Jane Dodd

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Jane Dodd
Occupation(s)Musician, librarian, jeweller
Years active1980–present
LabelsFlying Nun Records
Associated actsThe Chills, The Verlaines, Able Tasmans and Lure of Shoes

Jane Dodd (born 1962) is a New Zealand musician and contemporary jeweller. From 1982 to 1984 she studied for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Otago, majoring in Phenomenology of Religion with additional papers in Anthropology, History, Art History, Maori Language and Philosophy.[1] She is well known for her role as a bass player in early Dunedin-based Flying Nun Records groups The Chills and The Verlaines, was a long-standing member of Auckland group Able Tasmans, and occasionally played with side-project The Lure of Shoes.[2][3]

Dodd is also responsible for the cover artwork for The Verlaines EP 10 O'Clock in the Afternoon (1984), The Verlaines 12" single Doomsday b/w New Kinda Hero and LP & CD, Juvenilia (both 1986), Able Tasmans LP & CD Hey Spinner! (1990), and Able Tasman CD Shape of Dolls (1993).[4] She contributes backing vocals to the songs "Anchor Me" and "Queen's English" on The Mutton Birds album Salty (1993).

The Chills[edit]

Dodd was a founding member of Martin Phillips' group The Chills, alongside his sister Rachel Phillips (keyboards), Peter Gutteridge (guitar) and Alan Haig (drums).[5] Dodd had also been a member of Phillips' earlier group, The Same, which had also included future The Verlaines co-founder Craig Easton.[6][7] She left to travel in Europe and was replaced by Terry Moore, who recorded with The Chills for the Dunedin Double EP.[7] Dodd and fellow original members performed in 2010 in Dunedin for The Chills' 30th anniversary.[8][9]

The Verlaines[edit]

Although not a founding member, Dodd returned from London in time to join The Verlaines for their first recordings on the Dunedin Double EP, which also debuted several other key groups for Flying Nun RecordsThe Chills, Sneaky Feelings and The Stones.[10] One of the songs contributed to this release, "You Cheat Yourself of Everything that Moves", was later covered by American group Superchunk. The Ten O'Clock in the Afternoon EP followed, featuring their best-known song, "Death and the Maiden", securing a fanbase that includes Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and Pavement.[11] ("Death and the Maiden" was covered by Stephen Malkmus for the Flying Nun Records compilation, Under the Influence – 21 Years of Flying Nun Records, and also by Elemeno P and Prickly.) Dodd also appears on the albums Hallelujah All the Way Home (1985) and Bird Dog (1987), the latter which also features her brother Tim Dodd playing piano and bassoon.

Able Tasmans[edit]

Dodd joined Able Tasmans before the recording of their second album Hey Spinner (1990). She remained with them until they split up in 1996, having released a further two albums and an EP, collected on the compilation Songs from the Departure Lounge (1998). For the Flying Nun Records 10th anniversary compilation, Roger Sings the Hits (1991), Able Tasmans contributed the song "Getting Older" by The Clean, who The Chills (with Dodd) supported at their first concert.[12]


Dodd is also a well-known New Zealand contemporary jeweller. Her transition from music to jewellery took place after a 1989 trip to Mexico.[13] In a 2015 interview Dodd recalled

There I was exposed to and excited by that culture’s ubiquitous interaction with craft and aesthetics—an approach I realized was largely lacking in New Zealand. I returned determined to engage in the arts and applied to go to craft school. Originally I intended to study ceramics, but the very lively and productive jewelry department soon won me over.[13]

In 1994 Dodd completed a four-year diploma in 3D Design majoring in Jewellery at Unitec, where she studied with Pauline Bern and other tutors.[1][14] She then joined the all-female jewellery collective Workshop 6, which coincided with the break-up of Able Tasmans.[2] She remained in Auckland with Workshop 6 for 15 years before moving back to Dunedin in 2009.[2] In Dunedin she shares studio space with fellow New Zealand jeweller Octavia Cook.[13]

She is well known for her miniaturised depictions in silver of New Zealand landscapes, which have occasionally been produced on commission to recreate a client's favourite scenery.[15] Fairy tales are another source of inspiration.[16] A recent body of work titled 'Rococo Revolution' features realistic and abstracted representations of animals made from wood, bone and precious stone, inspired by visiting European museums and palaces.[17] Dodd writes:

“Rococo Revolution… illustrates my discomfort with the way we hoover up wildlife and environment for our own frivolous ends. With these pendants I want to honor the simple, elegant forms of the animal world. The subject of the brooches is the battle between nature and culture. The collection of works pays homage to the crazy and rich craft traditions of the Rococo Age.[17]

These works have also been inspired by Leuchterweibchens, Gothic German candelabra that often incorporate animal shapes and antlers.[13]

She has exhibited throughout New Zealand and internationally, and is featured in the book 21st Century Jewellery: the best of the 500 series.[18] In 2007, she participated in Objectspace gallery's series of workshops and exhibition, Small Wonders.[19] Her collection of work 'Rococo Revolution' was shown at Objectspace in 2014 and at Velvet da Vinci gallery in San Francisco in 2015.[20][17]

Dodd's work was featured in the television series Tales from Te Papa and is held in the collections of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, The Dowse, and the Hawkes Bay Museum, as well as many private collections.[1][21] In 2007 and 2009 she won the Contemporary section of the Regal Castings Awards at the National Jewellery Showcase.[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Bannister, Matthew (1999). Positively George Street. Auckland: Reed Books. ISBN 0-7900-0704-5
  • Davey, T. & Puschmann, H. (1996). Kiwi rock. Dunedin: Kiwi Rock Publications. ISBN 0-473-03718-1
  • Dix, J. (1988). Stranded in paradise: New Zealand rock'n'roll 1955–1988. Wellington: Paradise Publications. ISBN 0-473-00638-3
  • Dix, J. (2005 (revised edition)). Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand Rock and Roll, 1955 to the Modern Era. Wellington: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-301953-8.
  • Dodd, Jane (2002) Straw Into Gold, introduction by Grant Thompson. ISBN 0473087464
  • Eggleton, D. (2003) Ready to fly: The story of New Zealand rock music. Nelson, NZ: Craig Potton Publishing. ISBN 1-877333-06-9
  • Le Van, Marthe (2011). 21st Century Jewellery: the best of the 500 series. New York: Lark Crafts.
  • Regnault, Claire (2000) The Ends of the Earth: jewellery by Jane Dodd Napier: Hawkes Bay Museum
  • Shute, Gareth (2008). NZ Rock, 1987 – 2007. Auckland: Random House New Zealand. ISBN 1869790006
  • Skinner, Damian (2010) Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewellery San Francisco / Boston.
  • Smith, Charmian (2002) "Charm jewellery inspired by favourite fairy tales" in Otago Daily Times, O3/10/02
  • Thompson, Grant (2004) "Workshop 6: fluidity and solidarity" in Object no. 42
  • (2010) 500 Gemstone Jewels: a sparkling collection of dazzling designs New York / London: Lark Books
  • (1999) "Jewels in the crown" in Fashion Quarterly Autumn issue, 1999


  1. ^ a b c d "Jane Dodd". The National. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Mahoney, Kieca. "Interview: bassist turned jeweler Jane Dodd". Hello Craft. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Gig & Concert News – Delta, Thorazine Shuffle and The Lure of Shoes". Music.net.nz. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  4. ^ All album contributions and details in this article are referenced direct from the liner notes of said album, unless otherwise noted
  5. ^ Gilchrist, Shane. "Still the Chills". Otago Daily Times. Allied Press Ltd. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  6. ^ "The Chills pop back in time". New Zealand Herald. APN Holdings NZ Ltd. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  7. ^ a b "The Chills". Muzic.net.nz. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  8. ^ Constantine, Ellie. "Audience warms to the Chills". Otago Daily Times. Allied Press Ltd. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  9. ^ Benson, Nigel. "Chills' crowning glory". Otago Daily Times. Allied Press Ltd. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  10. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "The Verlaines". All Music Guide. Rovi Corp. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  11. ^ McFarlane, Dean. "10 O'Clock in the Afternoon". All Music Guide. Rovi Corp. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  12. ^ "Various – Roger Sings the Hits". Discogs.
  13. ^ a b c d Levine, Bonnie (14 February 2015). "Jane Dodd: Rococo Revolution". Art Jewelry Forum. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  14. ^ Tyler, Linda (Summer 2014). "From small beginnings come beautiful things". Arts news. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Made to measure". New Zealand Herald. APN Holding NZ Ltd. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  16. ^ Constantine, Ellie. "Jewellers bid to vex, disarm". Otago Daily Times. Allied Press Ltd. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  17. ^ a b c "Current exhibition". Velvet da Vinci. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  18. ^ Le Van, Martha (2011). 21st Century Jewellery : the best of the 500 series. New York: Lark Crafts. ISBN 1600595219.
  19. ^ Gifford, Adam (22 November 2007). "Small is beautiful". New Zealand Herald. APN Holdings NZ Ltd. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  20. ^ "Rococo Revolution". Objectspace. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  21. ^ "Tales from Te Papa Episode 20: Jane Dodd Jewellery". Museum of New Zealand | Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 3 March 2013.

External links[edit]