ferns Brian Adam eyewear, eyeglasses and other jewellery                              

March 16th, 2011



Jewellery students

Couples Making Wedding Rings

"Caroline and I had an amazing experience with Brian making our wedding rings. We both loved the idea of making something ourselves and to make this an experience of both learning and sharing.
Brian is a true craftsman and knows his stuff, but he was patient and had a quiet and supportive way about him as he showed us each part of the process.
The session was great, we started with a strip of silver and left with finished rings! The setting and atmosphere was very tranquil amongst the bush in his quaint studio.
Brian is a wonderful man, he shares his wisdom with a smile. It was truly one of the best experiences we have had as partners and a very special day we won't forget."

[more about wedding ring making...]

Couples Making Wedding Rings

It was a very special moment for us when we were finally allowed to wear our rings as husband and wife. They are very special for us ...
The days between our wedding ring session at your studio and our wedding have been filled with fear, that we could loose them. Sounds funny, but it wasn´t. I trippled checked the rings every time we moved on to a new place or on another daytrip.
We told our marriage celebrant about how we have made the rings for each other and what they mean to us and they became a main part of the ceremony and the speach of the marriage celebrant: "I give you this ring, which I have made for you, wear it as a symbol of my love and of all we share ... "
Thank you very much for this unbelievable experience you have made possible!
Sebastian and Mandy, Berlin, Germany.

[more about wedding ring making...]

Takako from Japan

I am pleased to endorse Brian Adam and his jewellery making tuition.


It was such a great experience for me to make jewelleries from the scratch under the tuition of Brian - making a gold ingot by pouring gold and copper alloys through water, sawing it, rolling it out, hitting, soldering, etc, etc..

Although it was the very first time for me to make jewelleries, Brian listened to my ideas and helped me and taught me a lot to meet my expectations.

22k gold of ring with moonstone and a ruby pendant are here and I am proud of them!

[more about private tuition ...]

Cathy from Bagdad, Iraq:
"I wanted to express my gratitude and satisfaction"
for the workshop I took with you during my trip to New Zealand. The week I spent in your studio was the highlight of my trip!

In addition to your expert tutoring, you and Ruth made me feel very comfortable and at home in your studio. I was able to learn all the areas I set out to learn and came away with additional tips and tricks of the trade. Your teaching style is tops!

Wanted to also thank you for your prompt replies to my emails and inquiries before taking your workshop, and for the detailed information on subjects from which to choose from. I look forward to taking another workshop with you during my next trip to beautiful New Zealand.

[more about private tuition ...]

Hi Brian and Ruth:
Greetings from sunny Jamaica!!
I am back at home now, settling in slowly, catching up with my friends and trying to figure out where to go from there.
I cannot thank you enough for the hospitality, tutelage and friendship you and Ruth extended to me while I was in NZ. I enjoyed working with you and learned a great deal, not just about jewellery techniques , but much more... conducting workshops and teaching beginners, as well as some aspecs of the business end of studio jewellery.
I have lots still to learn about marketing myself and my work, gaining true confidence in my ability and creative style. Somewhere along the line, you helped me realize the importance of being able to state my case clearly and sticking to my guns with confidence.
Peace and Love,

2000 - Graduate in metal arts and design from Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Jamaica.

2003/4 - Recipient of a Commonwealth Arts and Crafts Award to travel from Jamaica to New Zealand to study and work alongside artists, and to hold an exhibition.

[more about private tuition ...]
Lyn Bolton of Auckland, NZ:
I have enjoyed my bush jewellery classes immensely. I can see you are only limited by your imagination. I still have much I want, and can learn. Brian is a great teacher. Eternally patient, helps with ideas, always positive, simplifys things for the novice. Makes instructions very clear and logical. While i am learning i am having fun too. I intend to continue learning with Brian as my tutor.
Brian is very good at encouraging you, to experiment with different techniques, to also try to make you think for yourself. i have been impressed with the very high standard of his instruction. Also the friendliness. i have felt comfortable at all times, never nervous, to try something new.
Thank you Brian.
[more about private tuition ...]

Heather Skeates from Devonport, Auckland:
"I got a new career here!"
Heather once was a brilliant potter, a ceramicist actually. Till one day a couple of years ago she decided to investigate jewellery. She came to me for lessons here at Bush Jewellery and for the next 9 months or so kept coming for a regular 3 hour session, and each session I taught about half the time and she practiced in our studio half the time. I just showed her some basic jewellery processes and she quickly excelled at them. I showed her some more interesting techniques, and again she quickly excelled at them.
Many of my processes are as old as the hills, as you could imagine. Many processes are unique to me, such as a few ring-making tricks. And many techniques I have learnt from other similar-minded jewellers overseas, such as Charles Lewton-Brain's 'fold-forming' process which I learned from the book 'Metals Technic'! Now many a student learns it from me. Thanks, Charles. But overall, I guess jewellery-making here is a blend of fun, lateral tool use, and willpower!
So for whatever reason, she took to jewellery very quickly. She set up a jewellery bench at home and started making jewellery! Now she sells to maybe a dozen jewellery stores in New Zealand. Contact me if you want to see her work, or for a list of the stores that carry her work. She visits us every so often to talk bromeliads with Ruth and show us her newest batch of jewellery. Her work is stunning. As you can see from the comment, she's a woman of few words. But she gets things done. When she unrolls her jewellery, a variety of ideas about New Zealand land, sea and flora leap out at you!
[more about private tuition ...]

Tiggy Farrell, from age 8
Now 11 years old, I asked Tiggy what it was like being a jeweller now after about a year of lessons, and he said, 'It's good, yes, cool.'
- -
Tiggy then and now

[ individual tuition]

Tohitika Louk from Tahiti:
Merci Brian pour ces 5 jours de cours. La semaine est passée très rapidement tant les cours étaient très interessants et le professeur très sympathique. C'était une expérience très enrichissante au cours de laquelle j'ai appris à fabriquer une bague, à reproduire un objet en coulée avec la technique de l'os de sèche et du moule en sable. J'ai également vu comment on travaille le titanium. Avec Brian ont a confectionner des outils en acier pour travailler sur les métaux précieux, etc.. Je retournerai volontiers chez Brian pour apprendre à fabriquer une monture de lunettes en argent. Merci Brian, continue de partager ta passion.
Thank you, Brian, for the five day course. The week went very quickly, as the course was so interesting, and the teacher was so pleasant. It was a very enriching experience to do the course - I learned how to make a ring, to cast things using cuttlefish bone and a sand mould. I also learned to work with titanium. Brian has specialised steel instruments to work with precious metals etc. I would happily return to Brian to learn how to make a silver spectacle frame. Thank you,Brian - long may you continue to share your passion.
Sat 20th April 2002 (Translation by Mary Farrell)

[ more about a Series on a custom timetable]

Roger from London:
Something that appeals to many people is to come to Bush Jewellery Studio for a series of private lessons on a custom timetable. It's a period of intensive one-on-one study in areas that are custom-designed to suit each person.
Roger came for 4 days and wanted to improve his silver soldering, to learn new techniques, and to pick up some interesting tips and tricks of the trade. Here he's admiring his seamless soldering job, made using a 'stick soldering' technique that was new to him. Problem-solving and solutions was the reason for Roger's week here, and by the sound of him after his time here, he was well chuffed!
Tue 09th April 2002

[ more about a Series on a custom timetable]

I cannot recommend 'Bush Jewellery' classes highly enough. I was looking for an introduction to the basic techniques of working silver and was able to select a 5-day course that covered punching, sawing, soldering, casting, riveting, polishing, stone-mounting and ring-making. I was also very eager to work with resin and spent a happy day behind an industrial gas mask playing with plastics.
Brian's approach is to make the art more accessible, with 'bench-tricks' that save time and expense and give you professional results. I hadn't thought I would be making a kiln out of a flower-pot, or a drying oven out of a cardboard box!
Hugely generous people, Brian and Ruth are happy to share their wealth of experience and the twice-daily gourmet coffe breaks are a good time to pick their brains about tools, materials and working practice. Spending time in a working jewellery studio is a great insight into the trade and invaluable experience, if you keep your eyes open you can pick up as much from watching as actually doing.
Great fun and very rewarding, when I've had a bit of practice I will definintely be back.
Fri, 04 Jan 2002

[ more about a Series on a custom timetable]

Peter Calder, journalist:
Peter and partner made their own wedding rings.
... The wedding rings posed the same challenge until we hit on an idea (she says she thought of it; I reckon I did) which offered the chance to forge the future from a tarnished past. A jeweller friend, Brian, makes magic with base and precious metals in a workshop in the Titirangi bush. He specialises in custom-made spectacle frames -- face furniture, he calls them -- but he didn't get where he is today without hammering out the odd ring [... more]

My Street Corner Ring In my jewelry box is an unusual ring. It is a simple circlet of silver stamped with an impression of two fish swimming in opposite directions, the immutable water sign of Pisces. Its distinction lies not in its simplicity nor its design but in the fact that I made it myself. The hammered band, the neatly sealed seam, the stamped fish, were all produced in an hour under the expert instruction of a fellow named Brian Adam from New Zealand who last summer set up a "Street Jewelry" workshop on a comer of Railroad Street in Great Barrington... [ more...]

'100 New Zealand Craft Artists' "Brian Adam makes eyewear - jewellery for the face as objects of utility and frivolity. It is work that evokes the 1700s, a time when jewellers made spectacle frames by melting silver into a solid ingot and making alloys from silver and copper. These could be rolled out and fabricated into homogenous frames. But Adam is not stuck in the past; since 1996 he has combined a historical approach with computer technology. It makes sense to him to use a two-dimensional CAD programme for producing accurate symmetrical designs and making size variations for clients. Not that he believes it is necessarily faster, just better to fine tune the design on computer rather than on graph paper and the metal, and he can easily keep a record of the changes. He started making spectacle frames in 1981 because he wanted to personally wear something less alien than was usually available...." -Helen Schamroth, 1998 [ more...]

Dunstan High School Brian came to school to take a group of senior students for a two-hour session where they made a silver ring, All of the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were surprised and delighted that they were able to complete the process. Since the workshop those concerned have often made the comment how much they enjoyed it and that they wish they could have done more. The organisation of the workshop was very good and was able to be conducted in a classroom situation. We would certainly ask Brian back to our school should the opportunity arise.
Beverley Anderson
Dunstan High School
Central Otago
New Zealand
[ more...]

Marianne Hargreave Thank you for taking part in the "Carve and Create" weekend. We have had very enthusiastic responses from the people who took part, and the public in general. It was great to see the concentration and excitement on the faces of the people who took part. This was matched by your tireless energy, patience and enthusiasm. The workshop created good public interest and was a wonderful event to have at the Arts Centre.
Marianne Hargreaves
Gwen Sanders (ps I loved making the ring.Thanks!)
Arts Centre Productions
[Street Jewellery... ]

Auckland Museum The Street Jewellery workshop at Auckland Museum was a great success. Everyone had fun and were thrilled with the rings they made. Some people made a ring for themselves while one woman made an engagement ring for her partner, a teenager made a ring as a Christmas present for her sister, and a couple made a ring for each other. The workshop proved to be really popular with people watching and added a living culture dimension to their Museum visit. It was a fantastic opportunity for people to make their own treasure at Auckland Museum, a house of treasures!
Katrina Smit
Collections Interpreter
Auckland Museum
[ Street Jewellery...]

Jewellery Lessons for High School art classes. My name is Sharron Martin and I teach Fashion and Design and Textile Technology at Lynfield College (a High School) in Auckland, New Zealand. For the past three years I have been very fortunate to have Brian Adam come into my classroom to run workshops in jewellery making. We have used a variety of techniques and materials and have worked with my two senior classes...
At Year 12/13 level (age 16 - 17) students have been offered the opportunity to carry out some jewellery work merely as an extension of their Fashion And Design work. It seems to be too much of a good thing to not allow it...
[ more...]
(Sharron is now HOD Technology at Auckland Girls Grammar School, Auckland. Classes continue.)



Eyewear students

Mel Rapp B-Sc. optician:
As a student of Brian Adam's workshop, I am pleased to endorse Brian Adam and his SPECTACLE MAKlNG COURSE. Brian brings jewellery expertise, experience. knowledge, and enthusiasm to his students. Brian's method of teaching is effective and equally constructive the novice, amateur or professional, regardless of previous training. The mechanics of eyewear is explained and demonstrated using basic jewellery tools and practises. The age old problem of securing lenses to a frame is solved in his classroom studio.
Anyone interested in the creative challenge of using eyewear for their own personal expression will benefit from Brian's instruction.
Toronto, Canada
April 13.2002

photo: Mel Rapp
[more about spectacle making classes]

Fiona of Taiwan:
Fiona Yeh spent over a week on what she called a 'craft vacation' at Bush Jewellery Studio last week, designing and making a prescription spectacle frame for herself. It soon dawned on me that I would need to make the frames to a large degree, as Fiona ia a potter not a jeweller, and this was her first attempt at silver work, however she had very strong ideas about how the frames were to look and she decided on this design out of 4 or 5 hand-sketched and computer-generated possibilities. Custom frame no 401.
Fiona faxed this endorsement to me:
I went to Brian Adam's jewellery workshop because I was curious. Not because I wanted a pair of artistic or decorative glasses but because I wanted to find out just how could one hand make a pair of functional spectacles.
On Monday, following Brian behind his bum, I can't really say I participated (in making them) but I realised how to make glasses - almost just by relying on the maker's eye and communication between maker and client, plus his exceptional skills, to adjust and finish.
I really treasure this pair of glasses on which I spent one whole week making and TWD15,000 (USD420) to make, because I experienced every process detail; process of forging, understanding the shape and texture you want; process of designing and correcting at any moment. Total concentration, a shake of hand would cost a long time to readjust.
Personally, I find it is very hard to make a piece of metal frames to become functional and comfortable to wear. If you appreciate the feeling of hand made and also had a bit of $$$, I recommend you to try this.
Fri 05th April 2002 (Translation by Au Wai San) [ more about a Series on a custom timetable]

Susie Woodhouse, Queensland, Australia Thank you for the great workshop, everyone involved enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with eyewear in the informative and relaxed environment you provided.
The 5-day workshop gave everyone a chance to develop their ideas and to create an actual prototype or two! Your slide collection of innovative eyewear encouraged the group to see the potential and variety possible in eyewear design.
I am glad you enjoyed your time in Brisbane and had fun with the JMGQ group. It was great that you were able to include Queensland into your schedule. Let us know when you are visiting next.
Susie Woodhouse
Workshop Co-ordinator
[Eyewear Workshops... ]

Andrew Welch, South Australian School of Art Brian. Thank you for the eyewear workshop you conducted over the last 5 days, it has been splendid!
My students have had an interesting introduction to the art of spectacle making and the techniques and materials also "crossover" neatly into the Jewellery arena. The demonstrations and slide shows were well paced throughout the workshop and the vibe in the studio and motivation of the students has been great.
I'm looking forward to seeing the long term benefits from the workshop over the semester when the students who participated return to their studies with renewed enthusiasm and new understanding about the possibilities in their chosen field and making exciting objects!
How about organise an exhibition inviting all the Aussies from the three workshops you are conducting to do a show in NZ, let's invite the Kiwi's too!
Wed, 22 Sep 1999
Andrew Welch
Lecturer, Applied Arts,
South Australian School of Art,
University of South Australia
PHONE 830 26443
FAX 830 26911

[Eyewear Workshops... ]

An Endorsement from Phoenix USA Most of us walk into a workshop with a completely new material having more than a little bit of apprehension.
With Brian Adam that completely dissolves in minutes... His warming smile and his opening words about eyewear seems to give confidence.
This was a workshop where Brian shared his wealth of knowledge and imparts the generosity of his spirit.
Brian has a remarkable ability to share both his eyewear techniques and his bench tricks so even beginners can understand and experts are challenged. He made sure that all materials were provided, which included everything necessary to make the glasses, plus printed directions and a wealth of resources to find more materials.
If you had not finished your glasses, most gently and patiently Brian gave you some final pointers that encouraged one to complete the project and continue enthusiastically on with the process.
This superior workshop was enjoyed by all for its information, technology, creativeness and joy of spirit.
Joan Dulla, Phoenix Colorado, USA - jeweller, and organiser of the Arizona Eyewear Workshop.
Date: Tue 27th July 1999
[Eyewear Workshops... ]

Eyewear Owners

photo: Evan Soldinger
Dear, dear Brian,
I have been wearing (and loving) my beautiful spectacles since 2001 (imagine that!!!). They have weathered the years and abuse in my studio perfectly and there is not one show where I exhibit my jewels that customers and others do not comment on the great glasses I'm wearing.
Recalling my time teaching workshops in New Zealand, my students there were taken with them, enquiring where I had purchased them or if I had made them (not much chance of that). It tickled me to tell them that they were made in NZ, as they had assumed I had purchased them in the USA.
They have oxidized nicely, to conform to the way I think silver should look (well, you know, each to her own...).
Thanks for making such perfect specs! (June 2010)

Frame no 396

Dear Brian,

The glasses you have made me for
are grate. I can see more much clairly now.

I compeated the Elvin Woodhead sped reding
course and have increased my compression.
My spelling has also increased remarkedly.

People are green with ivy when they see
the spectical you have made of me.

Keep up the good wok.

Nick 'woket man' ELTON

Frame no 422 for Rocket Man Nick

Frame no 420
Frames nos. 418 and 420

My 'seeing eyeglass', incorporating the proven features of my previous frames and the insight of my optometrist, evolved from the 'Looking Glasses' - a custom frame in Brian's early collection. The design features small discs centric to my pupils. The result is lenses free of peripheral distortion, despite my severe myopia and astigmatism.

The perfectly round discs also permit lens rotation to accommodate minor cornel changes that recur from time to time. The vague sense of disorientation and dull headaches that have been a problem since giving up my contact lenses have vanished.

I am so delighted with the outcome - truly an inspired 'form follows function' - that I have commissioned another frame for my reading glasses. This one, a two metal style that juxtaposes sterling silver with 14k gold temple arms and nose pads, introduces an element of frivolity. But the design also fulfils the need to avoid tarnishing that silver is prone to in polluted or moist conditions.

(En. Tamaki Makaurau. 30 August 2006)

Frame no 419, 9 karat gold, optical hinges. August 2006.
We went and picked them up Friday morning and went straight to the optician. Lenses are ordered and we are waiting!! They really are beautiful! Thank you, so much, for all your work. A workman is worthy of his hire and you are definitely worthy... what a craftsman you are! I'm so glad that we did keep trying to get hold of you, even with my husband's email problems. You are more than worth it!!! Thank you, also, for your care in packing them. They came through perfectly.. and we all really enjoyed that card you included. What a blessing you have been for me. Thank you!! ... I also want to commend you on your choice of finish on the frame. They are truly a work of art!
Sally, Washington, USA

Alan Hunt, Auckland:
Knowing who you are inside is one thing. Getting the picture right on the outside is another. Your art on my face has really helped the outside picture!
Alan Hunt, Director Way Out West Creative
Custom frames:

No 403 sterling silver, December 2002.

No 408 sterling silver Aviators
(WW2 USAF replica), October 2004.
[ more about custom eyeglass frames]

James, Missouri, USA:
Buying on the internet is always a worry for me. With you, however, I was very comfortable for many reasons. First, I asked you several questions that you not only answered, but answered quickly and thoughtfully. Second, Your resume, on the internet sight, is impressive. Third, Your picture seemed to be that of an honest person. Fourth, you were very honest in regards to the questions to my questions. You told me that you might not be able to do the entire job. Fifth, you took the time to look at the emailed pictures I sent you and commented on your ability to reproduce them. For these reasons, I felt commfortable that you were an honest guy not trying to rip me.
I searched you out because I had a special need. I have many sunglasses. Expensive ones. None of which have satified me or my needs. You had the solution. You have the ability that I could not find anywhere else. You were willing to test your skills to produce a pair of glasses that I had been looking for for years. Throgh the internet you and I agreed on the frame design, you mande me your consultant, I respect and appreciated that very much!
You asked insightful questions of me, the end user, to make sure my needs were meet. You took your time and made mock-up drawings for me to critic. You took my suggestions and made them into a real product of not only function that I needed but also of style that I wanted.
Overall I think it went very well considering that we are half a world apart!

Custom frames:
No 402 sterling silver

custom frames]

Kirk, Ottawa:
For me, the experience of wearing eyeglasses has a number of components: how they feel; how they look on me to me and to others; and my feelings about the quality of the design and construction. The spectacles that Brian made for me are surprisingly comfortable, in spite of being quite solidly built. I think balance has a lot to do with that. I love the way they look on me. We started with a design that Brian wears himself, one that attracted me to his web site in the first place, and tweaked it a little to suit me. Quite a number of friends and coworkers have commented positively about the look. Finally, it feels good to wear something that is beautiful and beautifully crafted. When I took the frames to my optometrist to have lenses put in, he commented over and over about how well the frames were made. I'm very happy with their quality and proud to wear a design that is unique and elegant.
Fri, 14 Sep 2001
Custom frames:
No 395 sterling silver and
No 397 14 karat gold

[ more about custom eyeglass frames]

Pip Cheshire, Auckland:
Brian, The glasses have been a great success - they have proved to be a sort of litmus test - the cogniscenti respond with enthusiasm, the grey suits look troubled - couldn't ask for more!
Custom frame:
No 365 sterling silver, Nov 1997.

[ more about custom eyeglass frames]

Karen, from Las Vegas:
I received the checkered glasses today and I absolutely love them! Thank you so much. get compliments on the black and white checked glasses and earrings EVERY time i wear them. If you have any more very unique items, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Eyewear frame:
'Checkers', no 327, black and white acetate, Nov 2000.
[ more about eyewear artworks]

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Hello Brian, I've been wearing 'sputniks' for a couple of years now, absolutely love them ! Any other earings seem to stay in the box. I live near Narberth in Pembrokeshire , so buy them at the Furious Fish. ...recently moved to Des Leeke's gallery.
My sister has Ruth's I think ! We are so different in our tastes. She probably wouldnt wear yours !...she likes fussier things, where I favour strong and simple things. I've asked her to look you up anyway. I love your eye glasses ! WOW ! carry on with the great work !
... I have 3 solo shows on 'water' next year.
Of course you can quote me....dont even mind if you alter words slightly to sound better !
[ 'sputniks' earrings]

Meg, New York:
they're here, they're great, thank you! I've been wearing them everday - in every combination. I'm very glad I bought them. what a pleasure to have discovered you - so random, and yet clearly meant to be. thanks again!
[ more about jewellery]

Claire, Auckland:
Arrived just now and are gorgeous. Many thanks
[ more about jewellery]

Gary, Santa Barbara USA:
Hi Brian, The earring are great and my wife likes them...excellent work. Thanks again for your attentiveness to this order. Best wishes for 2006.
[ more about jewellery]

Grace, Sheffield UK:
Dear Brian, I have finally received the ring. It is gorgeous!! Many thanks and best wishes.
[ more about jewellery]

Yup I have them safely and they are all perfect -- many thanks
[ more about jewellery]

Many thanks for the earing it is just great. I really appreciate your efforts to remake the pair.
[ more about jewellery]

Cynthia in Rocky Hill, NY:
We went into New York today bedecked in Brian Adam creations! My daughter has four symmetrical sets of piercings and wore the two pairs of Metros in the front two pairs, followed by small silver hoops ............. tiny tinkling windchime effects resulted from every gesture .......... she has been wearing them for the last three days, i think she loves them. also i must mention, she has taken possession of my tree trunk ring!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now this is a real big deal, not only because i want it back but because in the past she has turned many of my silver pieces as black as pitch with her bizarre pH ....... but the ring is holding it's shine! What is it exactly? ............ I also have the two sets of four piercings and am wearing my Sputniks followed by tiny gold studs ...... little satelite dishes that receive only compliments. the color of the paua shell is chameleon-like and suits mixed metal very well .... i usually will only wear all one or the other ................. you didn't need to know all this, i am rambling a bit ........
Can you tell we are happy with our purchase?
Hope i am not using up a lot of your valuable time with this....................if you do have a few minutes, i'll also be asking questions about eyeglass frames.........whole other letter! thank you once again, this has been such a very pleasant experience, we really love our jewelry!
Sun, 15 Nov 1998
[ more about jewellery]

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