Contemporary Jewellery is a type of practice – understood as the contemporary offspring of a craft-based design activity that finds its origin in medieval workshops. Such a definition stresses contemporary jewellery’s historical past, and finds antecedents in the British and American Arts & Crafts movements, the renewed late XIXth century interest in manual skills (as a last stand against industrialisation), and the emergence of radical jewellery movements in the 60s: it underlines the notions of individuality, craftsmanship, and its troubled relationship to the production mainstream;
21st Century Jewellery
Modern jewellery has never been as diverse as it is in the present day. The modern jewellery movement began in the late 1940s at the end of World War II with a renewed interest in artistic and leisurely pursuits. The movement is most noted with works by Georg Jensen and other jewellery designers who advanced the concept of wearable art. The advent of new materials, such as plastics, Precious Metal Clay (PMC) and different colouring techniques, has led to increased variety in styles. Other advances, such as the development of improved pearl harvesting by people such as Kokichi Mikimoto and the development of improved quality artificial gemstones such as moissanite (a diamond simulant), has placed jewellery within the economic grasp of a much larger segment of the population. The “jewellery as art” movement, spearheaded by artisans such as Robert Lee Morris and continued by designers such as Anoush Waddington in the UK, has kept jewellery on the leading edge of artistic design. Influence from other cultural forms is also evident; one example of this is bling-bling style jewellery, popularized by hip-hop and rap artists in the early 21st century. With the world’s designs more accessible to jewellers, designs have blended in aspects from many different cultures from many different periods in time.
What This Means
New materials that could have just been developed or taken from another source rather then materials such as stearling silver.
Focus on artisan skills and the craft / design rather then the price of materials.