What is the course about?
This is a rigorous and multi-disciplinary course for intermediate to advanced level jewellery makers, guiding you through a series of structured projects which will challenge and develop your skills in the following: observation and drawing, critical thinking, generating concepts and ideas, exploring, researching and recording your findings and outcomes, designing and testing, and technical skills. The course runs one day a week across a whole year, and is taught by a main course tutor plus a programme of visiting tutors. There will be tailored workshops and presentations as well as live projects to introduce you to the diverse areas of contemporary jewellery. In addition to metal, you will explore a number of other materials and technologies to stretch and challenge your thinking, encourage experimentation and risk taking, and open up opportunities. At the end of the course you will complete an end of year project and public exhibition to solidify your learning to a high professional standard. This course is designed to help you develop personally as a contemporary jeweller: the outcomes will vary depending on your individual starting point, goals, chosen materials and the type of contemporary jewellery you are inspired by.
What will we cover?
- What is contemporary jewellery? Sources, influences, uses, trends and potential.
- Developing critical thinking through presentations, critiquing your own and others' work, individual research projects, and group discussions.
- Developing and improving observation, drawing and designing.
- Looking for and finding inspiration through researching, collecting and recording ideas.
- Designing from research - the design cycle - working through ideas, making models and test pieces.
- Exploring, working with, and choosing a variety of materials, techniques and technologies to enable you to translate your ideas and designs into one-off pieces and collections.
- Working to a brief in a variety of contexts within contemporary jewellery, including some live projects.
- Developing technical making skills to a professional standard.
- Essential skills to becoming a successful contemporary jeweller such as writing a mission statement, presentation, costing, marketing and exhibiting your work.
- The correct use of any tools and materials involved.
- Health and safety issues around the workshop equipment.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- produce a range of samples, test pieces and models to explore material, processes and ideas.
- develop your thinking and your visual research skills, and confidently understand of the design cycle in your own practice to fully explore the potential of your ideas.
- develop a body of research that informs your own design and making.
- research an area of contemporary jewellery and present to the group for discussion and critical analysis.
- demonstrate knowledge of and choose and work with appropriate materials, techniques and technologies to take your designs to the next level, creating accomplished pieces of contemporary jewellery.
- create a final body of work and price, promote and exhibit this to the public.
- develop your own ways of working and know which area of contemporary jewellery you will place your work within.
- discuss what you have learned and apply your new skills and knowledge to your jewellery practice.
- contribute to a culture of mutual support within the group, and enjoy the profitable exchange of ideas, information and inspiration.
- work within health and safety guidelines.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is aimed at intermediate and advanced students. You should have a solid fundamental knowledge of jewellery making and design. Word processing skills would be an advantage.
You should be able to follow written and verbal instructions, demonstrations and handouts, and health and safety information. You will be invited to take part in both group discussions and critique sessions, where it is essential for you to be able to communicate with your fellow course members. You will be asked to carry out simple research activities: this means that you need to be able to select and use different texts to obtain information, read and summarise them, digest the meaning of them to form an informed opinion, then express this to others.
You will need to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers as well as recognise and draw geometric shapes, use simple formulae (e.g. converting imperial to metric measurements), and read tables, graphs and diagrams.
You will need to be able to source information from websites, and should be aware that a lot of communication between the tutors and the student group will take place via Google Classroom and e-mails.
Please consider the course outline carefully to decide if you might benefit from support in your English and Maths skills to help you to take part fully in this class. Please tell us at interview if you think you may benefit from such support with your studies.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
There will be tailored workshops and presentations from visiting tutors as well as a series of set projects to work on. You will be given demonstrations, handouts and technical notes, and continuous advice and guidance. There will also be group and individual discussions and tutorials.
You will be expected to carry out independent work outside the class, in design, research and making. It will be useful if you can do some making at home. Alternatively, you could consider taking another course simultaneously to supplement your making time.
Whilst Elizabeth Bone is the course leader, and will deliver the majority of the course, you will also work with a selection of specialist visiting tutors.
The tutors will look at your research, practical work, sketchbooks and folders on a regular, on-going basis. There will be individual tutorials at the end of every project, as necessary. There will be plenty of opportunities for feedback from other members on the course. At the end of the year there will be individual presentations, tutor and peer assessment and, an exhibition of work produced during the course.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
City Lit provides most of the tools and equipment you will need for basic jewellery-making.
City Lit will also provide basic materials in reasonable quantities, such as hard silver solder, base metals such as copper, and other materials (paper, enamel, etc.), chemicals (pickle, borax, etc.), and consumables (etching resist, polishing compound, etc.)
Should you wish to work with precious metals, precious and semi-precious stones, or unusual materials, you need to supply them yourself.
You will also need to bring in all sundry items such as medium and easy silver solder, pendant motor bits such as split pins, burrs etc., saw blades, drill bits, abrasive papers, polishing mops, sketchbooks, notebooks, pens and pencils, and a series of folders. You will also need to cover any entrance fees to exhibitions, fairs or other events.
You may choose to buy and bring in your own basic tools to use during the course; advice and guidance will be given when appropriate.
You are advised that sensible footwear must be worn in the studio. For heath and safety reasons no sandals, open shoes or small pumps can be worn, even in hot weather.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offer a wide range of short and year-long courses in Jewellery design and making, from beginners to advanced, and for professional development.