What do Venetian masks, daggers, cherubs, minotaurs and armoured horses have in common?
This rather eclectic list is just some of the design inspirations guiding Luka Pasikowski, the designer behind two-year-old jewellery brand Cardinal of London.
Though a unisex offering, Luka’s work is inherently tailored towards men seeking something a little bit leftfield from their jewellery. Want a necklace? Ask Luka and you’ll be presented with a beautifully intricate collection of pendants featuring, for example, carved crown-topped skulls with ruffl ed collars.
Recalling the past year, Luka notes that contacting buyers has, on occasions, been a daunting experience. “It is extremely difficult to get the chance to show or hear an opinion on a new product even though the quality of the pieces is outstanding,” he says. “Departments stores, for example, underrepresent the actual richness of new jewellers, sticking to the safe, repetitious, cheap labour-sourced collections for years.”
But the industry is listening, and this year Luka was invited to be part of the 2014 KickStart line-up at IJL, where he presented an array of work to the wider UK industry. “It is both a very pleasant commendation and a promising platform to be seen on at the IJL show. And most importantly, the chance to get the attention of the public and buyers.”
Back to the work itself. Luka typically begins with a sketch or a piece of wax, which he carves into the form that’s evolved in his mind. “My technique is a traditional one – pencil, engraver, fi le, hand fi nish,” he states. “My jewellery plays with dimension and design; it is made to last.”
Indeed, his skills as a traditional designer-maker have also landed him a role at Holts Academy, where he teaches jewellery manufacturing to a new generation of jewellery upstarts. Luka’s father was also a goldsmith, similarly driving his desire to pass on the skills he watched and learned as a youngster.
His colleagues at the Academy have described his work and vision as “unparalleled”; with more than 20 years’ experience behind him, his future looks as bright as his collections.
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