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Adam Paxon

Adam Paxon is a designer and internationally recognised jeweller.  He has taught part-time at Glasgow School of Art since 1998 and in 2002 was awarded the coveted Herbert Hofmann prize at ‘Schmuck’ International Jewellery Exhibition in Munich. He makes one-off pieces of acrylic jewellery and is fascinated by the way pieces can be fixed to clothing or worn on the body.  His pieces are objects in their own right and he sees them as ‘creatures to wear’.

'I aim to produce wearable pieces of jewellery which have a distinct element of fun, though have attempted to skirt novelty and steer toward more suggestive contexts.

Adrenaline by Adam Paxon; Photo: Graham Lees

I have a process-led approach to my work, attempting to tease out hidden qualities in materials. 

Acrylic has excellent working qualities and while initially attracted to the material by the colour it offers, I currently produce work centred on its ability to act as a receptacle for light.

Although available in a wide range of opaque, translucent and fluorescents I find these stock colours too insensitive.  By laminating and forming, carving and refining, I blend colours to my own palette; seeking subtleties of newly enriched colour.

I’m interested in how light can change a piece - be guided through it, contained, and even project out over skin or garment.  This process also furthers the aim of distancing the pieces as much as possible from the stock colour, and form, of their raw materials.

The gleaming wet look finish, the material yearns for, charges these colours (sometimes incorporating reflective surfaces), as if about to burst with ripeness.  I am interested in using this to accentuate erotic, sensuous qualities. Mirror Bangle; By Adam Paxon, Photo: Graham Lees

This desire to capture life within, and with, the material is probably the main theme running through my work.  It is tied in with the development of pieces whose value as objects or creatures is amplified by the method of attachment being in harmony with the piece.  In fact, as pieces develop, I see them becoming more and more like creatures to wear.

My brooch attachments are enclosed and don’t confuse the brooches' form or character.  I’ve attempted to give the impression that these pieces have grown or erupted out of the garment... or are resting on it and perhaps about to scurry over the shoulder.  I also make earrings which can be fitted together back to back enclosing their clips.  As with the brooches I’ve attempted to give them a fully convincing dual identity.

Rolled Rings: By Adam Paxon; Photo: Graham Lees Furthering the pursuit of a feeling of life I add movement to the equation with my spring and dummy rings.  I see this movement representing breathing, quivering, or foraging; as well as having erotic / sexual parallels. 

I also like the way these rings as well as other pieces can be placed on their feelers allowing light to pass around the piece, and offering prowess.'

Paxon was one of a group of Scottish designers who attended a reception at Buckingham palace to celebrate British Design. The aim of the reception in November 2004, held by HRH The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, was to recognise the contribution of British designers to the national economy and to encourage the teaching and promotion of good design.  Read more about the artists who attended.

Related links
* Features archive
* Craftscotland
* More about the Buckingham Palace reception
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