With his skills in sculpture and his world travel experiences, Matthew Campbell Laurenza engraves a variety of cultures into intricate jewelry. Since architecture has creative limits, Laurenza brought his attention to jewelry design where he could pursue his creative desires. Expressing cultures through pieces of jewelry, Laurenza’s designs come from his perspective that has been influenced through his many voyages. Essentially, Matthew Campbell Laurenza’s designs are a balance of sculpture, culture and art and can be found throughout the world.
What inspired the Valhalla Collection?
I’ve always been mesmerized by Vikings, their adventurous spirit, their great power and savage beauty. And when I started watching the TV series Vikings the style connection I could see between them and modern women really got me excited. The Vikings’ style can be seen to endure to this day: opulent, natural, earthy but lush, necks adorned by jeweled amulets, shoulders crested by waves of majestic animal fur. All of that is so contemporary and that connection made me think of the strong, independent women I’ve known in my life, women who are willing to push their own boundaries.
The pieces are very colorful, what stones did you decide to choose and why?
I always use an array of fancy colored sapphires paired with semi-precious stones. This collection has a greater amount of earthy materials than others – ethically sourced wood and horn, for example – but the color palette is as expansive as ever, because I’m addicted, but also because the right mix of color brings visual texture to jewelry, emphasizing shape and volume.
Why is the collection called the Valhalla Collection? Is there a specific kind of energy to you want the jewelry to portray?
Well, Valhalla was the Vikings’ heaven. Similar to Mount Olympus for the Greeks. And of course I want every collection I design to make women feel radiant and exalted, but the Vikings’ were great explorers and that’s where this collection differs from others. Both men and women journeyed far and wide, giving birth to Europe as we know it today. Their drive to go further than their contemporaries made me think of all the women I know who have done the same. These women bend but never break. They’re bold, vivid, tenacious. They laugh and love and endure, drawing on a power that springs from deep within.
The rings are very beautiful and unique. How did you come up with their design?
Viking women fought as valiantly as men and the concept for the rings was based around the idea of armor. Armor was a form of protection, of course, but it also spoke of the wearer’s significance, their rank and wealth. And I wondered how I could recreate that, playing with the idea of a show of wealth and power while adding a layer of protection.
Is there anything else you would like to share about this collection?
Grab hold of opportunities whenever you can. I know it’s not always easy, but try to be open to change—like sails on a ship, catching the winds of adventure.