Rebecca Skeels

Rebecca Skeels UG profileBA (Hons) Jewellery and Objects Lecturer

Could you tell us about your experience and how this feeds into your course?

I started my business in 1994 after graduating from the University of Wales. Since 1994, my thirst for knowledge and passion for sharing has led me to graduate from Central Saint Martin’s (MA Project by Design) and achieving a PGC in Higher Education from the University for the Creative Arts. I am also a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, a Freeman of the City of London, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Director of the Association of Contemporary Jewellery and continue to run my own jewellery practice.

As a designer maker, my work has exhibited across Europe, in the US and in China. I continue to explore ideas and work collaboratively with like-minded designer makers of different disciplines utilising different materials.

I use my past experience of learning, developing, teaching and supporting to assist students with their own journeys of discovery and development to forge their career paths for a successful future.

What is the philosophy of your course?

The course philosophy is to support students through a journey that equips them with skills, knowledge and experiences they can use in their careers within the jewellery and objects industries or to transfer into the specialist areas they wish to pursue.

If you had to name one thing about your course that makes it distinct, what would it be?

A fabulous balance of design and practical skills and creativity to support students’ futures.

Why is Birmingham a good place to study?

Birmingham has great resources for inspiration, research and industry as well as a huge variety of places to distract yourself and relax when needed. The School of Jewellery has some well-established industry links that support and nurture the students through their education providing work experience, funding, competitions, projects and valuable learning experiences all on the doorstep of the School.

Why do you believe it’s important to study a degree and why might students want to study your course?

Students explore and gain experience in a huge variety of options within the jewellery and objects industries, from technical and making skills to design and design development, business and marketing, researching, reflecting and ways of thinking. These put every student in a good position to follow their career aims in the areas they discover through the course experiences that they enjoy and have passion for.

Where will the students be based in their time here and what will their learning environment be?

Each student has access to a broad range of facilities across campuses in Birmingham, they can rub shoulders with product designers, fashion designers, photographers and researchers to name a few. The students main campus will be the renowned School of Jewellery located at the heart of Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter, the contemporary award-winning environment includes multiple jewellery studios, a horology suite, specialist lower ground floor technical workshops, the CAD CAM Technical Hub & Research Centre, and a gallery.

The spaces a vibrant and welcoming, to be used by the students for their study, practising their skills, meeting and discussing their work or attending set and open lectures, seminars and workshop.

What can students do to help prepare them for the course?

As well as preparing portfolios and questions for the staff team, students interested in BA (Hons) Jewellery and Objects course can prepare by visiting exhibitions and looking at books and makers websites to see the huge amount of career options available to them. It’s a great way to start to imagine what inspires them, what aspects they would like to explore through the course and what they may experiment with once they arrive.

What’s your favourite element about working at the School of Jewellery?

There is an amazing number of experts at the School, from the staff teams to artist in residents and visiting scholars to the students and researchers all willing to support and help each other. It makes a wonderful supportive and friendly atmosphere for anyone to learn, develop and grow through exploring, trying out new things and fun.