The Association for Contemporary Jewellery


The Association for Contemporary Jewellery

The Association for Contemporary Jewellery is devoted to the promotion, representation, understanding and development of contemporary jewellery in the United Kingdom and abroad.


Location: UK
Members: 76
Latest Activity: 1 hour ago

The Association for Contemporary Jewellery

is devoted to the promotion, representation, understanding and development of contemporary jewellery in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Founded as a membership association in 1997 and registered as a Limited Company in 2006, it recognises a need to foster discussion, debate and critical review and interaction amongst its members. To this end we organise conferences, lectures, seminars, workshops and an annual general meeting for our members. Our regular newsletter, findings, features reviews, information, comment, book offers and discounts and is of benefit to both our members and the wider public. We also produce a monthly e-bulletin featuring news and opportunities.

We welcome as members practising jewellers, associated designers and crafts people, educators, students, gallery owners and retailers, museum curators, critics and collectors - indeed, anyone with an interest in contemporary jewellery.

The Association for Contemporary Jewellery 
PO Box 37807 London SE23 1XJ United Kingdom 
Telephone: + 00 44 (0)20 8291 4201 
Fax: + 00 44 (0)20 8291 4452 



• promote greater understanding of contemporary jewellery
• support jewellers’ creative and professional development
• develop audiences for this lively field of contemporary craft and design

Discussion Forum

"Disbelief" over plans to remove crafts from UK creative industries_ Dezeen Magazine

Started by Vicky Saragouda. Last reply by Rebecca Skeels May 7, 2013. 3 Replies

Government proposals to remove crafts from its list of recognised creative industries have triggered "disbelief" and "frustration" in the sector...Article published by Dezeen Magazine on May 1st.www.dezeen.comContinue

Tags: Council, Crafts, industries, creative, Crafts

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of The Association for Contemporary Jewellery to add comments!

Comment by Rebecca Skeels on April 8, 2015 at 5:43am

Engraving involves the cutting of a design into the surface metal of a piece of jewellery.

As an engraver you might work for a jewellery company or gold or silversmithing company. Many engravers are self-employed. They often take w As an engraver you might work for a jewellery company or gold or silversmithing company. Many engravers are self-employed. They often take w
What do engravers do?
Hand engraving is used for individual items. Machine engraving is used for mass produced items where it is important that they look the same.

Engravers may copy an existing design or one produced by someone else. They may also produce their own designs. They usually work on pieces produced by other people, such as jewellers or gold/silversmiths.

The engraved design can be a single letter or initials, a few letters or words, a pattern, or a picture. Very elaborate designs can be engraved, depending on the skills and design abilities of the engraver and the imagination and wishes of the customer.

What is the job like?
Hand engraving tools have changed very little over the years. Engravers use chisels, called gravers, of different sizes and shapes to get different effects. After engraving, the jewellery piece is polished.

Some engravers use enamelling techniques to add colour and different textures to their work.

Machine engraving is done with high speed cutters. The design is prepared as a template which is followed by a pantograph. Designs can also be scanned and engraved by computer-controlled machines.

Very elaborate designs can be engraved, depending on the design abilities of the engraver and the imagination of the customer.
As an engraver, you might work for a jewellery company or gold or silversmithing company. Many engravers are self-employed. They often take work from jewellery or metalsmithing companies or direct from the public.

Engravers work in a studio or workshop, either their own or an employer’s. If they are self-employed, they may work alone or with a few others. Customers may come to the studio to discuss designs.

Many engravers have websites to advertise and display their designs and services.

How do I become an engraver?
You need to have:

good eyesight
good dexterity (being precise with your hands)
good hand-eye coordination.
You also need to be patient and meticulous in your work. It helps to be creative, with good design skills, if you are producing your own designs. You should also have an understanding of different metals.

If you are dealing with the public, you need to have customer service skills. If you are engraving individual pieces, you may need to be able to explain your creative ideas to customers.

If you are self-employed, you need business skills so you can market your goods and services, deal with finances and develop your business.

What qualifications and training do I need?
The Hand Engravers Association of Great Britain is working to encourage apprenticeships, and offers courses in London suitable for people wanting to become engravers as well as for experienced engravers. So far, there are no apprenticeships specifically in engraving.

There are no qualifications in engraving, but it can be studied as part of jewellery and gold/silversmithing courses, such as:

a BTEC National Diploma in Design Crafts (Precious Metals and Gemstones)
a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design Studies, including Silversmithing and Jewellery
an HND in Jewellery Design and Production.
There are also degree courses throughout the UK,
Some courses have entry requirements, such as two A levels (or equivalent) for degree courses.

Anyone with an interest in engraving can join the Hand Engravers Association of Great Britain. Members can attend events to exchange ideas, update skills and meet other engravers.
Comment by Rebecca Skeels on April 8, 2015 at 4:43am
Crafting new spatial and sensorial relationships in contemporary jewellery
Crafting new spatial and sensorial relationships in contemporary jewellery
Sabine Pagan

Sabine Pagan, Site #2, ring, 2009, 9k yellow gold cube (handmade), surgical steel mount (rapidprototyped), 35 x 35 x 12 mm
Photo: Emily Snadden

Abstract The body occupies a significant place in both contemporary jewellery and architectural practice. The wearable object is made for the body and, therefore, invites the presence of a wearer, even if only metaphorically. Similarly, our built environment is constructed in relation to the scale of the human body and to accommodate our actions as users of architecture. Yet, important to both practices is the relationship between the object — jewellery or architecture — and the body beyond its physicality.

This paper examines embodiment from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Drawing on Jack Cunningham’s model (2005) maker–wearer–viewer as a framework, I propose an extended schema that integrates the object within the relational dynamics, with the aim to investigate the embodied relationship between object and wearer.

Underpinning the research is a case study that I conducted on the sensorial qualities of Peter Zumthor’s architecture, in particular Therme Vals. The study demonstrates that the embodied experience of the architecture by the user contributes to the development of these qualities.

In this paper, I argue that the transposition and testing of this concept in jewellery generates new relational variables, from which a new methodology of practice in jewellery informed by architecture emerges. Read full paper

Abstract from: Crafting new spatial and sensorial relationships in contemporary jewellery

Full paper published in craft+design enquiry: issue 6 Issue 6 2014, Craft.Material.Memory

jewellery, architecture, cross-disciplinary, wearing, senses, Therme Vals

You might also like:
Jewellery, the urban milieu and emergence
Crafting relations: Aspects of materiality and interactivity in exhibition environments, Sandra Karina Löschke
Call for Papers Issue # 7 2015
Comment by Rebecca Skeels on April 2, 2015 at 9:39am

Munich Jewelry Week was as amazing and overwhelming as ever, but now we are back to business, looking forward to SNAG in Boston, and feeling nostalgic for all the things we did last year.

If you want to know what AJF was up to in 2014 and what we're planning for 2015, take a minute to check this out:

It's a quick rundown of the events of 2014 straight from the editor's mouth. Did you know Benjamin Lignel has a sense of humor? It's true!

Comment by Rebecca Skeels on April 1, 2015 at 7:28am


It is with great excitement that we announce our spring season of courses, events and exhibitions at the Goldsmiths’ Centre. Discover our short courses, ranging from Developing Your Marketing Strategy, Building Effective Websites to Basic Bench Skills, or join Alexander Sidorov as he leads our first Advanced Micro-Setting course in June. Further training courses for setters will follow this year and you can now register your interest with us. Our free exhibitions, Little Gems, Inspired 2015 and Amber – The Baltic Jewel, and talks programme offer you an insight into this secret trade. We’re also excited to be running a pop-up Punch Your Pendant workshop as part of Clerkenwell Design Week at our café Bench. So whether you’re an emerging designer, member of the trade or the public, take the time to browse our e-newsletter to discover what’s on.  

Peter Taylor
Comment by Rebecca Skeels on March 29, 2015 at 8:25am
What Makes a Maker?
From potters to politicians, everyone today wants to be called a maker. What can designers really expect from this ideologically hazy movement?

Sam Jacob

Illustrations by Serafine Frey
Call it the third law of late capitalist consumerism: For all our rampant objectophilia, we have an equal and opposite amount of objectophobia. In other words, as much as we love, covet, and dream of things, we feel a profound sense of revulsion to that same object lust. In it, we see our own reflection surrounded by a dark aura of sweatshops, child labor, wage exploitation, pollution, and other dubious specters of globalized production.

I’d argue that this love/hate relationship comes from the way we relate to things, mediated by the gauzy layers of consumerism. Our relationship with objects is strangely passive. We look, click, and here they are, delivered to our doorstep. We are far removed from manufacturing. These days, so too are many designers. Between the designers on their screens, designing, and the consumers, clicking on their screens, consuming, is a hazy zone of expanded supply chains, atomized production, and global logistics—a world of manufacturing where the laborer, too, according to Marx at least, is removed from the product.

The roles of designer, manufacturer, and consumer are not roles we choose. They are given to us by the logics of capitalism. These roles determine our agency—what we can and can’t do, what we see and don’t see. And it’s in the limits and boundaries between these roles that our distrust of things emerges, where the simple relationship between our stuff and us becomes a complex moral and political maze.

It’s in this context that the idea of “the Maker” has emerged. The word, with its naive simplicity, holds the promise of rethinking consumerist relationships. Or at least, many of us would like it to. Making implies a direct relationship between objects and us, and a renegotiation of our roles as designers, manufacturers, and consumers.

Contemporary maker culture evolved, I would argue, from a series of unrelated international design phenomena that began back in the 1980s. The first was Design/Art, that brief moment when design assumed the position of fine art. Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge, for example, was a tour de force of craftsmanship that merged eighteenth-century chaise longues with the technology of aircraft construction. Made by Newson himself, the piece was recast as a new kind of ultra-design wherein the designer’s authorship, the quality of making, and the uniqueness of the object elevated it beyond the normal status of designed objects—and to a price tag of approximately $1,480,000 at auction in 2009. Design/Art may have ended in elitism, but it resurrected the idea of high craft and a relationship between designer and object that would influence far less rarified atmospheres.

Maker culture is—or should be—an attempt to wrestle with questions about the nature of labor, the status of objects, and the meaning of design in the twenty-first century.

At the same time, a culture of design hacking was imported from digital circles to the world of physical stuff. It imagined new ways of using the kits of parts supplied by the global system of production. It found new ways to assemble, for example, IKEA flat packs (to the annoyance of IKEA). DIY ingenuity allowed the design hacker to reinvent the role of the consumer and the product according to his or her own imagination or need.

Simultaneous to both, digital tools threatened to disrupt the traditional roles of designer, manufacturer, and consumer. It was argued that 3D printing would cut out the middleman and bring designer and consumer in direct relationship—a file could be transferred directly from the studio to the printer at home. Digital tools would also allow, so the promise went, infinite customization. The boundary between consumer and designer would be blurred. Mass production would become, so the boosters said, a relic of the industrial age as digital culture spread its democratizing ethos. This promise remains to be fulfilled.

But at a grassroots level, a branch of the same philosophy has been making an impact. FabLabs and maker spaces combine high technologies with an old idea of the workshop. Here, open-access spaces act as a hybrid of social hub, public library, incubator, and garden shed. These are places where communities can find workbenches, machines, and tools that would otherwise be out of their reach. The ambition of these spaces goes far beyond the things themselves. The revolution promised by places such as Blackhorse Workshop in London’s Walthamstow are answers not only to questions of making, but to wider societal issues. They act as social enterprises as much as workshops, as gateways to employment for jobless local economies, and as ways of re-skilling communities where traditional industry has been decimated.

From here, the cult of the maker extends from objects to immaterial labor, from the transformation of stuff to the remaking of society itself. Making here is imagined as social activism, the design of life itself rather than its accoutrements. Take PBS’s series Makers, which profiled groundbreaking American women such as Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Oprah Winfrey. Is this the fulfillment of design’s long-held desire to act in this societal role? Or is it just a hip way of talking about people who have gotten things done?

Of course, as with any contemporary avant-garde or subculture, corporate interests are never far behind. What to make, for example, of Chrysler’s “Born Makers” ad campaign that attempts to recast a behemoth of the industrial age as a calloused-handed craftsman? Because, perhaps, of its inherent ideological haziness, makerism—originally conceived as a reaction to consumerism—is easy to recast as a means to other ends.

In the midst of the rise of the maker, it’s wise to remember that both the idea and the scenario it responds to are nothing new. Think back to the Arts and Crafts movement—not as the movement has come to be known, full of flowery domestic decoration, but its radical political roots. For figures such as John Ruskin and William Morris, the act of making was a political response to the Industrial Revolution. They saw industrialization degrading labor, social structures, and conditions of society. In response, Arts and Crafts resurrected an (idealized) vision of medieval craft, welded it to growing ideas of socialism, and shaped design practice as a form of resistance intended to reconnect the schisms between labor, products, and capital. In reality, the socialist-maker society the Arts and Crafts movement imagined was very different from the middle-class Victorian domestic market that it served. But should this be seen as its failure? Maybe its ambition to reconfigure the act of making in the industrialized world was enough.

We face exactly the same problem that Morris and company did as contemporary making attempts to negotiate a new role for design. Can the movement’s promises to renegotiate the practice of design, the meaning of objects, and our respective roles in the machinations of consumerism really succeed, given the global dominance of capitalist production?

Perhaps it is not revolution that we should expect in maker culture. Instead, its true value is the various ways in which it reimagines the acts of creativity and production. Maker culture is—or should be—an attempt to wrestle with questions about the nature of labor, the status of objects, and the meaning of design in the twenty-first century. What, it asks, might design be able to do, who might it be for, and what might it be able to influence? Most importantly, it suggests, it’s not the final product that counts, but the way that you get to it.
Comment by Rebecca Skeels on March 27, 2015 at 3:57am
SavannahFull Time
Job Number: 131
Job Opened: March 02, 2015
Category: Faculty
Department: SAV - Jewelry and Objects-12600
Job Description: The field of jewelry offers endless opportunities for exploration and creation, where designers use new technologies and materials to create aesthetically strong wearable objects that delight and surprise. SCAD has the largest jewelry program in the U.S., with a 13,562 square-foot facility boasting cutting-edge technology. Join SCAD Savannah as a full-time professor of jewelry to support this unparalleled program.

This is your chance to work with talented students within the historic district of Savannah, Georgia, a walkable, bikeable coastal city that provides a living laboratory for the study of art and design.


- Terminal degree or its equivalent in jewelry or a related field

- College-level teaching experience

- Strong knowledge of historical/contemporary art, craft, design and current issues in the field

- Extensive knowledge in teaching a range of advanced jewelry and metalworking skills, experimental and extended materials, and processes in application of jewelry and object making

- Expert knowledge and working ability in CAD/CAM

- Expert skills in traditional hand rendering as well as industry-style quick sketching skills

- Expert skills in computer rendering including V-Ray, KeyShot, Adobe Illustrator and Autodesk SketchBook Pro

- Certification in teaching Rhinoceros and Matrix preferred

- Contacts in the jewelry industry preferred

Apply for this position
Comment by Rebecca Skeels on March 26, 2015 at 1:42pm

Good Afternoon,
We are delighted to share an exciting opportunity with you taking place later this year. Elements is a 4 day festival of gold and silver in central Edinburgh, incubated by the Incorporation of Goldsmiths and Lyon & Turnbull Fine Art Auctioneers. Elements takes place from the 10th to the 13th of September 2015 at Lyon & Turnbull’s stunning showroom in Edinburgh.
Elements is looking for both experienced and new makers to show their work at the selling fair, which gives makers the rare opportunity to reach established collectors, corporate commissions and new customers. Elements will also give makers a chance to network and discuss work in a supportive setting, with several events organised specifically with this aim.
If you would like to learn more or to apply to exhibit as a maker, or know anyone who may be interested, please visit
Kind regards,

Comment by Rebecca Skeels on March 25, 2015 at 2:53am
One of the requirements of the Hallmarking Act 1973 is that all dealers supplying precious metal jewellery shall display a notice explaining the approved hallmarks.

This must be the notice produced by the British Hallmarking Council, as shown right featuring date letters 2015 - 2024.

Any previous versions of this notice will need to be replaced with this latest version.

How to get your Hallmarking Dealers' Notice

• Downloadable PDF. This must printed out in black and white (minimum 300dpi, A4 size) and clearly displayed on your premises.

• Hard copy, at a cost of £10.00 each including VAT from Goldsmiths' Hall, or £15 if posted. For more information email
Comment by Rebecca Skeels on March 23, 2015 at 12:32pm

Dear Rebecca,
We would like to remind you that there’s only one  more week for your students to apply for the 2015 Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise.

By submitting an application, they are in with a chance of winning:

— £10,000 start-up capital.
— 12 months business mentoring.
— Small business training.
— Access to new networks and audiences.
— Deutsche Bank endorsement.
— A fast track to success.
Take a look at why they should apply here.

Five prizes are offered in five broad categories that the business plan can fit into:

— Fine Art
— Design
— Film and Photography
— Music
— Performance

Their application should consist of a business plan for a project or enterprise that they wish to pursue. The plan should support the applicant’s long-term career goals.

We’re looking for originality, feasibility, clarity and conciseness… and for it to be financially sound.

But it’s worth reminding your students that impressions count; make our judges want to read their business plans!

Check here to see if your college / university has already registered. If not, you’ll need to do so in order for them to apply. It’s free and easy, and takes no longer than a minute.

Once you have done so, then please do encourage them to submit an application by forwarding this link: Click here to access the guidelines and application form
Deadline: 17.00, 31 March 2015.

And don’t forget to check out the resources on our website, including the questions and answers from this year’s #DBACE Live session.
If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact me on the email below.

Many thanks, regard and best wishes
John Kundu
The DBACE 2015 Team

Comment by Rebecca Skeels on March 23, 2015 at 12:29pm

We would be grateful if colleagues can forward through appropriate notice boards, peer networks and associates; with full apologies for the receipt of cross-posts.

Making Futures will be held on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th September 2015 within the magnificently sited Mount Edgcumbe estate on the River Tamar opposite the city of Plymouth, Devon, UK.
The CALL FOR ABSTRACTS is open and the closing date for receipt is 18th May 2015. Building on the success of its three previous editions, Making Futures invites proposals for papers and presentations that address the main conference topic, thematic fields and workshops. Making Futures seeks to be broad and inclusive, and invites a diverse range of response, from artists, craftspeople, designer-makers, Fab Lab and maker-movement enthusiasts, campaigners and activists, curators, historians and theorists.
ON-LINE REGISTRATION OPEN: registration is open with an ‘early bird’ offer on two-day conference tickets until the 17th May 2015.
CONFERENCE AIMS: Making Futures investigates what it means ‘to make’ and its future significations - personally, collectively, artistically, economically, politically… Its impact on sustainable agendas, its subversion of mass consumption, its relation to new technologies, its contribution to community and 'place-making', and to the possibilities of new political economies…
Embracing contemporary craft and making as instances of thought in action and convinced of their transformative potential at individual and social levels, Making Futures envisages the “(re)turn of the maker” as a project capable of generating new progressive possibilities, and of contributing to new social and economic futures.
THEMATIC FIELDS: proposals might address one of six themes:
Lifecycles of Material Worlds (Sustainability in Practice)
Craft in an Expanded Field
Critical Perspectives on Producers & Consumers
Translations Across Local-Global Divides
Materials & Processes of Making
Making Thinking (Crafting Education)
WORKSHOPS: the call also requests proposals to three workshops:
Digital Crafting – Defining the Field in collaboration with the School of Materials, The Royal College of Art.
A Western Jugaad? Makers & Frugal Innovation in collaboration with the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, and Fab Lab Barcelona.
Place-Making-Space: tools and methods for ‘crafting communities’ and ‘making places’ in the post-global era in collaboration with the Community21 Sustainable Design Research Group at the University of Brighton.
Practice-led presentations and case studies: projects that engage the conference themes, and which might typically connect to practitioners, processes, products, projects, enterprises, collectives, institutions, agencies, ideas and allied movements, campaigns, initiatives, and curatorial practices and strategies.
Historical and theoretical papers: rooted in examinations of the broader contextual formations and critical discourses connected to the conference programme. To include perspectives derived from historical, technological, social-cultural, philosophical aesthetic, anthropological, and/or political and economic models of enquiry



Members (76)


SNAG / CH Scholarship 2015

Created by

Kelly M Nye

Makers, Metalsmiths, and other Monikers.

What do you call yourself? Where do you belong in the Polarized Convocation of Jewelers?

This blog is a research-based discussion of personal inclusions in the Jewelry/Metals field and the titles and boundaries that define us as artists.

How do you define yourself and your practice?

JOIN the discussions.

Latest Activity

Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"COLLECT 2015 Talks Programme Monday 11 MAY 11.15-12.00Beyond CraftRevealing how craft skills can generate innovation in other industries. Textile artist Karina Thompson and designer Chloe Meineck share their experiences of working in the fields…"
1 hour ago
Jennifer Merchant added a discussion to the group SNAG

Who's Coming With Me?

** A quick note before I get into the following discussion. My name is Jennifer Merchant, I am a volunteer with the Society of North American Goldsmiths. I will be posting regular discussion topics here on Crafthaus on behalf of the SNAG organization. My goal is to raise questions and instigate conversation within our membership and beyond to address topics and concerns that are important to our community. This aligns with SNAG's vision: A diverse jewelry and metals community engaging in…See More
9 hours ago
Sara Brown joined Kelly M Nye's group


Makers, Metalsmiths, and other Monikers.What do you call yourself? Where do you belong in the Polarized Convocation of Jewelers?This blog is a research-based discussion of personal inclusions in the Jewelry/Metals field and the titles and boundaries that define us as artists.See More
10 hours ago
2Roses commented on Brigitte Martin's blog post Fake It to Make It: The Dilemma of Delegating Fabrication
"Those who know how have always worked for those who know why."
11 hours ago
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Artists Reception: Friday May 1, 6-8pm San Francisco’s Velvet da Vinci is proud to present Stonecutting, an exhibition of work by New Zealand artists Craig McIntosh + Joe Sheehan. The show will run from May 1 – 31, 2015. An opening…"
14 hours ago
Leah Hardy and Nash Quinn are now friends
16 hours ago
Brigitte Martin liked Wayne Louis Werner's photo
18 hours ago
Anne Morgan posted photos
18 hours ago
Anne Morgan commented on Brigitte Martin's blog post We are updating: crafthaus members' etsy shop links
18 hours ago
Brigitte Martin commented on Brigitte Martin's group Co:Operation GARNISH
"Here's our electronic postcard ! Fee free to copy and post :) "
19 hours ago
Brigitte Martin liked Leah Hardy's photo
20 hours ago
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"@GalioJewellers: @CraftsCouncilUK We launched fab Design Competition #win Shaun Leane placement & have winning piece made too! Pls RT"
22 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service