Epic Jewellery and Contemporary Trends

HS100 - Epic Jewellery and Contemporary Trends

The jewellery creations of the past are presented as inspirational objects/wearable museums full of information about past cultures, materials and techniques. The impact of historical trends on contemporary jewellery is also analysed, showing how past creative trends can inspire the future. Beyond historical influences, students explore medium and short term fashion cycles that affect jewelery and learn how to anticipate coming colour, material and thematic trends.

Students studying jewellery of the past gain insight into how the fabrication limitations and beliefs of the time influenced jewellery design and how similar concepts in today’s fashion and jewellery can be applied. As new fabrication methods, materials and cultural concepts develop, students are encouraged to consider how similar evolutions affected previous eras of jewellery and use this information to produce avant-garde and trend setting designs.


HS100 - Epic Jewellery and Contemporary Trends

HS100 - Epic Jewellery and Contemporary Trends

Lessons in this course of study include:

Overview of important periods related to Jewellery
This overview showcases the different materials, technologies, cultures and mindsets that produced the jewellery of the past. The relationship between geography and materials is explained and ways to gather inspiration from past eras are highlighted.

Jewellery from the Bronze Age and earlier
Basic yet powerful, the jewellery of the earliest humans was both ornamental and ceremonial. Materials and many forms of primitive beauty among the first tribes of hunter-gatherers are presented.

The Ancient World: 3000BC to 700AD
The increase in trade between emerging civilizations meant new materials and markets for jewellery craftsmen. The creations of the Mediterranean cultures, especially Egypt and Greece, are explored.

 Jewellery of the Middle Ages 800AD to 1500 AD
The overwhelming effects of Christianity and the Roman Empire on jewellery are examined. Simultaneously, important Asiatic contributions from China, the Indian Subcontinent and African cultures are also noted. The rise of manufacturing processes and improved stone cutting are also covered.

The Renaissance and Baroque Periods
The developments that led to what we now know as 'Baroque Pearls' are revealed Pendants and brooches exemplifying the Renaissance themes of animals and naturalism are also analysed.

Rococo, Victorian and Belle Epoque Eras
Increased trade among the cities of Europe led to a burst of trends, such as the “hair jewellery” of the Romantic Period. Arabesques, cameos, mosaic jewellery and other historic jewellery concepts originated in this dynamic period.

Art Nouveau: 1890-1914
Departing from the classicism which preceded it, Art Nouveau defined a new era full of flowing, organic shapes and floral motifs. Enameling and elaborate wire work are among the techniques used to celebrate nature and depict fantasy.

Edwardian Period: early 20th century
Sensual and feminine, the Edwardian era replaced the conservatism of the Victorian era. Signature design elements include intricate filigree and copious use of gemstones as well as the rise of the white metals-platinum, palladium and rhodium.

Art Deco: 1920-1940
The influence of modern architecture on Art Deco jewellery is revealed, especially in regard to the style's use of clean lines and strong contrasts. Examples of Art Deco’s distinctive use of gemstones and metals are analysed.

Retro Period: 1940-1960
As a result of the embargoes and difficulties of the Second World War, gemstones and precious metals became less accessible. Pieces from this period tended to be more masculine and oversized.

Contemporary and Present day Jewellery Trends
Pop art, disco, new wave music, ”bling”, the green revolution and other sociological factors that have influenced jewellery design over the past forty years are explored.

Summary of Historical Influences and Future Trends
Reviewing previous lessons, students appreciate how historical trends and themes can inspire the future. Resources for further study are offered, as are ways to monitor upcoming trends.

Course Duration:

34 hours
(6 weeks, 1 day/week or 12 weeks, 1 half-day/week)

Course Fees:

US$ 2,000

Instructor: Frank Wuenstel