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The practise of jewellery design focuses on producing ornamental items, works of art, or jewellery items that “enhance and embellish the wearer” using a variety of materials, including gemstones and precious or semi-precious metals. Jewelry design has developed over the years and is now its own specialty. The innovation has altered how jewellery making is done today. The practise of jewellery design has been inspired and shaped by conceptual, historical, and material factors into a field in which designers express their ideas as well as their self-image and identity via their work.
What is Jewellery Design?
Jewelry design is a specialised area of knowledge and practise closely related to the processes of conceptualising and creating jewellery objects. This industry employs designers with highly developed artisanal abilities and calls for a working understanding of fundamental metallurgy and gemstones, as well as the use of certain tools, techniques, and methodologies, such as visual language.
Practitioners of jewellery employ a variety of principles in their work. “Principles” here refers to the steps involved in creating jewellery, including seeking inspiration, producing ideas, assessing those ideas, and translating them. In relation to the stage of transforming ideas from drawing to product, decisions are made regarding the materials, size, colors, flexibility, wearability, weight, cost, and use of techniques and instruments.
Jewelry design uses techniques from crafts and the arts, such as fine art, applied art, and decorative art. According to MacDonald, the term “craft” originally denoted something manufactured by hand, but in the nineteenth century, as craft-based goods were increasingly produced industrially, the term “manufacturing” was established. In the past, the history of art served as a source of inspiration for jewellery creation. People have manufactured jewellery since the beginning of time because they are passionate about “materials, the difficulty of producing things with inherent problem-solving, a strong interest in creating their own designs, and expressing thoughts,” according to one historian.
In both traditional and contemporary jewelry, professional jewelry-making skills and traditions are well known. However, how designers think and acquire the knowledge necessary for their work has been very little explored, and as a result, it is not fully understood. In order to improve our understanding of the discipline and how jewellery practitioners understand, develop, and communicate their practise to others, such as customers or students in jewellery education, there is a need to further our understanding of how knowledge dissemination from theory to practise in jewellery design occurs.
The practise of burying the dead with their most valuable clothing and jewellery dates back to the earliest known civilizations, which is largely responsible for the possibility of tracking jewelry’s historical journey. Numerous examples of plastic and pictorial iconography—paintings, sculptures, and mosaics—provide evidence of the jewellery worn throughout history.
It’s likely that prehistoric humans considered body decoration before they considered using anything that might suggest clothes. People who lived near the sea dressed themselves with a wide range of shells, fishbones, fish teeth, and coloured pebbles before precious metals were found. People who lived inland used reindeer antlers, mammoth tusks, and various animal bones as ornaments made from the animals they had killed for food. Together with animal skins and bird feathers, these materials supplied enough adornment after being transformed from their natural state into a variety of intricate forms.
The period that followed this one saw the change from a nomadic lifestyle to a settled social structure and the subsequent emergence of the oldest civilizations. The majority of people made their homes along the banks of significant rivers, which aided in the growth of agriculture and zookeeping. Inadvertently, this also resulted in the identification of virgin alluvial mineral deposits, the first of which were gold and precious stones. The limited jewellery designs from prehistoric times gradually increased until they included decorations for every body part. Crowns, diadems, tiaras, hairpins, combs, earrings, nose rings, lip rings, and earplugs were all available for the head. There were necklaces, fibulae (the old safety pin), brooches, pectorals (breastplates), stomachers, belts, and watch fobs for the neck and torso. Armlets, bracelets, and rings were made for the hands and arms. Thigh bracelets, ankle bracelets, toe rings, and shoe buckles were created by artisans for the thighs, legs, and feet.
What are the characteristics of jewellery design?
Following are the major characteristics of jewellery design
Intuition is demonstrated in the jewelry-making process and is used by jewellery designers. They assert, however, that in other cases intuition works extremely differently.
Jewelry design is revealed to be an experimental process. Studies indicate that during the 1960s, the contemporary jewellery movement expanded as an experimental field, along with new ceramics, fibre art, studio glass, and book arts.
It is built on a conceptual framework that describes variations in studio jewellers’ design processes. The framework outlines three fundamental design processes: “design cluster reflection” (imposing a hierarchically structured order on the design), “design parameter reflection” (imposing constraints on a design by looking backward to the set of constraints already imposed and by looking forward to estimate the design qualities based on heuristics), and “backtracking” (reframing the issue by taking into account previously imposed constraints or hierarchically structured).
To sum up, numerous items and accessories fall under the category of jewellery design, which jointly defines the ongoing effort to push the limits of the worn object. The conventional ideals of prestige embedded in jewellery have been challenged by new technologies and non-precious materials, including plastic, paper, and fabrics. Jewelry is a common type of decoration. Prehistoric jewellery that was crafted from shells, stones, and bones has survived. From a young age, it was most likely worn as a status symbol, a signal of rank, or protection from life’s dangers. Jewelry design also attracted artists and designers from other disciplines. Their creations hint at the new paths jewellery will take in the future.
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