Even though he’s based in the city, jeweller and sculptor Jordan Askill needs a daily fix of water. The beach, preferably, but if not, the lake in Central Park or his local swimming pool. ‘Being immersed in the water gives me ideas,’ explains the Sydney-born designer, who is now based in New York and London.
Askill had planned to go into fashion design and worked for Dior Homme in Paris until 2005, when he left to establish his own ready-to-wear jewellery line. ‘As a designer, my ethos is all about taking something familiar and representing it via a different element or medium,’ he says. His inspirations range from Jeff Koons to Fabergé, and his early pieces originated with found objects from his youth – ‘things that meant something to me that I adapted for wearing’. Recently his field of reference has moved to endangered species, such as macaws. ‘I read that there are very few left in Brazil,’ he says. ‘By using digital technology I can take the bird’s form and give it new life.’
The natural world intrigues Askill. One of his sculptural necklaces depicts a flock of swallows; another bracelet features a herd of wild horses evoking a mane-tossing, equine wave in silver; while a headdress is fashioned out of wishbone shapes. Each piece is executed meticulously and blurs the boundary between art and jewellery.