Lawrence Gibson was brought up in the hamlet of Nantithet on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. After attending the local primary and secondary schools he decided to follow the one year Art and Design Foundation Course at Falmouth School of Art. He gained his National Diploma in 1991 and, at the end of that year, relocated to pursue a three-year degree course in Industrial Design. He gained his First Class Degree with Honours from Cardiff Institute of H.E. in 1994.
Upon returning to Cornwall Lawrence took up a position in a local model-making business where he learnt new techniques and processes. During his four-year employment, and needing an outlet for his creativity, Lawrence realised that he could utilise his extensive knowledge and skills to produce forms based on an ongoing collection of sketches. These forms took inspiration from the Cornish coastline with its beautiful coves, beaches, fishing harbours and surf culture, and began the process for creating his ocean jewellery.
The initial forms for Koa jewellery’s pewter and resin range are sculpted and then moulded to produce duplicates of the originals. Each handmade piece of sea jewellery is produced using a base metal of high quality pewter, which is completely lead and nickel-free. The pewter is sourced from a local smelter in Cornwall and the majority of the sea jewellery designs incorporate coloured resin detail. This resin starts as a pure, clear liquid to which colour is added. The resin is then either dropped into the pewter casting or made as a seperate piece to be incorporated into the design.