Jewellery is approached as an independent art form at the interface between applied arts and fine arts. As such, the related investigative field offers specific visual and conceptual opportunities.
By expanding on the notion of jewellery and by stressing its role as the fundamental link placing bodies in relation, the department focuses on the space “in-between” and more specifically on the way in which all bodies connect to each other and interact with the surrounding environment.
Students are challenged to work with and to open up the traditional definition of “Jewellery Design” by investigating how we could activate both multi-disciplinary and multi-species conversations and relations, through the materialisation of sensorial experiences (e.g touching, feeling, smelling etc.) embedded in body-related objects.
Such approach is triggered by also introducing the students to fields and competences which, at first sight, could appear distant from the classical jewellery field, allowing them to gain inspiration for the creation of novel content, materials, tools, techniques and processes. Research and experiments are conducted into the scope and possibilities that jewellery offers as a medium.
Jewellery design is explored as an attitude as much as a discipline. In this explorative process, the department adopts a clear stance in assuming that a ‘jewellery attitude’ does not necessarily need to result in jewellery designs. Understanding and defining this stance
helps more clearly define and build on students’ competencies and on their potential working styles in this discipline. Such open attitude also contributes to strengthen their identity and creates space for new activities, both within and beyond the context of making jewellery.
The multidisciplinary team of instructors supervises the students and organises the curriculum. The curriculum has its roots in fundamental jewellery issues such as adorning and expression, identity, and identification, the human body, the relationship of maker-jewellery-wearer-observer, the sign, signal, and message, mass production versus the unique art piece, craft and technology, classic techniques, new materials and natural resources, the history of trade and the emergence of monetary systems, and jewellery as art in the public sphere versus the intimate.
The focus on these topics in combination with the specific and highly personal way of making, translating and thinking is what distinguishes the jeweller. As an outcome of this experimental and research-based approach the course is not limited to particular materials and the student’s research may be expressed by means of various media in 2D or 3D. In addition, students may use performance, photography, sculpture, video and other forms of expression.
The aim is for the student to learn to reflect on his work and be able to connect the work to the outside world. To be able to present, clarify and defend the work is vital. During the first year and for part of the second specialist year, the student works primarily within the framework of assignments and thematic projects in order to gain substantive, formal and technical experience. The student will learn to work with various materials and techniques, as well as gaining basic knowledge about the traditional field of work. During the graduation year, the student realises a concept of his or her own choice, which is then exhibited in public in order to evaluate its visual, philosophical and technical merits. The students who join the department are expected to display an independent, open and mature attitude towards their studies.