Jewellery theory and practice: an investigation into emotionally invested and mnemonic jewellery through sensitising materials

2019-09-10T10:14:53Z (GMT) by Roberta Bernabei
This research explores the capacity of jewellery to be emotionally embedded and to perform a mnemonic function. It investigates the work of European jewellers, jewellery design methods and thought-provoking ways of displaying jewellery in an atypical setting. It is situated in the context of contemporary jewellery design and practice and aims to expand our knowledge of the potential of materials and new technologies to advance opportunities for the making of jewellery as an artefact with the capacity to be a carrier of emotions and memories. Throughout, the author utilises concepts of sensitising materials and notions of narrative quality. A body of work comprising nineteen publications including a chapter from a monograph book by the author is presented. The academic outputs illustrate a range of approaches from the theoretical and the experimental to exploratory qualitative methods.
The findings, testing innovative materials and new technologies contribute to our understanding of technical and aesthetic solutions to the problematics of investing jewellery with memories and emotions through the application of both digital technologies and traditional craft techniques. The results were then applied in qualitative contexts, firstly to explore their capacity to support the designing and making and secondly, in a collaborative setting to explore the capacity of this novel practice for enhancing well-being.
The distinctive contribution to knowledge comprises, in part, reflections on the materiality of the object from the jewellery maker’s perspective. The purpose is to further an understanding of the role of emotionally and mnemonically embedded jewellery both in everyday life and as an agent of well-being. In doing so, it can be seen as: extending the work of anthropologist Ingold; informing the theory of jewellery initiated by Lindermann; and as refining conceptualisations of the capacity of emotionally charged jewellery for enhancing well-being.