What is: Jewellery Design? no.1

Making a statement with jewellery isn’t always about precious metals and gemstones. Aisha gives us her take on this exciting discipline.

Jewellery is the one part of an outfit that truly represents a snippet of our character. Accessories such as shoes, bags, hats, sunglasses, even umbrellas serve a practical and functional purpose before a fashionable aesthetic is considered. However jewellery, lets face it, is not a necessity. For that reason, jewellery, for me, expresses a true sense of self. Even the choice to wear no jewellery is a strong statement.

Like our personalities the reasons we wear jewellery are diverse.

“This could be for ethical or political reasons; for status, as an act of symbolism or for sentimental value. Or maybe it’s about certain materials that we like or are more durable than others.”

For me, jewellery design is an art form with only one limitation: jewellery is not jewellery unless it can be worn. But how it is worn- those possibilities are endless!

I’d like to introduce you to some up-and-coming designers who have approached jewellery design in un-conventional ways. Find out what they have to say about the ideas behind their projects.


Bella Mung – Re-imaging iconic jewellery

Credit: ‘Animated Jewellery’, Bella Mung.
“In the collection, wearable is not my aim as the pieces are challenging the stereotypical perceptions of what a pearl necklace is.”
Bella Mung uses a traditional material of jewellery, ‘the pearl’, in a very non-traditional way. She plays with flow and movement and relies on our widely known knowledge of the pearl – its weight, texture and hardness- to create new forms like these pearl shoelaces.

Find out more about Bella Mung’s work on her website


Ekaterina Polikarpova – Thought-provoking jewellery

Credit: ‘Fit Into’, Ekaterina Polikarpova.
“This is my personal story, translated into the language of jewellery. How to ‘fit into’ physical disability and psychological distortions. How to overcome them and make them ‘fit’ you”.
Ekaterina Polikarpova’s work forces the wearer to perform acts and gestures that provoke viewers to assume particular feelings. She is very successful in communicating with her viewers. The work in the image above is from a project called ‘Fit Into’.

Explore more of Ekaterina Polikarpova’s work on NOT JUST A LABEL


Xinyu (Wizal) Wang – Redefining jewellery

Credit: ‘Final Collection’, Xinyu (Wizal) Wang. Photograph, Currisa Cheng.
“A prediction attributed to Andy Warhol was that in the future everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes – that future is already here. Technology is changing our lives radically and rapidly from how we communicate to the way we behave. We see others and ourselves through a virtual reality of digital images, on video screens and on mobile devices. My pieces as wearable viewfinders guide us to view and notice whatever we’d like to present.”
Xinyu (Wizal) Wang wants to highlight jewellery that is ‘normally there’. She’s used our knowledge of traditional jewellery to empower her contemporary designs.

Take a look at more of Xinyu (Wizal) Wang’s designs on her website


Lucie Davis – Interacting with jewellery

Credit: ‘Touch in and out’ and ‘Swarovski ‘Water’ design project, Lucie Davis.
“Challenging the conventions of jewellery, my work aims to bring a bit of magic to our everyday lives. Although seemingly light-hearted my graphic and punchy pieces reconsider value in their materiality and use, offering the wearer an active role in interaction and interpretation. By connecting my discipline to art, illustration, fashion, design and digital technology I hope that my work can reach out to a wider audience in new and surprising ways.”
Not only does Lucie Davis’ jewellery look great it also has a functional purpose and it questions what jewellery can be.

Get to know more of Lucie Davis’ projects on her website


Si-Xing (Season) Cheng – Challenging jewellery

Credit: Made in China’, Si-xing (Season) Cheng. Photograph: Currisa Cheng.
“I tried to sustain a tone of humour, whereas to lighten the subject, cynical but still entertaining to depict the idea. Most of the stereotypes mentioned in my work are the most common ones that I personally have encountered.”
Si-xing (Season) Cheng’s work reflects on the stereotypes outsiders have of Chinese culture. She cleverly uses physical labels to represent labels others put on her culture. Cheng purposefully uses the same labels that often have written somewhere small ‘MADE IN CHINA’.

Explore more of Six-ing Cheng’s work on her website


Mia J Chandra – Shaping jewellery

Credit: Final Collection, Mia J Chandra.
Inspired by architecture, Mia J Chandra focuses on form. Manipulating plastic resin and acrylic to fit the natural soft curves of the body. She also introduces tension to help manipulate shape. Her choice of colour allows the beauty of the form and structure to take centre focus.

See some of Mai J Chandra’s earlier work along with her classmates in the second year jewellery show video on 1Granary


Ruby Parker- Re-packaging jewellery


Credit: ‘Wear what you waste.’ Film produced by Callum Pepper.
“My collection 'Wear what you Waste' is made from a variety of household packaging that has been deconstructed from its original form and disguised as items of luxury. Through craftsmanship, I have transformed these mundane materials into valuable objects of desire; aiming to challenge the viewer's perception of what they deem as 'waste.'” One man's trash is another man's treasure. Parker has used materials that could be considered as rubbish and created fashionable pieces of jewellery. Her work questions what is precious and what does ‘precious’ really mean?

Find out more about Ruby Parker’s work on her website


Rosanna Batt – Fashioning jewellery

Credit: ‘Final Collection’, Rosanna Batt.
“Each piece has a lightness about it, having enough weight to vividly hold its shape, but also allowing each piece to have a mind on its own, on or off the body.”
In Rosanna Batt’s work, the lines between garment and jewellery are blurred. Batt’s clever use of beads delicately outlines parts of the body, inspired but garments we would normally wear on these areas, her pieces awaken our senses to the clothing we’ve become so accustomed to wearing that we overlook.

Take a look at more of Rosanna’s Batt’s work on her website


Looking for more inspiration?
Check out Aisha’s ‘What is: Jewellery Design?’ pinboard


Find out more about the different Jewellery courses you can study

BA (Hons) Jewellery Design

BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery

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