Paul Alexander Smith is a recent graduate in contemporary silversmithing and jewellery. He specialises in mokume gane patterned metal techniques that manifest in innovative forms.
The concept for the spoon centres on a fictional commission for George Orwell, an enthusiastic tea drinker, for a personal caddy spoon. Initial research focused on Orwell’s political persuasions and the oppressive mechanisms of politics which he railed against in his writings, his experiences in the Spanish Civil war and his wartime work for the BBC (often cited as the inspiration for room 101 in the novel 1984). Parallel to this examination ran an investigation into both antique and contemporary caddy spoons, as well as contemporary artists’ interpretations of spoons in general.
Research also explored the imagery of the impact of conflict, subversion and oppression so present in Orwell’s work, through experimentation with the Japanese metalwork technique of ‘mokume gane’. These tests attempted to symbolise imagery such as bullet cracked glass. This developed further by introducing Orwell’s own weapon of choice – the typewriter – with particular attention to the keys. This inspired a series of laser cut models which matured into metal test exploring the layered aesthetic of the typewriter keys.
The final result of the research is a highly personalised silver caddy spoon for George Orwell, expressing a fresh and innovative approach to the object. The piece was chosen to be exhibited at the Craft Design Council Awards 2016.