Photography by Sumner Dilworth
Videography by Mark Kauzlarich
It’s not every day that you find a creative collaboration united so closely in vision and a shared appreciation of craftsmanship, but when Stetson and LHN Jewelry founder, Lewis Williams first met, it was clear this partnership would yield something really special.
The Americana Collection is the first Stetson jewelry launch in generations. Featuring brass, silver, Kingman turquoise and leather, the collection is a celebration of the American spirit. Classic Western motifs and the southwest elements inspired this handwrought collection. Each piece is made by hand in Brooklyn by Williams using time-honored techniques and yielding one-of-a-kind pieces.
We visited Lewis’ studio in Brooklyn, NY, to talk to him about the collaboration, his inspiration, and how he makes each unique piece.
I studied jewelry and metalsmithing in London over 20 years ago. I did a course at Central Saint Martins and a degree at the London Guildhall before breaking into the industry.
I found that there wasn’t much contemporary men’s jewelry being made which was interesting, so aiming to make something new and dynamic in this area was appealing. I am interested in many different things from tattoo culture to Maritime life as well as a whole host of different elements that inspire the work. And introducing these elements into men’s jewelry was something I aspired to do.
I grew up in England, but was always influenced by Americana. I moved to New York City 15 years ago and have lived and worked here ever since. I am attracted to all kinds of historic elements when designing, everything from Heraldry from the Middle Ages up to Biker Gangs from the 50’s.
The emphasis of the collections I design are centered on heritage references and trying to transform these elements into contemporary works of jewelry.
We use traditional metalsmithing techniques to create jewelry, ancient processes such as carving into wax & casting into brass, silver, & gold. Sketches and drawings are created first, followed by making each design by hand. Sawing, engraving, hammering, & soldering the metals with precision & care, each creation is unique and made to last. LHN represents making quality, handcrafted jewelry, together with unique designs that will last the test of time and be cherished.
Taking a dive into the 155-year-old history of Stetson was exciting, and formed the basis of what we wanted to incorporate into the designs. Touchstones of the American Southwest were influential on the collection. We incorporated Americana sensibilities, such as the longhorn, buffalo and timeless icons such as the horseshoe to give the collection a strong grounding in Stetson’s history.
The Southwestern Cuff with Kingsman Turquoise gemstones at either end of it, is an epic piece and captures all the elements we wanted to portray in this collaboration. The cuff has a substantial width with lots of relief work in the design, but because we gave it a certain curve on the inside, it is incredibly comfortable to wear. I also love this cuff because the brush patina finish we apply to it, gives the cuff an antique feel, like old treasure.