What is the course about?
This course will refine your existing jewellery making and design skills, through sessions in the workshop and guided independent study tasks. With an ethos of ‘idea to product’, developing your personal research, design and making approach, there will be structured modules and projects encouraging you to build on your technical skills, presentation and professional practice. We'll explore material, finish and construction, alongside professional practice methodologies such as drawing, prototyping, outsourcing, pricing and selling. The course culminates with working towards the production of a final body of work to be exhibited in public.
What will we cover?
The aim of Term 1 is not to make finished pieces, rather to refine your precision making skills through a series of technical exercises, opening up a range techniques and processes to inform your designs and, for those pursuing the course for a second year, to which to apply your own ongoing design interests. All the exercises will practice accuracy, precision soldering and construction techniques, and we will look at chain-making, hinges and mechanisms. You will produce an 'encyclopedia' of technical samples, which will be ongoing throughout the year. Outside of class, using our online platform, you will be set a series of guided research, drawing, model-making and design tasks, encouraging you to develop a method of working that works for you as you explore your own design ID.
In term 2, we will combine exploring creative approaches to jewellery design, with professional practices. You will be expected to apply your independent personal design research and development to technical exercises experimenting with low-fi casting techniques, wax carving and outsourcing the lost-wax casting process, and using Computer-Aided Design and 3D Printing in our 'Digital Toolbox' module. We will debate the whys and wherefores of outsourcing, recycling, sustainability and technology in relation to these techniques, and you are encouraged to evaluate where these methodologies fit in your own design and making process. You will also have independent tasks on professional practice, including market research, presentation, working with a client brief and costing and pricing.
In Term 3 you have the opportunity to consolidate the learning in terms 1 and 2, by developing your own project brief, in line with your personal objectives. Through a series of guided tasks you will reflect on techniques, processes and concepts that resonated with you, and you will have exciting, playful sessions on idea generation to bring together your own personal project.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Analyse, evaluate and consolidate a body of research to inform the design process and outcomes
- Problem solve through drawing, model-making, materials and processes to realise design outcomes in 3D
- Record, reflect and evaluate your progress, keeping a sketchbook, reflective and technical journal
- Apply precision techniques to realise a high standard of finished jewellery
- Produce a portfolio of technical samples and prototypes
- Confidently select and apply appropriate precision jewellery making techniques
- Use outsourcing in your own practice where appropriate, such as casting and plating
- Confidently present your work verbally and using moodboards, drawings and illustrations
- Apply professional practice, appropriately pricing and presenting your work for exhibition and sale
- Produce a final body of work to exhibit to the public
- Produce a body of supporting work including research, development, illustration and presentation.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is aimed at intermediate and advanced jewellery students. You should have a good knowledge of metal jewellery skills such as soldering, saw piercing, and surface texturing (etching, roll printing, polishing and finishing). The aim of the course is to develop your own individual approach to jewellery design and making; although you will be introduced to a series of technical projects the focus is on refining your existing skills and bringing your own design identity to each project.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through practical demonstrations both to the group and to individuals. Group discussions and feedback are encouraged. Students will be expected to complete additional independent research, development and preparation tasks in between sessions, which are set using our online platform.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Most tools and equipment required to complete this course are available for student use and are shared by all participants. Base metals (copper and brass) are provided for technical exercises, sampling and completing initial test pieces. This course is aimed at working towards fine jewellery, and during the course it will be advised that students purchase some of their own tools, and any precious metals as required by their projects.
You will be introduced to outsourcing, including lost-wax casting, and will be encouraged to develop your skills and understanding in professional practice, through taking individual responsibility for costing and budgeting of outsourcing.
A non-refundable studio fee of £39 will be charged, to cover the costs of some of the consumables and metals you will use during your technical exercises.
All students will need to bring a notebook, pen/pencil and basic drawing/sketching materials to every session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
In addition to our expanding range of advanced long courses, you will find a new and growing range of professional practice workshops in the school of Visual Arts (from October 2020), aimed at providing support, skills and context, and developing communities of practice. These workshops can be taken individually, according to need or interest, or as complementary components of a modular course, which you design for yourself; either way, they are there to provide you with the skills, knowledge and connections you need to take your advanced creative practice forward.