This brooch is by the designer and maker Jane Adam. I first came across Jane’s work back in 2009 at the Dazzle Exhibition, where I bought a rectangular brooch made of aluminium.  Jane is a renowned exponent of aluminium jewellery, and her work has been exhibited across the world including Japan, USA, Spain as well as in the UK.  She says “My aim was to create jewellery pieces where the value lies in what I added as a maker, rather than in the materials themselves.”  A sentiment I wholeheartedly concur with. I’m regularly disappointed to hear a piece of jewellery has ‘x’ number of precious stones.  The value of the item being in terms of carats or metal purity.  For me the design of a brooch comes first.  The use of unusual materials, be that aluminium, fabric, wood, also comes into play. Jane is interested in the way people express their individuality, particularly through jewellery. How people choose to wear their jewellery.  One of my criteria when buying a new brooch for my collection is to check its wearability, does it sit right, is it easy to put on and off.

I saw my wonderful stylized paisley leaf at the Goldsmiths’, as regular readers of my Brooch of the Month will know, one of my favourite jewellery shopping haunts. It is, as expected of Jane’s work, made of oxidised aluminium but also with elements of silver, 24ct gold and 18ct gold.  Despite its size, measuring nearly 9cm, it is lightweight, making it easy to wear.  Jane devises ingenious fastenings to ensure the brooch does not fall off.

Jane graduated from Manchester Polytechnic with a BA in 3D Design in 1981 and an MA in Metalwork and Jewellery from the Royal College of Art in 1985.  Right from the start she began to explore the possibilities of aluminium as a material from which to make jewellery.

Jane Adam at work

The brooch I bought in 2009 has a most interesting back, it reminds me of the Klimt painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, painted in 1907 in Vienna.  In 2015 Dame Helen Mirren starred in the film ‘Woman in Gold’.  She played Maria Altmann, Adele Bloch-Bauer’s niece and deals with the many art treasures that were stolen by the Nazis from Jewish families.

On the left Adel Bloch Bauer and on the right Gustav Klimt Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, painted in 1907
Back of my 2009 Jane Adam brooch

There are many fans of Jane’s work, Joanna Hardy (Antiques Roadshow jewellery expert) has a magnificent pod necklace in shades of blue and a multi coloured cuff bracelet.  Joanna says “Jane’s jewellery does the talking it’s bold stylish and fun, what more can one ask?” I couldn’t agree more with another jewellery Joanna.

Joanna Hardy wearing Jane Adam Pod necklace and bangle