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Three Dimensional Design

Manchester School of Art


Jane Adam

Graduated 1981

Studio Jeweller

I design and make jewellery in dyed anodised aluminium and in precious metals, for sale and exhibition in galleries and shops throughout the UK and abroad.

I chose the course in Manchester because I knew I wanted to be a maker, but didn't know what I wanted to make. The course introduced me to a range of materials and processes. It gradually became clear to me that I wanted to make jewellery. However, I was less interested at that time in precious metal than I was in colour, form and the way a piece looked and felt on the body.

After I was introduced to dyed anodised aluminium in my second year, my work took off. I found I was taking thinking from ceramics into the metal studio – an approach to working in series, the application of marks to a surface – and applying them to this relatively new and unexplored material. This began a thirty year process of research and discovery which has been at the core of my work ever since.

I define myself at heart as a craftsperson – I love making and the crafts in the most general sense, and I have drawn inspiration and knowledge from them throughout my career. The course at Manchester introduced me to a variety of skills and ways of thinking and understanding what it is to design and make an object. I feel really fortunate to have had that base from which to grow.

I always hesitate to offer advice – I feel that a person's career, business and life choices are just as individual as the work they choose to design and make. However, I am really glad that I seized the opportunity I was given at Manchester to learn and work, and would encourage future students to appreciate what they are offered, and not to pre-judge or to limit what may inspire and inform them.


Solo exhibitions
Showcase, Contemporary Applied Arts (2009);
Patina Gallery, Santa Fe, USA (2006);
Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh (2001, 2003 & 2004);
Arai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2000);
'Jane Adam Jewellery', Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales & British tour (1999-2002)*.

Selected Group Exhibitions
Two person show, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco (2009);
'Contemporary Jewellery UK-Japan', Gallery Shop Si, Kobe, Japan (2008);
'Surfaces', Aaron Faber Gallery, New York, USA (2008);
Collect (with Cockpit Arts) (2008);
'From Minimal to Bling', Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, USA (2007);
'Contemporary British Jewellery', Gallery Bielak, Krakow & Gallery of Art , Legnica, Poland (2005); 'Triennial Exhibition of Contemporary Jewellery', Chateau de Seneffe, Belgium (2002);
'Jewellery 'Aluminum by Design: Jewelry to Jets', Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, USA & international tour (2000–2005*);
'Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts: Jewellery', Crafts Council, London & tour (2000–01) *;
'Jewellery Moves', Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh (1998) *;
'Introducing Contemporary British Jewellery', USA tour (1998).

Work in Public Collections
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (1987 & 2002);
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, (2003);
Cleveland Craft Centre (2002);
Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design, New York (1987);
Crafts Council, London (1991 & 1999);
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (2008);
Hiko Mizuno College, Tokyo (2000);
Hove Museum and Art Gallery (2009);
Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh (1986, 1999 & 2000);
Shipley Art Gallery & Museum, Gateshead (1989 & 2007; Ulster Museum (2004);
Victoria & Albert Museum, London (Dept. of Jewellery) (1985 & 2008);
Victoria & Albert Museum, London (Dept. of Prints & Drawings) (1984).

Future in the Making, Holts Academy (2007-2009);
Research awards, University of Central England (1997-2001);
Visual Production Award, Greater London Arts (1991);
Crafts Council Setting Up Grant (1985);
RCA Major Travelling Scholarship (to India) (1985).

Professional Experience and Teaching
Co-deputy Chair, Crafts Council (2009-);
Maker Trustee, Crafts Council (2002-);
Chair, Crafts Council Development Award (2003-06);
Chairman, Association for Contemporary Jewellery (2000-02);
Research Fellow, School of Jewellery, Birmingham (1997–2001);
Vice chairman and founding member, ACJ (1997-2000);
Visiting artist, Tainan National College of the Arts, Taiwan (2004);
Guest speaker, 'Aluminum by Design' international symposium, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, USA (2000);
Co-organiser, 'A Sense of Wonder', ACJ international conference, Birmingham (2000);
Guest presenter, SNAG conference, Boston, USA (2000);
Guest speaker, 'Jewellers' Exchange' international conference, Newcastle (1997);
Visiting lecturer, Postgraduate Diploma in Silversmithing & Jewellery, Oporto, Portugal (1996–97); British Council visitor, touring India with exhibition 'All That Glisters' (1992).

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