The Creative Jewellery and Metal Division (JDD) of the Visual Arts Department (VAD) at Stellenbosch University has been a leader in the field of jewellery design and manufacture for 55 years. As South Africa’s oldest tertiary facility dedicated to this discipline, the JDD has a long-standing tradition of fostering critical thinking and skill development among students. Our vibrant, interdisciplinary environment encourages the exchange of ideas and cross-fertilization between different art forms, disciplines, departments, and faculties on campus.
Our curriculum is designed to cultivate both creative thinking and technical mastery in jewellery design. We believe that jewellery has the power to communicate and represent various aspects of identity, culture, politics, and more, and our students are taught to explore and harness these potentials in their own designs. Utilizing a broad range of approaches, concepts, and media, each student has the opportunity to develop their own unique voice and style in the field.
At the JDD, we are passionate about educating jewellery design as a critical discipline that allows students to reflect on the world around them and translate their ideas into wearable works of art. Whether students are interested in making a statement, critiquing society, or simply exploring their own artistic vision, the JDD provides a supportive and enriching environment for them to do so.
The Creative Jewellery and Metal Design Division of the Visual Arts Department provides students with a comprehensive education in jewellery design and manufacture. Our approach to teaching is centred around combining theory with practical and technical training, allowing students to gain a well-rounded understanding of the field.
Our curriculum is designed to encompass both the visual conceptual design component and the technical execution of jewellery, and we place a strong emphasis on critical thinking and the development of unique and innovative design ideas. Our course consists of both traditional and emerging technologies, and we encourage students to explore and incorporate these technologies into their own work. In addition, we believe that it is important for students to understand the sociocultural implications of their work, and to gain a deep understanding of historical and contemporary developments in jewellery design and technique. We foster a learning environment that nurtures individual design interests, sensitivities, and skills, and encourages students to think critically about their discipline.
Our graduates are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities necessary to establish and promote unique South African jewellery design traditions, and to make their mark on the world of jewellery design. With a solid foundation in design principles and visual language, and mastery of various techniques, our students are empowered to push the boundaries of their creativity and to create works of wearable art that communicate and stimulate thought.
The department is committed to fostering a multidisciplinary approach to contemporary art and design. As part of the course, students are expected to conceptualize ideas, master two- and three-dimensional design processes, and become fluent in various design methods, including drawing and three-dimensional model-making. Innovative, experimental thinking and originality of design are paramount.
Detail on the Course Structure
The Visual Arts Department at Stellenbosch University offers a comprehensive education for aspiring jewellery designers and metal artists. The four-year BA in Creative Jewellery and Metal Design program emphasizes both the conceptual and technical aspects of jewellery design, preparing students to be well-rounded and versatile in their craft.
The first-year course curriculum has been carefully crafted to introduce students to the diverse range of study streams offered by the department, with the aim of promoting an interdisciplinary way of thinking about their artistic practice. This foundational knowledge will serve students well not only throughout their degree, but also as they progress in their careers beyond graduation.
The curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, including jewellery design, production techniques, metal techniques, drawing, computer-aided design (CAD), photography, visual studies, and gemmology. This broad range of subjects ensures that students have a solid understanding of both traditional and modern techniques and are equipped to adapt to the latest technological advancements in the field.
The faculty of dedicated lecturers and visiting designers and critics bring a wealth of experience and diverse perspectives to the program. This fosters a dynamic and engaging learning environment where students are challenged to think critically and reflect on their own work. This exposure to diverse perspectives also provides students with a global perspective, enabling them to develop a unique and original voice in their work.
At the core of the program is the pursuit of creating jewellery with content and meaning. The program emphasizes the importance of understanding the historical, sociocultural, and contextual influences that give shape and power to jewellery today. This understanding, combined with the technical skills and design training, allows students to create meaningful and impactful jewellery that tells a story and resonates with audiences.
Overall, the BA in Creative Jewellery and Metal Design at Stellenbosch University is a comprehensive program that prepares students for a successful career in the jewellery, metal, and art industries.
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Study Level: Undergraduate
Study Mode: Full time
Course Length: Four years full time
Tuition Fees: For a personalized quote, please follow this link
Teachers: Carine Terreblanche, Mariambibi Khan, Joani Groenewald
The Department of Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University offers a master’s degree in visual arts (MAVA) and a 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.
Get in Touch: The Course Leader would be happy to discuss any questions you have about the course. For further information, or to book an appointment, please email
Study Level: Postgraduate
Study Mode: Full time
Course Length: One year full time
Tuition Fees: For a personalised quote, please follow the link
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 was an exchange student at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam during 1994. Terreblanche has worked as a freelance goldsmith in Cape Town for six years and has lectured at Stellenbosch University for more than two decades. She has been the Head of the Creative Jewellery and Metal Design Division at the Visual Arts Department since 2007.
In her creative research, she explores the boundaries between jewellery and sculpture, questioning the body-object relationship. In her latest work she delves deeper into matters of scale by crafting the same pieces in different sizes, interrogating the ways in which meaning and/or value is assigned according to the size of objects. She also explores the dialogue between more abstract forms and figurative interpretations through which she reflects on and critically engages with issues of sociopolitical identity to both question and navigate the ever-changing and increasingly complex society we live in. A main concern is always what socioeconomic forces determine what we consider beautiful and desirable when we wear, buy, or create jewellery. Jessica Hughes interviewed her on these pieces for the American contemporary jewellery website Art Jewelry Forum; read the article here.
Joani Groenewald, Lecturer
Joani Groenewald is a lecturer in the Visual Arts Department (VAD) at Stellenbosch University, where she also serves as the coordinator of the first-year program in Integrated Art and Design. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Art (Creative Jewellery and Metal Design) from the same institution, which she earned in 2009. After completing a two-year professional internship, she qualified as a goldsmith in 2011. In 2015, she received a Master of Visual Arts degree with distinction from Stellenbosch University. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Jewellery and Object Design from PXL-MAD Hasselt and Stellenbosch University.
In addition to her role at Stellenbosch University, Groenewald is a member of the Department of Higher Education’s subcommittee planner for the evaluation of national creative research outputs. In this capacity, she contributes to the development and implementation of policies and processes that support and advance creative research in South Africa.
In her research, Groenewald explores the critical role that contemporary jewellery can play in reflecting on social and political environments. Her particular areas of interest are memory studies and translation in the context of South Africa. In her art she integrates her research into her creative practice and has participated in numerous national (South Africa) and international (Germany, China, America, and Italy) contemporary jewellery exhibitions.
Mariambibi Khan, Lecturer
Mariambibi Khan is a contemporary jeweler and lecturer in the Creative Jewellery and Metal Design Division at the University of Stellenbosch, since 2018. She completed her Ba Hons in Jewellery Design and Manufacture (Cum Laude) at the University of Johannesburg (2015), where she was employed by the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture.
In 2016, Khan had the opportunity of visiting the Jewelry Art Institute in New York, where she acquired knowledge and skills in granulation and setting. She worked with the Jewellery Design & Manufacture Department of the University of Johannesburg, in 2017 on a short learning programme, Ukuluka: Artisanal Weaving Techniques in Contemporary African Jewellery Design, with renowned fashion designer David Tlale. Her comprehensive knowledge of jewellery design and manufacture skills was obtained through years of experience in both the industry as well as creatively.
Khan’s increase in momentum within contemporary jewellery is due to a pivotal realisation that views contemporary jewellery as a tool which can delve into multiple facets that contribute to her artistic identity and perspective. Her research interests lie in the domain of Islamic feminism and the diaspora of culture and identity within South Africa, whilst incorporating the use of jewellery techniques such as bobbin lace, crochet, and metal work as a medium which she intends to take further in her master’s degree. She has also received a prize as the runner-up in The South African Contemporary Jewellery Awards 2018 for her piece called Interlacing Identities, about which an article was published in the Creative Feel Magazine.
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.