1. Tell us a little bit about your label (art) and what you do?
I started Burton Metal Depository after realising how hard it was to find unique, but really timeless and understated jewellery for guys. I design and make the jewellery at my studio in Darlinghurst, which I share with a group of hardware and tech start-ups. My work is definitely influenced by my background in architecture – there are a lot of issues in common, like proportion, detailing how pieces join, and how materials wear over time.
2) What inspires your work?
The built environment – in particular Art Deco, Organic and Modernist Architecture. Also film noir and sci-fi movies, fashion photography, and graphic art.
3) What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I worked as an Architect for a number of years before moving into jewellery, but I’ve had a huge variety of part-time jobs in retail and customer service. For a while, I even got paid to open or close windows twice a day!
4) What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Kids’ comments are always entertaining – they’ll pick up a ring and say “ooooh it’s like a beehive”, or hold up a cufflink and pretend they’re lifting weights with it.
5) One thing you can’t live without?
6) What gets you up in the morning?
The challenge of getting through my to-do list!
7) How would your best friend describe you in 3 words?
Caring, somewhat clumsy, perfectionist.
8) What is the next skill you want to learn?
Oh there are so many! Top of the list is floristry, then glass-blowing. Also learning how to speak Cantonese or Mandarin properly would be really useful. Jewellery-related, I’d love to explore enamelling.
9) What is your dream project?
To collaborate with an awesome fashion label and create a range of products.
10) Favourite or most inspirational place in Sydney?
There’s a small platform on top of a lift tower in Woolloomooloo, where you can see the city on one side, and the navy ships and harbour on the other. I love going there cos there’s usually no-one else around.
11) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
There are 3 aspects to every product you sell: price, quality and time. You’ll never be able to compete on all 3, so choose one and make your business the best in that.
12) What advice would you give to new, aspiring Makers?
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus on what makes you / your work different and special.
13) And most importantly, what would your ultimate karaoke song be?
Hero, by Enrique Iglesias. I know it’s really corny, but my partner sings it every time we go to karaoke and it melts my heart!