Jill Platner + Waterworks’ Isla Collection

The NYC jewelry designer and sculptor injects tactile elegance to the bathroom

Our 2010 studio visit (video below) with NYC-based jewelry designer Jill Platner revealed a genial spirit who looked most comfortable when forming and playing with her materials of choice: silver and gold. Though metal can sometimes give off a cold, pristine feeling, Platner’s expertise has been in creating accessories and sculptures that desire to be touched and held, almost like an extension of the body. Applying this mindset to her new collaboration with Waterworks, Platner surprised us by designing sink and bathroom fixtures as elegant and exciting as her unique sculptural necklaces.

“Waterworks had initially been drawn to some of the textures and forms they’d seen in my tabletop collection so I wanted to bring a similar sensibility to the ISLA collaboration,” Platner tells CH of the two-year design process. “I ended up diving deeper into some of the wax carving techniques I had used in the past to produce varied prototypes. The brainstorming around this project was so much about the touch and feel of each surface—a surface you could be touching many, many times each and every day!” Platner carved wax models to her liking, which were then 3D-scanned into CAD to create cast molds.

Her Petra handle, immediately grabbing the eye with ergonomic grooves, is a great example of Platner’s handiwork and personality—something that’s oftentimes absent in bathroom fixtures. “Our initial design success of the Petra handles ended up leading the way for the aesthetic of the entire collection,” Platner adds. The warmth of the slightly rubbed down gemstone-shaped Geode turns a quick hand-wash into a beautiful ritual.

“I just adore metal. I’m a complete metalhead,” says Platner on working with the material for decades. “Perhaps it’s just in my blood but I see endless possibilities creating with metal. It’s most certainly my material of choice, I never tire of it. The material still does surprise and fascinate me with it’s permanent yet pliable qualities—and it’s been incredible education every step of the way!”

Preview the entire Isla catalog online at Waterworks, or at one of their select showrooms throughout the country. The collection launches April 2016 and prices start from $125 for the Geode Knob hardware. Also part of the collection is a mirror and stone shelf, which will be made available in a few months. Jill Platner’s studio and showroom is on 113 Crosby Street; pop in next time you’re in the SoHo neighborhood.

Last image by Cool Hunting, all others courtesy of Waterworks