Jewellery Design

What is Jewellery Design?

Creative jewellery design and metal techniques broadly refer to two interlinked aspects of jewellery: the visual conceptual design component on the one hand, and the technical execution / representation thereof on the other.

Jewellery design is a multi-faceted communication and representation tool – even in today’s world. How the body is adorned can reveal something about background, identity, mood, social standing, political viewpoint, cultural practices and growup allegiance. Jewellery can provoke, critique, record and humour, and its many messages are all around us.

Utilising a broad range of approaches, concepts and media, each of these aspects can be explored, understood and applied to own creations. This is the creative domain of our jewellery design students.

Why study Jewellery Design at Stellenbosch University?

The Jewellery Design division of Stellenbosch University is the oldest tertiary facility dedicated specifically to enable critical thinking and skills development around the discipline of jewellery design and manufacture. We are one of the leading institutions within the discipline of contemporary jewellery. Students are exposed to an environment that allows for the exchange of ideas and cross-fertilisation between different art forms, disciplines, departments and faculties on campus. We continuously encourage our students to think critically about their discipline which allows for the development of unique and innovative design ideas.

The Jewellery Design course

We guide our students toward developing a holistic understanding of the critical discourse, role and possibilities of jewellery. Our course in creative jewellery design and metal techniques focuses on teaching students to create jewellery based on sourcing, understanding and organising various types of conceptual and visual information within specific contexts and concepts.

Knowledge of both historical and contemporary developments in jewellery design and technique, paired with a critical understanding of socio-cultural theories, enables students to understand a larger world of ideas, whilst challenging their own assumptions and approaches.

Our course aims to educate creative jewellers who can contribute to the advancement of the discipline, both in form and discourse. We encourage students to express themselves in their own specific style, whilst adopting an investigative and reflective approach towards their profession. Taking up a critical position empowers students to conduct their creative practices with the necessary confidence and accountability.

The programme in Creative Jewellery Design and Metal Techniques evolves continuously, whilst preserving the core design methodology of critical thinking, theory, practice and exploration. Both traditional and emerging technologies are integrated into the curriculum. The course guides students to identify their particular strengths and nurtures individual design interests, sensibilities and skills. Solid grounding in design principles and visual language skills, paired with mastery of a range of techniques, enables students to confidently push their boundaries, whilst remaining aware of the consequences of their creative outputs.

For more information

Carine Terreblanche | Coordinator: Jewellery Design | +27 21 808 3047