Jewellery, leather work, mixed media artwork, music. Paul McCormack has his hand in more than a couple of creative pies. In October he is putting together Metamorphosis, a celebration of a variety of his pieces created under the brand PJM Artisan. We sent him a few questions before the exhibition.
You’re a real Renaissance man! Can you give us a little insight into your artistic journey?
Thank you I’ve never been called a Renaissance man before.
I remember I was 3 years old and I used to carry around an old hardcover exercise book that I used to draw cars and trucks in. So I guess this was the beginning of my creative journey.
Which medium was your first love, who were your mentors and how did the PJM Artisan brand come about?
I was always hammering in nails and interested in tools of any kind and hanging out in my Grandfather’s shed making things. My Grandfather was a handyman who could make just about anything and I spent a lot of time under his guidance as a youngster. You could say my Grandfather was my mentor.
In high school at 13 years of age I did an art metal course in which we made artistic jewellery using brass, copper, nickel silver and resins. I continued this through out high school, along with a woodwork course. Working with my hands and being creative was what it was all about. I always thought I would end up being a builder, however during school I did work experience with a jewellery company and eventually secured an apprenticeship with the same company.
The PJM Artisan brand was born to be a collective where all of my creativity; jewellery, leather cuffs, mixed media art work, book releases and band, The Sonic Circle, could all be housed under one banner. I had a boutique jewellery store in Burleigh Heads, Mycenae Jewellery Creations. Most people knew me as a jeweller only, after finalising the store over 4 years ago, I was burnt out with chronic fatigue and turned to some of my other creative avenues to help me through the next couple of years to heal myself from the fatigue. The brand has just grown from there.
Is there much call for bespoke and handcrafted works these days?
I find there is a big call for bespoke craftsmanship, as these days everything is so overly manufactured and mass produced, which tends to be quite soulless. The people that seek me out are looking for something individual that is theirs alone. This is what I specialise in, creating one off
If I were to ask about the one piece you’ve ever created that has the strongest feeling behind it, which one would that be and why?
I crafted a diamond, ruby and blue zircon pendant for a client around 5-6 years ago, she bought in a series of family heirlooms that had been handed down to her. Some of these pieces were very old and it mostly looked like rubbish. I set about unsetting all the stones and having them re-cut or re-polished as some looked like pebbles from the garden. Once I had the stones I then designed and crafted the piece, it was quite a time consuming project. Once it was completed I was actually quite surprised myself as I had no idea it would be such a magnificent piece. Sometimes the creative process just takes on it’s own life and this was one of those occasions. When the client received the piece she gave me a hug, she was also quite emotional. This sort of experience is highly rewarding and one of the reason’s I love being creative.