Creative Jewellery and Metal Design Division
The jewellery division forms part of Stellenbosch University’s Visual Arts Department, and is situated in the historic town of Stellenbosch. Founded in 1968, it is the oldest jewellery school in South Africa. The main focus of the division is on the development and innovation of contemporary jewellery, as well as stimulating critical academic practice-led research within the field.
Our course is focused on teaching students to create jewellery based on sourcing, understanding, and organising various types of conceptual and visual information within specific contexts and concepts. We guide our students toward developing a holistic understanding of the critical discourse, role, and possibilities of jewellery.
We believe that jewellery is a multifaceted communication and representation tool which can provoke, critique, record, and amuse. Our students are encouraged to utilize a broad range of approaches, concepts, and media, through which each of the many aspects of jewellery’s messages and meanings can be explored, understood, and applied.
The Department of Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University offers a four‐year BA degree in creative jewellery and metal design.
“Creative jewellery and metal design” broadly refer to two interlinked aspects of jewellery: the visual/conceptual design component on the one hand, and the technical execution/representation thereof on the other. Our programme thus offers a comprehensive education designed for students who want broad exposure to studio practice whilst simultaneously investigating the historical and sociocultural movements that give meaning, shape, and power to jewellery today.
The main subjects are jewellery design, production techniques, and metal techniques, with additional subjects being drawing, computer-aided design (CAD), photography, visual studies, and gemmology. The wide array of practical subjects results in our students mastering both age-old manual and state-of-the-art digital techniques of jewellery design and production within a critical academic/theoretical context.
Throughout the course, our students are supervised by dedicated lecturers who bring decades of teaching and professional experience to the programme, while visiting designers and critics introduce students to varied and global perspectives, providing students with the opportunity to truly become critical and reflective about their own work and process.
Whilst technological developments are constantly changing and advancing design and production methods, the underlying pursuit remains unchanged for our students: to create work with content and meaning.
The Department of Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University offers a master’s in visual arts (MAVA) and master’s in visual studies (MAVS). These programmes offer an opportunity for specialised postgraduate research in studio production and theory within the broader areas of visual communication design, illustration, jewellery design, and fine art.
The programme promotes the development of the student’s particular interests, skills, and ideas, and students are expected to conduct independent practical and theoretical research of an advanced and in-depth (postgraduate) standard which reflects a critical awareness of a contemporary South African context.
The MA in visual arts programme encourages research that is practice-based in its methodology, thus research wherein the relationship between practice and theory is dialogical and interrelated, not only in the research process but also in the final presentation of the research project.
Staff in the Jewellery Division
Carine Terreblanche, senior lecturer
Carine Terreblanche completed her BA (FA), BA (Hons), and an MA (FA) at Stellenbosch University. She also studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam during the 1993/1994 academic years. Terreblanche lectured at Stellenbosch University from 1994–2001. In 2001, she left academia to work as a freelance goldsmith in Cape Town. In 2007 she returned to Stellenbosch University as head of the Creative Jewellery and Metal Design Division.
Carine’s teaching interests and research are focused on the making and development of contemporary jewellery within a South African context. Her own art practice questions the tenuous, constructed gap between jewellery, sculpture, fine arts, and craft. Her objects are the result of a meditative, partially subconscious way of working, and her designs originate in dreamy doodles which end in abandoned/finished pieces that signify a dream world necessarily left behind in the creative process.
Joani Groenewald, lecturer
Joani graduated with a bachelor’s in visual art (creative jewellery and metal design) degree from Stellenbosch University in 2009. She enrolled in a graduate training programme in 2010 where she worked as an apprentice goldsmith for two years before formally qualifying as a goldsmith. In March 2015 she successfully completed her master’s in visual arts degree at Stellenbosch University, achieving a distinction. Joani views contemporary jewellery as a medium through which one can critically reflect upon our social and political environments. Her research interests are memory studies, specifically in relation to a South African context. She continues to make art that feeds to and from these research interests. Her art questions the stability of memory and narrative while also challenging the traditional function of jewellery.
Angela Tölken, part-time lecturer
Angela studied creative jewellery design and metal techniques at the University of Stellenbosch, graduating with her master’s in arts in March 2006. For her, the creative process is a means of self-expression and she is particularly interested in art jewellery as self-portraiture in three dimensions.
Over the past years, Angela has participated in numerous local and national group exhibitions as well as some international group shows, and has successfully shown her work in five solo exhibitions.
RECENT GRADUATES: If you recently received a degree--BA, BFA, MA, or MFA--from this university, everything you need to know to upload your graduate portfolio can be found at this link.