Established way back in 1973, Adelaide’s JamFactory has become synonymous with training, mentoring, supporting and promoting creative makers in Australia. Forty-three years after its inception, JamFactory launches its first-ever furniture collection. More than a year in development, and featuring the work of some of the country’s finest designers, as well as emerging designers who have completed the JamFactory Associate Training Program, the collection perfectly marries commercial viability and artisan craftsmanship.
Fiona Killackey spoke with JamFactory’s CEO Brian Parkes about supporting creativity, growing skills-based manufacturing in South Australia, and the need for real-life learning.
It’s one thing to learn a craft, it’s another to make a living from it. Within the studios of Adelaide’s JamFactory, makers are taught not only about the skills required to produce truly artisan work, but also about the pressures that come with real clients, real deadlines and real budgets. ‘Each studio at the JamFactory is required to operate as a viable business,’ says CEO Brian Parkes, ‘to provide income for the Associates and the program, and to create broad and relevant training experiences’.
The JamFactory’s first-ever furniture collection, which is due to include new product releases each year, is another example of the entrepreneurial avenues JamFactory explores to grow awareness of its makers and stimulate local job opportunities. ‘We have worked closely with local manufacturers in Adelaide and one in Tasmania,’ says Brian, ‘Because of the skills and facilities we have at JamFactory we can make small quantities of most items in-house… but if we get a large order these can be made by one of our local manufacturing partners to the same high-quality standard, contributing to the growth of new high-value manufacturing in South Australia.’
Led by JamFactory Furniture Studio’s Creative Director and leading designer, Jon Goulder, the nine-piece collection features work from Daniel To and Emma Aiston of Daniel Emma, Karen Cunningham (Head of JamFactory’s Glass Studio), Jon Goulder, Henry Wilson and Adam Goodrum, as well as emerging designers Rhys Cooper and Daniel Tucker. ‘Jon was keen for the collection to hover between a domestic and commercial in feel’ starts Brian, ‘He created simple briefs for the invited designers, and then liaised with them during the design development. We were very keen for the collection to reflect the process of making, the beauty of materials and the craftsperson’s attention to detail.’
This November and December JamFactory will host a pop-up shop within Koskela in Sydney, featuring their new furniture collection, as well as their homewares collection, and a curated selection of 20 South Australian artists and designers.