Saturday, May 9, 2009


Today we stand at Portobello Road in London surrounded by an array of culturally diverse eateries, and prominent Victorian architecture. England is also home to featured jewelry designer Jane Adam.

Like designer Sasja Saptenno (Netherlands), Adam has an unusual and fascinating aesthetic for jewelry design; she creates stunning pieces of trinkets using aluminum.

In 1981, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Manchester Polytechnic for Three-Dimensional Design; and in 1982 a Masters of Arts for Metalwork and Jewelry from the Royal College of Art (she attended both schools simultaneously).

Adam manipulates aluminum in a remarkable way that would make chemists proud.  The process, called anodization, involves immersing a clean piece of aluminum in a sulphuric acid solution, and then transmitting an electrical current through the solution that causes the surface of the aluminum to combine with oxygen creating a thin surface layer of aluminum oxide.

The sulphuric acid dissolves the aluminum oxide creating microscopic pores in the aluminum. She then uses colorful dyes that are absorbed into the pores, which are then closed to seal in the color. Adam then compresses pieces of the sealed and dyed aluminum in rolling mills that causes marks and breakage in the metal.

The broken areas reveal the shiny, silvery metal beneath the surface resulting in shimmer and iridescence. "I begin with balanced geometrical proportions - though these will be stretched and distorted - and use sequences to create structures," she says.

She implements anondization with silver and gold as well; however Adam prefers working with aluminum because it is cost-effective, durable and light. It also allows her the freedom to create colors. "The resulting jewelry comes alive when it finds a wearer, forming a sensual relationship with her and becoming a part of the expression of herself."

Adam's jewelry has been featured at exhibitions in Patina Gallery in Sante Fe, New Mexico, the Gallery Bielak in Legnica Poland, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Photo 1 (top left): Pink Orchid Pendant with 9-Karat Gold on Silver Snake Chain
Photo 2 (bottom right): Aluminum Bangles and Rings with Acrylic
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