Jane Sutherland: Blending fashion, jewellery and art

Metalwork jewellery Jane Sutherland

Kingston-based artist Jane Sutherland will present her jewellery, fashion and design-inspired art pieces at the Ivy Box art gallery in Queenstown this spring. 

Jane Sutherland established her label in 2004, bringing her background in jewellery-making to the fashion industry. Her work is part metalwork, part fashion and all are art pieces in their own right. 

Her passion for metalwork began as a youngster. Jane’s father is also a jeweller and a teacher. As a child, Jane would go with her dad on trips across the lower South Island to teach jewellery-making workshops. When Jane was older, she worked alongside a master jeweller in a contemporary art gallery in Dunedin. 

Fashion, art and metalwork

“I’ve always been drawn to metal,” explains Jane. 

“When I finished working with the master goldsmith I was at a loose end so I started making metal designs like wee nuts and bolts and attaching them to t-shirts. I liked how they turned out, so I thought: what can I do with these?

“I wasn’t familiar with the fashion industry at the time, but I took the pieces to Nom*d and Plume in Dunedin and Angel Devine in Queenstown. They bought them all off me. 

“After that, I got the bug and I started making more and approaching boutiques across the country.” 

Jane became very involved in New Zealand’s fashion industry, but always felt a strong pull towards metalwork and jewellery. This unusual element of her fashion work has always been a key point of difference and a key trademark. 

Fashion by Jane Sutherland

Back to her metalwork roots 

After many years of successfully designing and selling clothes and accessories, Jane has brought her label back to its roots. Now selling exclusively through her website and the Ivy Box, Jane’s distinctive and moody metalwork is back with force. 

“My fashion is now trans-seasonal, not tied to a season and I’m bringing in more jewellery and fashion accessories to my collections. 

“I like to have a point of difference. My work has an androgynous look. It’s edgy. You can recognise it as being mine and that goes back to the metalwork on most garments.”

Jane works with a range of metals, but recently she’s been drawn to copper. Sourcing both new and recycled materials, she says she’s drawn to its rose gold colour and malleability that lends itself to more creative possibilities. 

“I’m using recycled copper – it’s good to be part of the recycling movement and people seem to enjoy wearing copper as much as gold or silver at the moment. 

“It’s nice and easy to work with and looks like rose gold polished. I like the ageing process of copper and how it tarnishes, but it’s easy to polish up again too.” 

Jane Sutherland at the Ivy Box Spring 2021

Examples of Jane Sutherland’s jewellery, fashion and accessories will be at the Ivy Box this spring. One collection she’s excited about includes metal and leather collars that are “fashion and jewellery combined”. 

“Instead of wearing jewellery, you can put this collar on… it’s fashion and jewellery combined, they’re an accessory. They’re really fun. They’re not just metal, the addition of another material brings in a whole new element.

“I’m very excited [to be at the Ivy Box]! It’s exciting to be beside such amazing artists and I look forward to bringing something new and fresh.”