Getting Students to Think About Jewelry in a Larger Context

While much jewelry-making falls into the craft category, a good amount of it isn’t wearable at all and bangs on the door of where art and sculpture meet. It is an art form that could have innumerable sub-categories–wearable, commemorative, decorative, functional, etc. Since many art-historians and anthropologists point to adornment in the form of jewelry as the first art, pre-dating those French cave paintings, I wanted to step outside of skill-building and ask my young students (10-14 years old), “Why do people wear jewelry?”
Here are some of the ideas they came up with: status, wealth, ward of spirits, protection, enhance style, look pretty, intimidate, show beliefs, to relate to a group, survival, functional need, marriage. Just reading this list conjures up all types of jewelry and people over a long period of time. Thinking about this broader topic informs us of why we want to create, and how we approach it.
Next week’s question: Is there an important piece of jewelry that has been handed down in your family? If so, what is the story behind it? And now some glimpses of student work…

We prepared our own forms,  brought in meaningful objects, and poured resin to embed

We prepared our own forms, brought in meaningful objects, and poured resin to embed

Student's riveted brooch, front side

Student’s riveted brooch, front side

Backside of riveted brooch, all cold-connected

Backside of riveted brooch, all cold-connected

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s