Plymouth College of Art is a specialist, independent art college—run by artists, for artists—based in Plymouth, UK. Founded in 1856, it has more than a century’s worth of history, and is driven by contemporary thinking and in-house cutting-edge facilities. The jewelry program is available to study at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The jewelry program gives students access to both state-of-the-art digital and traditional workshops and facilities, where they’ll gain extensive technical skills and develop a thorough understanding of material properties. They’ll have access to our spacious and well-equipped metal and jewelry studios, as well as ceramics, glass, and resistant materials workshops, and the superbly equipped Fab Lab.
Whether working with metals, synthetics, found objects, or smart materials, the students’ potential is only limited by imagination. They see their creative expression thrive, with guidance from leading practitioners who can help nurture their ideas into unique wearable art.
Students practice traditional skills and processes, devising modern approaches to using metals in conjunction with alternative materials. Core features of the program include conceptual research, drawing and design development, material investigation, prototyping, and product realization. Students work collaboratively and respond to live briefs, developing a broader understanding of art and design disciplines, such as fashion, accessories, and product design, and how these relate to jewelry in contemporary practice.
The Plymouth College of Art’s program has strong connections with a number of designer-makers, giving students the opportunity to train with successful professionals working in the field of contemporary jewelry. With a focus on contextualizing creative outcomes within a commercial realm, students discover how to position their work for gallery exhibitions, retail opportunities, and successful self-employment.
Plymouth College of Art is bucking the trend. It continues to invest heavily in new studios and workshops that redefine the relationship between media, fine art, digital technology, and handcrafted traditions.
And it's not just about crafts. The college provides space, equipment and—crucially—the technical help to make full use of this for students across crafts, product design, drawing and printmaking, photography, 3D design, graphic design, illustration, fashion, and more.
The college firmly believes in an open-door policy. Students across all areas of the college can use equipment across campus. Jewelry students are encouraged to collaborate with the Fab Lab; fashion designers can work with photographers; and lots, lots more.
Gayle Matthias, Programme Leader
Gayle is a practicing artist, educator, and researcher. Having exhibited nationally and internationally, she has work in the permanent collections of the V&A, Musée de Vianne, Glazenhuis, and Ebeltoft Museum of Glass, among others.
Rachel Darbourne, Lecturer
Rachel teaches across the 3D design crafts programs, with specialist teaching in jewelry.
Rachel is active within the discipline; she has a product range that is stocked in galleries across the UK, and is also engaged in a more conceptual line of enquiry that has resulted in numerous co-curated exhibitions, projects, and collaborations that have been exhibited in the UK and Europe, such as JUNK: Rubbish to Gold and Polyphonous: Whispers, with Professor Jivan Astfalck and Laura Bradshaw-Heap.
Ana Simoes, Workshop Coordinator, Jewelry
Ana supports students across the 3D design crafts programs. She is a specialist in fine metal jewelry.
Meet more of the staff on the college’s website.