History of Jewellery
Fashion and Design
This class has long been a part of our one year Diploma in Creative Jewellery and we have had many requests to run it as a one day class. It has been designed for students who would like to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the history of jewellery whether for academic purposes or to inform your jewellery design work.
Important pre-class preparation
To make the most of this class we expect you to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum, London jewellery gallery at a convenient time for you BEFORE your class. A visit to the museum is free.
We appreciate that not everyone will be able to do so, if you are unable to please ensure you do the preparation work (outlined below) by researching the Victoria and Albert online collection.
Please note, you need to do the preparation work to get the most out of this class so please only enrol on this course if you are excited to do this research work
Preparation work whilst at the museum or viewing online
The V&A has one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of jewellery in the world. Over 3,000 jewels tell the story of jewellery in Europe from ancient times to the present day; from a great gold Celtic breastplate to medieval love rings and pendants given by Elizabeth I to her courtiers; from jewels by Cartier to animals by Fabergé; and jewellery by an international selection of contemporary makers.
The V&A Museum is an excellent resource for ideas, design, history and visual information. This trip to the V&A ( room 91) is an opportunity to gain inspiration, visual analysis whilst looking at objects from different times and places will help you to understand the cultural, social and political significance as well as the impact of design, both historic and contemporary.
1. Firstly, look around.
2. Read about the items of jewellery you like or feel inspired by and keep a record of them.
3. Take notes and/or sketch as much as possible.
5. Make decisions about what piece or pieces of jewellery you like (for example: which part, materials, functionality, colours, gems, overall look, shapes...)
6. Before your History of Jewellery class, please try to create a concept for a piece of jewellery. It could be something you talk about, something you sketch or something you make.
Link for online jewellery section at the V&A - https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/jewellery
What we will cover in the taught class
The history and development of jewellery as an adornment
The historical development of use of materials and skills of creation e.g. use of bone, metal, glass etc
The impact of jewellery on society including Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, India, China etc
The history of jewellery in Europe covering the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Romanticism, Art Noveau, Art Deco etc
Contemporary jewellery making and methods
What you need to bring to this class:
Your notes and sketches from your visit or online research of the Victoria and Albert Museum jewellery gallery as well as a sketch/piece/preparation to discuss a piece inspired by your visit.
As with all of our classes, all materials are included in the cost of the class as well as plenty of tea, coffee and luxury biscuits! The classes are all run by expert tutors with years of professional experience who are friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. The size of the classes is kept small to allow plenty of one-on-one attention and the maximum number of students for this class is 8.
We take an hour break for lunch and there are plenty of local shops to get food from, or you can always bring a packed lunch to eat in the studio. If you have any questions regarding this, or other courses please don't hesitate to get in touch.
What some of our students have said about the history of jewellery class