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Association of Contemporary Jewellers Calls for 'Meanings & Messages' Brooch Designs

Published: 15th December 2021

Alongside their 25th anniversary conference in July, the Association of Contemporary Jewellers will also be holding a major touring exhibition and are looking for members to submit a brooch in line with the theme 'Meanings & Messages'.

Each maker can submit one brooch and the finished brooches should have been made since January 2021. There will be up to 50 ACJ makers selected for this exhibition.

Ideally, the selected brooches will show an innovative use of processes, techniques, and materials.

The work selected will:

  • be of innovative and visionary design
  • have a very high quality of making
  • be interesting rather than solely commercial
  • must have been made since January 2021
  • may involve new technology (not compulsory)
  • must be wearable body adornment

The intention is to show a range of styles, materials, and techniques. Gold & silver are welcome but not compulsory, other materials are equally welcome.

The theme of 'Meanings and Message's offers a multitude of starting points that may include one or several of the following topics – this list is not exclusive, and you may bring your own personal response to the brief:

  • Global challenges such as climate change, social justice, governance, resources, pollution, pandemics, population growth and conflict.
  • Meanings and messages within jewellery has been a constant theme throughout history – with many examples across different cultures and time periods, such as Victorian mourning jewellery, wedding rings and milestone jewellery, crowns, and ceremonial jewellery.
  • Fictitious jewellery and jewellery within folklore can often hold magical meanings and messages.
  • Material exploration – there are many meanings we associate with different materials, and these can vary across different time periods, societies and cultures.
  • Messages can be “sent” in different ways, and we have seen many changes in this area due to developments in digital technology.
  • Important and visionary speeches from history and the present day.
  • How we communicate within our own communities.

The ACJ have chosen to focus on brooches for this exhibition, as they form the ideal jewellery archetype for conveying meanings and messages. Brooches can be subversive and are often used by people in the public eye, by political figures or sovereignty to convey important messages. These messages may be hidden, subtle or occasionally more of an overt protest! 

Click here to get all the details on how to take part

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