For Noren Studio founders Keith Lau and Josephine Liu, fine jewellery is a family affair. Liu is a formally trained goldsmith who studied at Vancouver Community College, while Lau spent much of his childhood in the workshop of his father, a master goldsmith who apprenticed under a Shanghainese master in 1960s Hong Kong. Together, Lau, his brother and father co-founded a studio in 2000. With Noren, the aesthetic is guided by the principles of industrial design, where form follows function. The result is an elegant simplicity Lau says is inspired by anything from the ergonomics of cutlery to the austerity found in some contemporary architecture.
Lau and Liu founded Noren after a trip to Europe, returning to Vancouver with a renewed sense of purpose. “There’s something about travelling that heightens your senses to visual and emotional stimuli and all the possibilities in the world,” Lau says. Shortly thereafter, they discovered they were expecting, and their brand shares its name with their daughter. “So much of what I do now is through the lens of being a father,” Lau says.
Created using some of the techniques passed down by Lau’s father, all of Noren’s pieces are made to order, which Lau says allows them to increase quality while keeping prices down. “One of our goals is to make high quality craftsmanship accessible and to celebrate and inspire appreciation for the art of the craft,” he says. “Being made-to-order allows us to connect the wearer to the story behind each piece and give them a glimpse into the relationship between craft and maker.”
Noren Studio, norenstudio.com.
Ring in 18 karat yellow gold, silver, diamond and platinum (6.0mm), $2,360.
Ring in silver and 18 karat rose gold (4.5mm), $800.
Bangle in 19 karat white gold and silver (4.5mm), $2,910.
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