Teaching at Visual Arts High School

Teaching at Visual Arts High School

Earlier this week I ran a Jewellery Design Workshop at Dulwich Hill School of Visual Arts.

It was a rewarding experience and something I have always enjoyed: I love sharing my skills. The talent of the students is undeniable. They rose to the challenge in finishing a piece of handmade jewellery or two in a few hours with no prior preparation, no briefing, with limited tools in the classroom.

The brief was to make a piece of jewellery using no heat source to solder jewellery elements together, in other words, cold joining. Connecting pieces of metal or found objects using, links and folding. It had to be a piece of jewellery that was wearable, made a statement about you using the scraps of metal, stones and plastic already in the storage cupboard. All to be completed in a few hours!

MANIC is what I would describe the initial start of the class, the sound of 18 students cutting, clanking, grinding, giggling with the constant  " Miss, I need help!" In the end they overcame limitations with the available tools and really found solutions to create pieces that were fantastic!

Their ideas were so fresh and uninhibited by rules, cost or time. Once we nutted out their design it was making time. A cool calm descended of with industrious concentration and wonderful collaboration between students, to solve the nitty gritty of their design for completion. Well, I was truly impressed.

My aim in not preparing the students was to them a glimpse of real life situations when you might need to design and make quickly, draw on your bank of skills whilst trying to understand the brief or customer requirements. I wanted to promote individuality uninhibited by grading.

Take a look at the jewellery they made!

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