After a decade that brought us live cockroach brooches and eyeball art, it’s tough to imagine a type of jewelry that could surprise us. But British jeweler Percy Lau has done just that, using the human body as source material.
Lau creates dainty replicas of body parts, made to order through her Etsy store. Among the highlights? Ear earrings with actual piercings (it’s like looking at an Escher print), and collar clips made from even tinier ears. The little prosthetics look uncannily skin-like, but they’re actually made of clay (Sculpey, to be exact) and cured in the oven.
Though there’s a definite shock value involved, Lau tells Co.Design that, for her, the pieces have a deeper meaning. “My inspiration came from a discussion I was involved in on how to listen to others well,” she says. “Having an extra ear to help us listen better.”
Lau presents something of an enigma in her online presence. Her website’s “About” section lists the following words: Christian. Jewelry Maker. But over email, Lau reveals that she is a full-time design student at the venerable Central Saint Martins College in London. Her blog showcases a delightfully weird assortment of work. In one piece, coffee spills into one ear and out the other. A bracelet is made of tiny portraits of Mau, which Lau has painted with Marilyn Monroe’s lipstick pout. The coolest, and most cringe-inducing, is a pair of old dentures whose teeth have been replaced with fake acrylic nails.
So it’ll be exciting to see what Lau does next. For now, she says, she’ll be selling her work at Up Market in London every Sunday.