Creative practice

School of Jewellery: Research philosophy and interests

The School of Jewellery is a vibrant, burgeoning research collective with 13+ members of staff actively pursuing research interests, from early career researchers to experienced experts in the field. Research centres on the advancement of scholarship, creative innovation and applied professional practice in the subject area of jewellery, silversmithing and related creative practice.

Research is both implicitly and explicitly embedded within the ethos of learning and teaching, which impacts on the student experience through exposure to contemporary practice, the development of practical and critical thinking skills, and through cognitive interaction with students' chosen subjects.

Creative problem solving is the constant thread running through the School and Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre, where the edgelands* and boundaries are explored at the interface between materials, technology and application, and where subject constraints and self-expression are embraced in equal measure. School staff are at the epicentre of this activity; of thinking and practice, developing their rigour and esteem as academics and educators, as well as demonstrating their expertise as individual practitioners and artists.

As an international hub, we interrogate some of the most vibrant, diverse and ambitious research and professional practice activities in the subject area. Our extensive connections include: galleries and professional organisations, artists, makers and curators, academics and research fellows, exchange and overseas students.

The internationalisation of our curriculum together with entrepreneurial activity, is interconnected with our commitment to both the local manufacturing industry of the Jewellery Quarter and the wider global community we face. Our networks, both personal and professional, extend across mainland Europe and Scandinavia, America and increasingly, towards the Far East. These research and professional practice activities are unmatched in the UK and recognised at an international level.

Current practice

The following activities are identified as current and ongoing areas of interest:

  • Theoretical discourse and scholarly dissemination (published in books, journals and catalogues)
  • Practice: the making of objects and installations (exhibited at high-profile galleries, museums and public venues)
  • Curatorial practice and the instigation and facilitation of new creative projects
  • Historical investigation
  • Collaborative practice
  • Scientific and technological research
  • Conference / symposium participation and publication of papers
  • Innovative strategies for learning and teaching, directly informed by research activities
  • Supervision of PhD research projects
  • KTP creation and facilitation
  • Mentoring: Artists in Residence

Visit the School of Jewellery website.

*Marion Shoard - Environmentalist/Writer

Current research students

Sian Hindle (PhD), Subjective Embodiment: Jewellery at the boundary of self (Supervisors: Anne Boultwood and Jivan Astfalck)

John Grayson (PhD), Enamel and Enamel Boxes and methods of manufacture around South Staffordshire in the 1700-1800s (Supervisors: Ann-Marie Carey and Richard Coles)

Yi Liu (PhD), The process and practice of making contemporary jewellery objects and how interaction between people and objects can enhance effective intercultural communication through pedagogy for overseas Chinese art students, studying within the British art and design higher education system (Supervisors: Simon Bolton and Jivan Astfalck)


Professor Jivan Astfalck – Research Coordinator

Other Researchers
  • Professor Jivan Astfalck
  • Bridie Lander
  • Anna Lorenz
  • Zoe Robertson