Studio 4: Alchemy

Studio philosophy

'A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination' (Alchemy- definition, Oxford English Dictionary)

This studio will introduce you to emerging opportunities that combine to put you in your Element (Ken Robinson) – eliciting what you are both good at, and enjoy. The studio acknowledges both your individual spirit and the industry essential attributes of successful cooperation and collaboration... 

The ability to transform ourselves and our environment through the alchemy of ornament has been a powerful means of communication throughout history. With a broad sensory capacity for reading the man-made world, this studio will explore the meanings and messages of ornament, how we each have the potential to use ornamentation to carry critical or narrative commentary, to be playful, to offer complex layers, multiple narratives, embedding memories and seeking connections.  

Ornament is an inherent part of the world around you and acts as a method of translation, as an important mediation between people and things.  It can encompass anything from plants, human bodies and animal forms to military camouflage, geometric patterns, heraldry and text, tailored to their context.  Ornament is why our work looks and reads the way it does and understanding it offers you significant potential for a distinctive and contemporary voice. Ornament often implies dynamic forces, such as movement or growth and in addition to more traditional technologies, has great creative potential within new methods of digital manufacture. 

To inform you as a responsible designer this studio will focus not only on designing and making objects, but also on producing human experiences, through testing how people read and interact with what you produce and how these things function within social, economic, political and environmental contexts.  

Harnessing your gut instincts and creative impulses, a series of projects will support you to imagine, design and make or get made, across a spectrum from the bespoke to multiple/mass production and at different physical scales.  

Technical input will be through a broad range of inductions and demonstrations, required at level 5 and optional at Level 6.  Level 6 will also receive more tailored technical input by negotiation once the Final Major Project is introduced. 

Potential Outcomes - jewellery, object, garment, product, installation, event, film. 

Live Projects
Tandem - Egypt - Cairo - The Cass + Azza Fahmy Studio, exchange (British Council).
Souvenir - Israel - Jerusalem - Bezalel - skype project - exhibitions Bezalel + London.
Flash Factory - workshops to the public.
Who made your pants? - social enterprise - upcycle - sell - things with attitude.
Huguenots Project - local contextual histories - spectacles project - workshop visit.
Goldsmiths Bursary and Goldsmiths Competitions. 

Special Projects
Drawing and Space - encountered limits.
The Tool At Hand - fabricating an object with just one tool.
Holding You Tight - multiples - 3D Printing.
Memento Mori - objects to cope with death.
B-Set Project - imperfection as ideal.
Jewellery Futures – imagined. 

Aston Martin - The Factory.
V&A – handling experience.
Ashmolean Oxford – handling experience.
Schmuck Munich.  

Cross Studio Projects
Project BOB in conjunction with Studio 4. 
Dungeness - Casting on the Beach - collaboration with Architecture.

Image: by Marianne Forrest


Course Jewellery and Silversmithing BA (Hons)
Textile Design BA (Hons)
Product Design BA (Hons)
Tutor Heidi Yeo
Marianne Forrest
Adi Toch
Natalie Hand
Where Studio 4, 5th Floor, Central House
When Tuesdays, Fridays