Member Spotlight - January 2022

Jane Cooper Hong

Jane has had many adventures over the years that have shaped her life. While she was a foreign exchange student in Taiwan, she was able to experience the culture of that country. She returned to Taiwan to marry her husband, whom she’d met during her first visit and also got her start in publishing and public relations. When Jane and her husband moved to the States, Jane continued working in the publishing field, editing books for the publisher of the Dungeons and Dragons game. At that time, she co-authored a bestselling novel in the fantasy genre and later wrote a short story that was included in a bestselling anthology. In 2002, Jane and her family moved from Wisconsin to Illinois, and in 2006 she opened her own public relations agency. Currently, she is semi-retired but continues to provide PR and marketing communications services to some of her longtime clients.


Jane was introduced to Fine Line when her friend Peg Coker invited her to attend Raku Day. That fall, Jane enrolled in Neil Anderson’s silversmithing class and has been taking classes ever since. She has dabbled in other media, but found her passion in jewelry-making, broadening her experience with classes from Claudia Engel-Rush and Kathy Steinbring.


Jane fabricates most of her pieces using silver sheet metal and wire. An important component of her creations are the stones that are integral to her work. She features jasper, agates, crystals and other semi-precious stones prominently in her pieces, sometimes in combination with stone beads or other embellishments, finding different ways to use the stones’ colors, shapes and markings to inspire her creations. Another distinctive feature of Jane’s jewelry is “piercing,” which involves carefully cutting shapes into the metal backplates to highlight features of the stones underneath.

In her travels with her friends and daughters, Jane watches for stones, flora and fauna that may become part of her jewelry. On a trip to Arkansas, Jane and her friend Pam searched for “diamonds and crystals.” They didn’t find any diamonds but did return home with many beautiful crystals. Her trip to Africa three years ago inspired her “Serengeti Series” that already includes a giraffe, elephant, lion, zebra, rhino and acacia trees. Before that, Jane and her three daughters traveled down the Amazon from Colombia, exploring the many waterways that provide transportation and a livelihood for the indigenous people in the area. On all her trips, Jane has enjoyed meeting people and experiencing their culture, as well as seeing the amazing wildlife.


Jane enjoys adding new elements to her work and exploring new processes and creative possibilities. She recently started incorporating metal clay to provide dimensionality in her jewelry. The process of working with metal clay is different than working with ceramic clay, but her past experience with ceramics has helped her to sculpt miniature flowers and animal parts to add to the fabricated portions of her jewelry work.

When COVID first hit, and Fine Line was temporarily closed, Jane set up a soldering station in her garage and added to the workspace she had previously set up at home, which allowed her to continue making jewelry when her small business was also largely halted due to the pandemic. She was happy to be able to keep making jewelry, but she was also very glad to get back on the Fine Line campus working in the metals studio in person again because she missed the inspiration from her fellow students and the guidance and troubleshooting help from her instructors.

You can see and purchase Jane’s jewelry in the student show in January, during the Arts Ramble in June and at Uncommon Threads in the fall.