Jane Adam is a lifelong innovator, a quiet revolutionary who has carried out her pioneering work with intelligence and perseverance through four decades without fanfare or fireworks.
Her natural language is metal but she is unconstrained by its traditional rules. Apparent limitations are there to be tested, in a spirit of genuine enquiry, and then transcended. ‘I push my materials to their limits to explore their inherent qualities, such as how a metal tears or gains texture under stress, or the way a scratched line changes its physical character when it is stretched or compressed.’ Such free thinking allows unexpected outcomes to be appreciated and exploited for their intrinsic textural or visual beauty.
She treasures ‘the magical moment when the right piece finds the right owner… By becoming part of the wearer’s experience and expression of self, my jewellery is transformed and completed… I know I have succeeded in making something relevant when other people respond by buying and wearing my work’.
Jane Adam’s jewellery changes people; it changes as it is worn; the maker herself changes over time. Her work shows steady evolution melded with continuity, and a sense of circularity, where everything comes around - but always in an original and excitingly different way.
Dr Elizabeth Goring, 2019
Jane Adam was born in London. After a short career in retail management at Heal’s and Liberty’s in London, she studied for a degree in Wood, Metal and Ceramics at Manchester Polytechnic and an MA in Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art.
Soon after she graduated in 1985, she set up her studio in central London. Since then, she has concentrated full time on making jewellery, combining artistic integrity, ongoing experimentation and technical innovation with a grounded sense of commercial reality, to design and create jewellery that appeals to women (and men) of all ages. This is shown in leading international galleries and exhibitions.
Her work can also be seen in many major museum and public collections, including those of the V&A Museum, Crafts Council, Goldsmiths’ Company, Royal Museum of Scotland, MIMA in Middlesbrough, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York and the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.
She has taught and lectured in Taiwan, Portugal, India, China, the USA and throughout the UK, and was Research Fellow at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham from 1997 to 2001. She was a founder, vice-chair and chairman of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery, a maker trustee and co-vice chair of the Crafts Council. More recently, she was a trustee of Cockpit Arts where she had her workshop for many years before moving in 2015 to her own lovely purpose-built studio in her garden in south-west London.