Silver Schools

Annual presentation of the leading European art schools which educate jewellery artists and designers. Its aim is artistic confrontation of achievements and presentation of creative exploration of the youngest generation of artists. This year’s exhibition presents works of professors, students and graduates of the Jewellery Design / Silversmithing Faculty, Sint Lucas University College of Art & Design, Antwerp (Belgium) and Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media & Design, London Metropolitan University, London (Great Britain).


Jewellery Design / Silversmithing Faculty
Sint Lucas University College of Art & Design, Antwerp, Belgium

Der Schmuck Salon
Der Schmuck Salon reveals an atmosphere of atopia: a feeling that things are out of place, in unusual combinations. The domestic elements and jewellery pieces seem to be traces of a world that never existed and never will, but one that still appears to be recognisable. The materials and forms act as familiar, but at the same time they surprise us and fill the spectator with wonder. They are abstracted images, indicating and suggesting a mental space. The mirrors, tables, cupboards and chairs, as well as the jewellery, are apparent elements of reality, referring to another reality. One might compare the domestic traces and jewellery with the building blocks of a still life: objects that are carefully arranged as an artistic stage, shifting away from real life.
Der Schmuck Salon presents a selection of student work from the department Jewellery/Silversmithing - Sint Lucas University College of Art & Design, Antwerp, Belgium. Curator: Hilde De Decker.

About school
Here in the Jewellery Design | Silversmithing department we design contemporary jewels and small objects. Objects that may or may not be functional, but clearly refer to mankind and his size. That is why we consider “the body” – both as regards jewels and objects – as the red thread running through the programme.

In creating jewels and objects (“domestic things”), we always start out from the visual meaning – from the idea. An affinity with material and technique is important, but also subordinate to that idea. Moreover, the Jewellery Design | Silversmithing department offers an academic training. This means that artistic work is always tied to research and theory.

That is why our work is always based on research: we gather sources from outside and from within ourselves. We develop design methods. Ours is an ongoing search for the combination between thinking and doing, research and intuition, content and execution, the imagination and interpretation.
This whole process is recorded in sketch books and photographs and on film,… so that other disciplines – whether analogue or digital – can also be involved in the design. And it is out of this process-related work method that strong images will emerge. Powerful images that communicate in an authentic manner with the outside world, the public, people. As a piece of jewellery or an object.
In the first bachelor year the emphasis is on experimentation. In the second year you will zoom in on the course itself. You will explore the specific language of jewels and objects. A language that says something about value, luxury, use, protection, souvenir, status, tradition, … Themes that refer to content and meaning. In the third year you will mostly work independently and you will try to determine your own position within the international professional field. By now you will have developed an authentic visual language in your own handwriting.

In your Master’s year the emphasis will be even more on responsibility and your own initiatives. This time you will formulate your own research questions and determine the context of your work.

Domestic Things – of people and daily things
Since September 2009, the Jewellery Design | Silversmithing Department of Sint Lucas University College of Art & Design offers a training course that raises everyday utensils – “domestic things” – to the level of meaningful objects. The course is rooted in the original “silversmithing”, yet, though this term refers to a long historical tradition, it is given in a contemporary manner. Studying in this department is the contemporary continuation of something that started long ago: the relationship between mankind and things.




Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media & Design
London Metropolitan University, Great Britain

Based in the heart of the City and on the borders of the East End, the jewellery and silversmithing courses at Sir John Cass have a unique historical and cultural place within the arts and crafts community of London.

On the FDA and BA (Hons) courses, students are encouraged to take an exploratory approach to ideas and materials. Opportunities for expanding the knowledge base for each student are encouraged with a strong emphasis on experimentation with both ideas and with practical applications. New and innovative methods of creation are fundamental to the exploration of form and structure within all courses. Each class is tailored to the generation of a self-sufficient and motivated working process with an emphasis on ideas and building confidence with self initiated projects forming a major part of their final year. Classes include exploring materials and developing narratives through the work while also building a strong base from which graduates can focus on their own professional motivation and direction within the jewellery and silversmithing industries.

Students are encouraged to develop a comprehensive skills base while finding their own particular strengths through the course in order to achieve the making of a wide range of objects from the body specific to the abstract. They develop ideas towards a deeper understanding of their own motivations through explorations of both the content and the context of their work.

MA Jewellery Design is an intensive taught course for design professionals and graduates to deepen skills and experience within the jewellery industries through the support of leading international contemporary designers and academics. This course aims to foster advanced practical and creative design skills relevant to jewellery design and production. Students are encouraged to develop an individual design philosophy to sustain a portfolio of design practice; and to evaluate the local and global language of jewellery and fashion design and consider ways of engaging new audience and product opportunities. Most members of the teaching staff are practicing artists and designers and we enjoy the support of high-profile, artists, designers and manufacturers. Our outstanding facilities, specialist expertise and related business activities (Digital Manufacturing Centre, Metropolitan Works, Design Nation, London Jewellery Week) support and prepare students for employment within jewellery design.

The MA Jewellery Design course offers students a laboratory environment, with access to the state of the art digital and traditional facilities. Issues of sustainability and social responsibilities in design are explored together across territories of new industrial opportunities and craft practice. We emphasise the notion of collaboration across design disciplines leading to personnel innovation of thought and design language. Value resides in cross-disciplinary collaboration associated with the understanding and exploration of contemporary design process creating fertile ground for innovation. Many alumni establish their own practice and work collaboratively across the art and design sector.
The Dialogue Collective is a group of artists with a passion for Jewellery and Silversmithing in the broadest sense of these two disciplines. The Dialogue Collective consists of makers with a direct connection to the Jewellery and Silversmithing Department of the London Metropolitan University and invited guests. Their remit is to develop new ways of creating and showing innovative work through making, sharing and discussion and includes working for and with audiences unfamiliar with contemporary jewellery and silversmithing.

Mah Rana
Course Leader MA Jewellery Design



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Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER 2020