AUTOR Award @ CSM 2021: Lara Adkins, the art of touching time

AUTOR Award @ CSM 2021: Lara Adkins, the art of touching time

AUTOR Award @ CSM 2021: Lara Adkins, the art of touching time 3456 5184 Dautor

Lavinia (Lara) Adkins, the winner of AUTOR Award x CSM 2021 BA alumni, is here to show us a new take on time and life’s fragility through jewelry: „I believe that an object’s meaning and value is most deeply understood through touch.”


Even if there was no possibility of a face to face exhibition in the last two years, we managed to stay with Central Saint Martins (CSM). Since 2018 we are sharing with you the talent and the energy of the new graduates. The criteria for selecting the winner were: the coherence of the concept behind the collection, the execution of the jewelry pieces and, last but not least, the way in which the collection fits the target-audience of AUTOR Fair. This last criterion is meant to create a favorable context for the winner, who will come to Bucharest on 30th and 31st of October 2021, as a participant at DOR de AUTOR Pop-Up Shop #2.

Coming from a small village in England’s countryside, Lara Adkins grew up a country girl with aspirations to move to the big city, motivated by her passion for art and fashion. She used to sit in the fields with her sketchbook and soak up the sun whilst she drew for hours on end. From these bohemian influences, Lara felt she had become very in tune with her surroundings, merging these experiences with her art.

After working with a broad range of materials and techniques, Lara knew she wanted to be a part of the creative industry and undertook a Foundation Course to search for a particular specialism. She ended up moving to London permanently, where she studied at Central Saint Martins, continuing with a BA in Jewellery Designs. Lara just graduated and her hopes are to bring this sense of real emotion into the jewelry she creates, on a personal and individual level.

„My main inspiration is materiality. Materials surround us and have far-reaching effects that often we just do not see. We explore our world through touch and I like to exploit that in my work. I believe that an object’s meaning and value is most deeply understood through touch.” 

Consequently, materiality is a theme that runs throughout her work. Always intrigued by how materials are manipulated and changed, she enjoys experimenting with the texture, form and weight of jewellery, highlighting or disrupting natural material qualities and achieving something that is unexpected, possibly unrecognizable and unique. 

Description of collection & the process

Using wax to capture and preserve passing moments in someone’s life, Lara has designed a collection of commemorative jewellery. The pieces are responsive, picking up knocks, scrapes and damage that change the designs in unique ways and trace the wearer’s experiences. The jewellery is shaped in the form of a number that specifies the hours, days or weeks over which the changes took place.
Once worn, the pieces are preserved through lost wax casting; a process that solidifies the imprints in gold to reflect the preciousness of the memory that has been captured. This final, lasting, symbolic piece permanently memorialises moments that would normally be lost. The jewellery becomes an irreplaceable record or commemoration of those moments.

These pieces are one of a kind, unique to the wearer and should provoke an emotional response. Preserved in steel and gold, Lara sees these pieces as having a similar function to engraved jewellery, only instead of representations in lettering and dates, this contemporary interpretation captures real traces of the wearer’s experience.

Lara’s inspiration derived from the observation that marks in clothes are a record of the day’s events. She watched people’s interactions in daily life and noticed the marks, creases and folds left behind in the fabric. It is her interpretation that to make a crease in this way is a form of notation, with the fabric recording and preserving our experiences in real-time. 

The intention of Lara’s collection was to preserve the marks made as a tangible link to a past moment.  Her material tests led her to use wax in her jewellery, noticing that a sheet of wax will mark and crease in a similar manner to clothes, but can later be cast in metal to preserve the changed form. 

She also found that the structural contrast between the jewellery’s original form and its used form represented the time that passed while it was worn. She integrated this in her designs by placing the changeable wax against an unvarying support that takes the form of a number to specify the hours, days or weeks over which the wax changes take place.

Further developing her designs Lara explored numbers on the body. Their geometric shape became an integral part of each piece as they also determined the jewellery’s shape and placement on the body. Lara made sketch models to find the most appropriate placement for each of her pieces and then proved her concept by testing her designs and observing the changes over time.