashion jewelry is a wonderful homage to nature’s expansive palette of colors, forms and textures.

“I think our creations have a lot of potential,” says Leosawathiphong, “We reprocess everything we use and do not throw away anything. I do not think our creations will go out of fashion because generally people love flowers.”
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Photo 1 (top right): 24-Karat Gold Plated Natural Gardener Leaf Pendant Necklace
Photo 2 (center): 24-Karat Gold Plated Natural Orchid Passion Stickpin
Photo 3 (bottom left): 24-Karat Gold Plated Natural Orchid Aqua Perfection Pendant Necklace
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