Discover Walid Akkad’s red gold animal rings
Franco-Lebanese jewelry designer Walid Akkad has reimagined animals as sculptural forms in a new collection of rings, “Bestiaire.” Unveiled at the Paris Art Fair, Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale, the 21 red gold pieces are miniature works of art in their own right, and can be worn on the finger or displayed upright.
“The plant and animal worlds have always been my main source of inspiration,” Akkad tells us. “Usually, I start with a concrete subject or an existing object, then I deliberately move away from it during the creative process. As I work on the design, the initial shapes disappear and become abstract. In the end, we don’t really see the initial source of inspiration in the final design. For this new collection, I took a similar approach. I wanted the rings to be harmonious abstract shapes when worn on the finger. However, the difference here was that I wanted the designs to come to life as animal shapes when standing alone on their [bases].’
The designs encompass a streamlined animal form without compromising functionality, tied to both the ring‘s status as a wearable item and an object of art. “Finding the right balance between aesthetics and functionality has always been essential for me,” adds Akkad. “I never stop myself from exploring new shapes, but ultimately my designs have to be comfortable to wear and I never lose sight of important aspects like size, proportions and weight. Finding the right balance between these two key components takes a lot of work, but good design should make it effortless.
Akkad’s passion for flora and fauna meets the stylized work of Henry Moore, Jean Arp and Brâncuși in the clean forms and simple lines of rings. For Akkad, ensuring the rings stood alone was key to the overall aesthetic. “I wanted the animal form to appear in the designs somehow and the only way to do that elegantly was to create a base for them to stand on their own. The challenge has become part of the creative process. For example, I had to create hooves for the horse ring to stand on its own.
The collection is accompanied by a book that details the unique creative process. ‘This collection opened a new chapter in my work. I will continue to create rings with a base, or that can stand on their own in the future. What started as a constraint has become a new source of inspiration and part of my identity as a jeweler.’
Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale takes place at the Carrousel du Louvre, from November 9 to 13, 2022 https://fineartsparislabiennale.com/ (opens in a new tab)