Athena's Stars

The Art of Adornment

Humans have been adorning themselves with treasure since long before recorded history. The spirit which moved our ancestors to fashion beads from Nassarius shells 100,000 years ago still captures the human imagination. Beginning with the iron age and extending to present day, culture has developed parallel to a growing knowledge of metal, unlocking advances in jewelry-making along with technology. According to the place and era, jewelry has expressed spirituality, symbolized wealth, been a tool of trade, and even served to heal or protect.
English adapted the word jewelry from a Latin word, jocale which means “plaything”. This seems right, when I think about how fashioning and wearing jewels can evoke a childlike joy and self-expressive release. I believe that jewels are more than just playthings, though. A jewel can tell a story, spark emotion, and become far more than the sum of its precious parts.
The contemporary cultural perspective is shifting to see jewelry as wearable art. Jewelry masters of the 21st Century, such as JAR and Wallace Chan, have brought international attention to collecting jewelry as fine art. I also strive to expand the way jewelry is perceived, fusing adornment and art. I intend to push past convention with my work and truly sculpt with earth’s rare treasures.
I invite you to experience my art jewelry. From fossilized gemstones and new opal discoveries, to our ever-changing cosmos, the natural world is my constant inspiration. My reaction to this beauty is to evolve just as nature does, always pushing the envelope of jewelry design. I’m humbled to know that the pieces I create will be enjoyed in an extremely personal way, accompanying collectors in their lives. These pieces and their stories will continue on.
-Adam Neeley
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