Since establishment as an initiative of the Dunstan government in 1973, JamFactory has remained at the forefront of development in craft and design. Originally located in an historic old jam factory on Payneham Road in St Peters, Adelaide, the organisation began as craft training workshops, galleries, shop and artist'ss studios, before moving to its current purpose built Morphett Street facility in the heart of Adelaide's West End Arts Precinct in 1992. The original workshops focused on the areas of glass, ceramics, leather, textiles and jewellery.
These areas of focus were reviewed when the organisation moved to Morphett Street and saw the textile and leather workshops close, jewellery expand to metal design and the opening of a furniture design studio. The purpose built facility at Morphett Street features JamFactory's flagship retail store, renovated by renowned designer Khai Liew in 2010, 4 gallery spaces and 4 fully equipped studios in ceramics, glass, furniture and metal. The building also houses 10 independent studios rented by emerging and established practitioners.
The Ceramics Studio was established in 1979 in the Payneham Rd premises and was headed by Jeff Mincham until 1982. Following the move to Morphett Street in 1991, Stephen Bowers lead the studio for 10 years, going on to become the Managing Director of JamFactory in 2004. The studio's original focus was on training through the production of stoneware pots. More recent focus has seen the production of fine porcelain and also the introduction of computer aided design.
The Glass Studio was first established in a large iron shed behind JamFactory's original home in St Peter's and is the longest running hot glass studio in Australia. Now located in the Morphett Street facility, the studio is one of the largest and best equipped studios in the Southern Hemisphere. The studio has had a number of high profile artists as Creative Director including Nick Mount and Elizabeth Kelly and has seen over 80 artists participate in the studio'ss two year Associate Program.
Established in 1991, after the move to Morphett Street, the Furniture Studio was headed by Donald Fortescue, with 4 Associates in its first year. The studio has since assisted over 40 artists through the Associate Program developing studio product, commissions and exhibition work as well as providing a valuable access facility to established and emerging practitioners. The studio has had a number of high profile heads including Peter Walker who is currently Associate Professor at Rhode Island School of Design, USA.
The Jewellery Workshop was established at the Payneham Rd location from 1973-1978 with Vagn Hemminngsen heading the studio during this period. The Metal Design Studio was then established in 1991, following the move to the new Morphett Street facility, and was headed by Greg Healey who held the position until 1994.The Metal Design Studio facilitated larger scale metal design including public art, architectural and sculptural design. The studio has seen over 90 artists participate in the Associate Training Program since its inception.