Alumni Update

JamFactory provide Alumni a pathway for artistic success

Forty three years ago JamFactory began as craft training workshops, galleries, a shop and artist studios in St Peters. Over the years this iconic Adelaide institution has provided opportunities for talented creative artists through its Associate Program, studios, galleries and shops. JamFactory, which relocated to its purpose-built premises in Morphett Street in Adelaide in 1992 and recently added a new facility at Seppeltsfield in the Barossa, has remained at the forefront of development in craft and design. Many artists and designers who have completed the Associate Program are University of South Australia graduates.

JamFactory’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Parkes reflects on this special relationship.

"Half of JamFactory's staff are UniSA alumni and, as long term neighbours in Adelaide's West End, the two organisations regularly work together to make the precinct an increasingly vibrant cultural hub. JamFactory offers an intensive two-year career development program for artists and designers working in ceramics, glass, furniture and jewellery. The program attracts applicants from across the country and around the world, including outstanding graduates from UniSA's School of Art, Architecture and Design," Brian says.

This year, as the University of South Australia celebrates its 25th birthday, we shine a spotlight on just a few of the many alumni that the two organisations share.


Stephen Bowers

Stephen Bowers
Bachelor of Education (In Service), UniSA 1987
Alumnus of JamFactory's Ceramics Studio Ceramics Associate Program, Former Creative Director of Ceramics Studio and Former CEO of JamFactory

Stephen Bowers is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary ceramic artists. Initially from Katoomba in New South Wales, Stephen became involved in ceramics while working as an art teacher in regional South Australia in the late 1970s. He pursued his interest through a traineeship in JamFactory’s ceramics workshop in Adelaide in 1982.

Using a variety of decorative techniques Stephen’s imagery includes traditional and Australian icons, including Willow pattern, references to William Morris, Australian cookatoos, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, and the Opera House.

Throughout his career Stephen has contributed considerably to the careers of many emerging talents in the craft and design industry in Australia. He has taught numerous workshops, lectures and education programs, both in Australia and overseas.

Stephen was the JamFactory Icon in 2013 and his exhibition Beyond Bravura exhibited in Adelaide in 2013 before touring nationally until October 2015.


Alice Potter

Alice Potter
Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours)
Bachelor of Visual Communications
Current Production Manager, JamFactory Metal Design Studio

South Australian contemporary jeweller Alice Potter works on her jewellery and object practice from her home studio, while also working as Production Manager at JamFactory’s Metal Design Studio.


Between 2007 and 2011 she was an access tenant at Adelaide's Gray Street Workshop, working concurrently as Technical Officer in UniSA’s Jewellery and Metal Studio. Since 2011 Alice has taught various UniSA Jewellery courses, as well as JamFactory's Metal Studio community run workshops.

Alice's work is a mix of precious metals and non-traditional, reused materials. Her pieces have a distinct focus on colour and form, with her design background showing through amongst the colour combinations and the placement of specifically chosen elements.

Her work is currently available to purchase from JamFactory's retail shop and online.



Karen Cunningham

Karen Cunningham
Bachelor of Visual Arts (Glass)
Alumna of Associate Program, JamFactory Glass Studio and Current Creative Director, Glass Studio

Born and based in Adelaide South Australia, Karen Cunningham divides her time between JamFactory, as Creative Director of the Glass Studio, and her studio in the hills which she shares with fellow JamFactory alumna Mandi King.


Karen has worked and trained in the USA, Turkey, Europe and the UK, where she was mentored by design legend Marc Newson in his London studio. She won the 2010 Launch Pad award – an initiative to support and develop Australian product design - for her illumine decanter created with Mandi King.

When she gained First Class Honours for her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Glass) in 2005 her work was selected for the PICA National Graduate Exhibition, and was awarded the Design Institute of Australia Achievement Award for Glass Design.

During her two year design associate intensive training program at JamFactory, she was selected for a scholarship to the renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle.

Karen's work is currently available to purchase from JamFactory's retail shop.


Liam Mugavin

Liam Mugavin
Bachelor of Industrial Design
Alumnus of Associate Program, JamFactory Furniture Design Studio

Prior to graduating with a Bachelor of Industrial Design at UniSA, Liam worked in Mexico for twelve months as an automotive designer. He then travelled to Japan where he lived for four years. During that time he developed a deep love of wood and Japanese crafts.

Liam was offered a position as a furniture design associate at JamFactory in 2013.


Liam’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. In 2013 he won the City of Clarence’s $20,000 acquisitive award, the Clarence Prize for Excellence in Furniture Design.

In 2015 he won the JamFactory’s Drink Dine Design: Emerging Designer Award, a $3,000 award for innovative and exciting product design ideas from South Australian-trained emerging designers and artists. Applications for the 2016 Drink Dine Design Award are now open and close on 1 September. Visit Drink Dine Design.


UniSA 25th Birthday Silent Auction

JamFactory has kindly donated three items to the UniSA’s 25th Birthday Gala Dinner Silent Auction and alumni have the chance to bid for a unique glass blowing experience or an exquisite hand-made product from a South Australian artist:

Lot 7 Group glass blowing session for 16 people

Lot 101 $200 gift voucher to choose pieces from one of JamFactory’s studios, galleries or shops, a copy of the 40th anniversary book ‘Designing Craft/ Crafting Design: 40 Years of JamFactory plus annual membership.

Lot 111 Desk set to embellish your work space, a copy of the 40th anniversary book ‘Designing Craft/ Crafting Design: 40 Years of JamFactory plus annual membership.

Please visit the online platform GalaBid at to register and start placing your bids. Please note, GalaBid will close at 10:30pm on Friday July 29, 2016 and all bids are final.

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