• Sarah Wafer

Contemporary Craft - Part One


Pushing the boundaries of craft in the goldsmith industry

Since the 1960’s the boundaries regarding jewellery craft and design have regularly been redefined. Makers up until the present have been designing a ‘contemporary’ style. Contemporary jewellery is without a doubt one of the most dynamic and innovative subjects in craft and design throughout the 21st century. Current craftspeople are forever experimenting and figuring out solutions to problems in order to be cutting edge in creations. Our point of view is in the field of jewellery design and making, bespoke jewellers are the leaders.

In society today opportunities for makers have increased, in opposed to recent decades and continue to do so. This allows makers to become more experimental with their work, an example would be travelling and visiting other countries which is now easier, makers can now learn and pick up techniques and methods from other cultures to work with and be influenced by. Another example would be technology, as it has taken great strides over recent years. As the traditional meaning of craft is ‘the skilful making of things by hand,’ over the years the definition has changed by merging the traditional skills and mediums with modern technologies in terms of how an object can be made. 3D printers, scanners and computer-aided design (CAD) are all examples of other opportunities for bespoke jewellers to continue to push boundaries in craft.

Bespoke jewellery designers and makers are always on the look out to make something unique, so they can flaunt their skill. It is common for them to combine with other materials in the craft and design industry. Whether that is with non-precious including plastics, paper and textiles, which have all overturned notions of status, that are traditionally associated with jewellery. Or sometimes bespoke jewellers amalgamate with fashion, by pushing the boundaries to the limits with the interaction of the body, in terms of the scale and wearability.

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