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Meanings and Messages | Live BriefDesign Crafts, Swansea College of Art UWTSD

25 March - 06 May 2023

Inspired by the Association for Contemporary Jewellery Meanings and Messages exhibition which took place at Mission Gallery, a live brief was given to Design Crafts students at Swansea College of Art UWTSD to create their own statement jewellery. These pieces captured the students own meanings and messages.

The standard of work produced by all applicants was exemplary. This live brief was set in collaboration with Swansea College of Art UWTSD, Joanne Haywood, of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery and the Crafts Council, Rhian Wyn Stone of Mission Gallery.


Winner: Zachary Dunlap

Runner Up: Molly Ashton

An image that includes a black background with two hands reaching out to touch from the top left corner and bottom right hand corner. Each hand holds a porcelain statement ring by Zach Dunlap between index finger and third finger.

About Zachary Dunlap

Holding on to Memories

Porcelain caption rings

Every year in the UK alone, 13 million hard drives are decommissioned and destroyed. Given the nature of their use most companies are forced to destroy these rather than recommission for data protection, costing companies hundreds a year.

The platter (shiny disc) is made from a combination of silica, cobalt and magnesium among various other rare earth metals. Using this knowledge, I discovered stable melting/cooling point that would result in the most visually appealing use of this disk.

Instagram: @pinch_it_pottery

A trio of images that are softly lit, each includes a model wearing a statement neckpiece by Molly Ashton. This neckpiece is made from copper pipe that holds many pieces of fragmented shell ceramic pieces and is draped around the figures neck and shoulders.

About Molly Ashton

This collection has been inspired by scallop shells; a material given to me by a local fishmonger who would otherwise have discarded them. I thought it was a shame that such a beautiful material would be wasted because it wasn’t needed. I was drawn to their texture and shapes in their natural forms and through the recreation with other materials. The work explores material properties and how those properties can be used to create a range of visual effects. For example, when the shell was fired at a lower temperature, it turned metallic. However, when they were fired at a higher temperature with the glass, the shells would slowly disintegrate after cooling and being exposed to the air. The glass has more permanent, but equally delicate, properties. 

In nature when the shell no longer has a use, it is naturally broken down and makes sand, a raw material used in the manufacture of glass. I really like how these materials link and how nature is at the centre of the work. 

Instagram: @_mollyashton_


Image credits: Image 1, Porcelain Caption Rings by Zach Dunlap Photographed by Katie Davies. Image 2, Statement neckpiece by Molly Ashton. Photographed by Laurentina Miksys.


Association for Contemporary Jewellery logo Meanings and Messages logoUWTSD logo

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