Jewellery & Objects
Jewellery & Objects at NCAD embraces many different types of creative practice. Students are supported to develop the skills to pursue personal expression through the gallery market or to forge a career in industry.
What will I study?
Jewellers are encouraged to create designs that challenge notions of the body, fashion, gender and the environment. Students develop skills in working with precious metals, and experiment with non-traditional materials such as paper textiles, and plastics. Object makers and silversmiths explore the interaction between materials and the creation of domestic objects and products, exploring form, function and processes.
With individual bench spaces and ma-chine workshops in studio, the programme provides the perfect environment to experiment and explore in pursuit of personal expression. Students develop a personal creative identity and proficiency in design and technique, and learn through a mixture of workshops, lectures, tutorials and, most importantly, through their own practice.
The first year experience for BA students at NCAD begins with a foundational semester of interdisciplinary Art and Design creative practice and research. In the second semester all Design students undertake projects spent within selected de-sign programmes. This is to give you a working taste of your chosen discipline and/or those that you are interested in and would benefit from experiencing. The second half of Semester 2 introduces students to key processes and practices in your chosen design discipline, encouraging the creative and critical development of a personal practice and introducing fundamental disciplinary design and technical methods.
In second year, students are encouraged to experiment with a variety of materials and processes and consider what jewellery and objects are in a contemporary context. Technical inductions and designing via making increase making skills and material expertise. Students develop a market understanding through research and professional practice.
Year 3: Studio+ & International
Studio+ is an optional year open to all Design students allowing you to engage with the world beyond NCAD by gaining practical work experience in the form of working within the NCAD Design Bureau on live commercial, social or community projects and/or undertaking approved internships and industry placements. Studio+ can also include a work placement abroad or a study abroad experience through the Erasmus programme with internationally recognised art and design faculties partnered with NCAD. Students who choose Studio + will complete a 4 year BA in Jewellery & Objects or a 4 year BA Jewellery & Objects (International).
Final year students are ready to develop their own programme of study, which reflects each individual’s skills and interests within Jewellery & Objects. This will culminate in a substantial body of work for assessment and display at degree shows, exhibitions and events. Each year is supported by a series of lectures by leading creative practitioners and theorists, collaborative interdisciplinary opportunities, live industry projects, field trips and study visits.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment throughout the programme, in both your studio practice and in Critical Cultures, will be on a continuous basis, at the end of each completed module and at the end of each semester (half-year). Formal assessment results will be issued at the end of each academic year. Modes of assessment will include practical and written assignments, oral and visual presentations, portfolios and exhibitions.
A key component of your curriculum in every year is the study of Critical Cultures. This is where you study the connections between history, theory and practice in modern and contemporary contexts in order to become a critically engaged, reflective and effective practitioner.
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Opportunities after graduation
As a consequence of the skills acquired, Jewellery & Objects graduates have a wide range of local and global opportunities open to them, from designer-maker to artist, educator and creative entrepreneur. Increasingly, graduates progress to further study at postgraduate level to refine their creative abilities and approach. The School of Design offers a range of innovative masters programmes as well as a practice-based PhD programme.
Student & Graduate Stories
David McCaul, (Metals Jewellery & Objects) 2003
Current Career - Goldsmith/Jeweller
Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?
NCAD has a reputation for being the best art college, with the best teachers and most interesting programmes. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get in! However, I felt there was no harm in trying. I didn’t know about the metals and jewellery department until I got to the college. Once I discovered it, I was hooked. I absolutely loved it.
Lucy van Lonkhuyzen, BDes Metals (Jewellery & Objects) 1996
Current Career - Production Designer, Normal People
What did you learn - during your time at NCAD - that helped prepare you in your career?
A design degree teaches you the process of design and that, in order to do the job professionally, you should be prepared to put the time in. From the initial research, to the development of mood boards, creating detailed specification drawings and 3D models for the team, there’s a sequence of steps you must take. All this work requires a process but importantly, it also requires a high level of grit and determination too. My work can be relentless. So, I fall back on my college experience and the endless hours of studio practice that are required.