Tuesday, July 14, 2015


9K Gold & Sterling Silver Prey Brooch Pin
Paihia, New Zealand is a locale ripe with natural beauty and cultural wonders.

The town’s picturesque beaches are a great place to kick back, relax or explore scenic adventures like swimming with dolphins.

New Zealand is also home to featured jewelry designer Jane Dodd.

If you are a lover of fairytales, without Disneyesque overtones, you will love the no-frills yet quirky mood of Dodd’s handmade jewelry collection, Fairytale.

Implementing sterling silver and 18-karat gold as her canvas Dodd’s designs reference an aspect of a specific character rather than depicting the actual character. 

A gold spinning wheel, and gold straw brooch pins, for instance, represents Rumpelstiltskin; Rapunzel’s braid is converted into an 18-karat gold band; a red gold ring, called House of Bricks, simulating stacked bricks corresponds to The Three Little Pigs.

But Dodd’s fascination with children’s lore seems to blend with the nature themes of her Creatures, and Land and Nature collections.

Composed of unorthodox materials including trade wood and beef bone totemic heads of polar bears, blank panthers and owls populate the former collection; while glossy metal renderings of sunsets and oceanic views are central to the latter.  Both collections evoke the rich oral history of indigenous people.
Sterling Silver, Ebony & Bone The Great
Claw Pendant Necklace
Studious and adventurous, Dodd has spent several years learning about native Maori language, religion and anthropology.  Although she admits it “never paid the bills,” she was once a bass player for indie-pop band the Chills.  After an epiphanic trip to Mexico, twenty-six years ago, awestruck by the country’s art history Dodd returned to New Zealand to study jewelry making.

Her intuitive creative process involves lots of exploring and experimentation.  In her Dunedin workshop she lays out different materials at her workbench pushing them around, pulling them apart until an idea starts to form, and a piece literally takes shape.

“The process is an organic one where I don’t try to manipulate too much or overthink it.  I don’t draw fully realized designs on paper.  I get a particular feeling that something is right when it happens.” 

The contemporary art jeweler, who once made a skateboard from matchsticks, loves to use unusual materials in her jewelry.  Although Dodd enjoys working with silver and 18-karat gold, she found their weight and expense limiting to her agitated sense of creativity.  Without knowing how she would use them she began collecting varied materials from shells to bog oak excited by the possibilities. 

“A change in material can lead to so many new roads.  It has really been exciting to figure out how to use new materials.  A lot of my recent work is dusty, noisy and even stinky but I relish the opportunity to experiment with materials and processes.

House of Straw Rings in 18K Yellow Gold & Oxidized
Sterling Silver (left and center); and 18K Red Gold
House of Bricks Ring  (right)
When I visited Mexico I was impressed with how craft and art are a part of general life, not just a preserve for the privileged.

This was so different from what I saw in New Zealand, and I was determined to bring that mindset to my work.

I wanted to make work that resonates with people in a really deep way.”
Note: Photos Redirect to Alternative Items At ShopStyle Collective
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