Design – Craft-Jewellery

Non-Conformist Chair. Eileen Gray – National Museum of Ireland

It is a subject that confuses, what is it and why is it important? 

Design is the set of principles that moves an idea through stages to a result.  This may be a system or an object that serves the needs of whomever its intended user is.  

The quality of most aspects of our daily lives is determined by how thoughtfully this process is undertaken. Design is many things- including: visual communication, electronic systems, household goods, medical devices and the system whereby we navigate the motorway.

Craft Design involves the development of functional products and objects in what are described as craft materials. These are metals, clay, glass, textiles, leather and wood etc. These objects are usually made in small batch production, with a high degree of handwork with a high quality finish. 

 jewellery, or personal ornament, in precious metals ,for instance is design for a craft.

Jewellery like clothing is intimately involved with the body whose structure dictates its form or design.

Jewellery is considered intimate architecture while architecture encloses the body. Jewellery, too, is structure and message.

These qualities influence how rings, lockets, brooches or neckpieces function. Additionally they may bring a symbolic or a narrative story. Objects acquire memories and associations over time. In this regard Jewellery is powerful due to its strong emotional associations in for instance wedding rings. Status frequently plays a part too.

While its aesthetic quality is usually a focus with jewellery, it never challenges functionality. If, however, aesthetic values override functionality, the work ceases to be a piece of jewellery and is instead a decorative or conceptual art piece.

Craft design is an intimate part of our daily lives granting us objects that bring joy.

Three silver Heart pendants.

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