Royal College of Art, Jewellery and Metal

Published: 19.05.2023
RCA Battersea.
. A London location in the developing cultural quarter of Battersea..
RCA Battersea.
A London location in the developing cultural quarter of Battersea.

© By the author. Read Copyright.

The MA Jewellery and Metal (JaM) programme seeks to unpick the relationship between people and things, from ‘subject to object’ and ‘object to subject’ we are entrapped and enthralled in a complex entanglement of the material and immaterial worlds.
Through the emergent acts of making, JaM believes we can shed new light on these complex and essential relationships, revealing great depths in our understanding of, and being in, the world.

As artists and designers, we engage with the making process as an essential way of materialising ideas, thoughts, feelings, offering a space for innovative and radical new ways of approaching jewellery, objects, and metal. We are responsive to the rapidly changing social and cultural landscape, drawing on history and technology in nurturing intellectual and creative skills directed at understanding and pushing forward jewellery and objects of human making. The rich and extensive bodies of knowledge associated with jewellery and metal object-making underpin an approach that is outward-looking and open to the wider discourse of “things” connected to contemporary life. Students can expect to work with, and through, a vast array of material possibilities, exploring a multiplicity of possible narratives.

Through tutorials, critique, workshops, and lectures students are encouraged to challenge traditional perceptions and perceived hierarchies, as well as to question and exploit both digital and analogue realities. Seminar and group discussion form an essential part of the JaM programme as we believe that the cross fertilisation of ideas alongside staff and peer feedback is essential to postgraduate learning and interdisciplinary thinking.

In these ways, our programme views ‘objects’ speculatively and through flatter ontological models where “object” is referential to both tangible form and the intangible materialism of the impermanent; it is also the creative sinew connecting the human discourses and material explorations that connect jewellery and metal within material culture. ‘Jewellery’ is vastly more than ‘adornment’, it is a discipline that exemplifies our intimate relationship with the material
world and is indicative of how we use the language of things and signs to communicate. We choose to wear jewellery for its complex meanings and symbolism but also because we are indefinably drawn to materials. ‘Metals’ occupy 80% of the Periodic Table, making up much of the world that
surrounds us. The role of JaM is to expand the possibilities of metal, addressing the need for functional and ritualistic objects within the wider context of material culture.

JaM fuels a discourse that operates between fine art and design - this is our strength. Within the programme art and design are not viewed as binary opposites but as an energised continuum, interconnecting discourses of the applied art, fine arts, fashion, design, theory, and beyond. Students will be supported through 3 units of study. The unit 1 develops research skills and offers new intellectual positions to students, unit 2 focuses on theoretical and technical developments aiding students in situating their practice within the field, whilst the final unit (the Independent Research Project) prepares students for self-directed practice and research working towards an exhibition and publication of practice.

Jonathan Boyd: Acting Head of Programme. Reader in Jewellery.
Rebecca de Quin: Tutor.
Antje Illner: Tutor.
David Roux-Fouillet: Acting Senior Tutor.
Professor Michael Rowe: Senior Tutor.
Max Warren: Tutor.

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