PhD Map

Call for Information –

We are keen to create a map of jewellery PhD research and are interested in PhD work that is current, and recently completed. What we need from you are:

Your name and email contact

1 paragraph (up to 500 words) outlining your PhD research, expected date of completion and institution you are attached to and

Send this to – we will update the map as and when we receive your information.



Nesrin Yesilmen 2020- completed PhD study

Anadolu University,  Fine Arts Graduate School,
Süpervisor : Prof. S. Sibel Sevim

Historical development process of jewelry and the apprehension of jewelry in 21st century: Contemporary jewelry interpretations with ceramic – metal clay

People who started to wear objects due to reasons such as communicating God, talisman, magic, the wish to be protected instinctually and supernatural events laid the foundations of the culture of jewelry. Jewelry making and jewelry which has been considered as a craft since the ancient times, achieved to become a branch of art after 18th century and had its place among the history of contemporary arts, it had developed significantly with the works created by artists. In the light of all these developments, when one thinks about the art of jewelry, one of the elements that comes to mind is the authentic jewelry created with different materials. Classical jewelry on which only valuable metals and stones are used has given its place to more modern, unlimited jewelry where every type of material can be used. This study aims to search about the culture of jewelry which is as old as the history of human beings and the reflections of this culture on jewelry in 21st century in an artistic context. Creating modern jewelry by synthesizing alternative materials such as metal clay, which is a discovery in 21st century, with the art of ceramics, which has an important place in our culture and it also dates back to Neolithic period, is also aimed.


Sofie Boons 2020- present, PhD candidate

University of the West of England, Centre for Fine Print Research

Supervisors: Dr Laura Morgan and Dr Tavs Jorgensen, Director of Studies, Dr Sarah Bodman

Title: Man-made crystals: an investigation into the design implications, possibilities, and limits of utilising man-made crystals in the development of jewellery designs

Research question: What are the design implications, possibilities, and limits of utilising man-made crystals in the development of jewellery designs?

Bespoke man-made crystals drive innovations in a range of industries, which has not fully translated into the jewellery industry, even though crystal growing techniques have been around for many years. Innovations with man-made crystals within the industry have remained limited, and most are still produced to imitate mined crystals. My PhD study will therefore investigate the design implications, possibilities and limits of utilising man-made crystals in the development of jewellery designs. Whilst conducting experiments and developing planned collaborations the changing role of the designer will also be explored in relation to the amount of control and input the designer has had in the material development stage. Finally, the appreciation of these man-made crystals and the context in which they are appraised will also be explored as part of the contextual review.


Yi Jen Chu 2018- present, PhD candidate

Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT, Melbourne, Australian.

Supervisors: Dr Mark Edgoose and Dr Nicholas Bastin

Yi-Jen Chu is a PhD candidate of Fine Art, Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT, Melbourne, Australian. Her practice centres on kinetic jewellery and objects that evoke a narrative of excess in food production and consumption in contemporary culture using interaction as a way to simulate the conceptual meaning behind the objects.

Title: Interrogating excess in the post Fordist and contemporary culture through examining kinetic objects in the food mass production and consumption system.

In this research, I have created a series of objects titled Interrogating excess in food production which focuses on investigating the issues of waste related to manufacturing, consumerism and diminishing natural resources as a narrative foundation. My project also involves the exploration of a narrative of the value of craftsmanship and workmanship in manufacturing processes in relation to the lack of First World societal value attributed to resources such as food. Through object making I highlight an appreciation of the lost value of hands on experience in brought about by manufacturing machinery, particularly the loss of knowledge and skills that occurred because of repetitive tasking throughout the pre Fordist, Fordist and post Fordist manufactories systems. My overall aim, however, is to utilise the interactive object as a new way to communicate contemporary issues of production and consumerism.


Chiara Scarpitti– PhD and academic researcher _completed

PhD International Doctorate in Design and Innovation
University of Studies of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Italy

Title: Post digital design industry. Objects, things, organisms.

In collaboration with the City of Science of Naples and the Waag Society (Institute of Art, Design and Technology) in Amsterdam, the aim of the PhD is been to combine theoretical research and practical research
toward a Post digital scenario, through testing new productive processes, hybridizing different techniques as, for instance, parametric design and brain computer interfaces with biohacking practice and others mixed techniques.
In this way, the double nature of the research has interlaced, alongside theoretical methodologies (critical making and neo materialism), also other practices more laboratorial and experimental. The combination between
innovative materials, advanced manufacturing techniques and self-generated tools, has led the research to the realization of physical objects highly experimental and future oriented.


Ginta Grūbe- PhD candidate The Art Academy of Latvia, Riga

E-mail contact:

Ginta Grube (maiden name Zabarovska) is a Latvian based jewellery artist and a PhD researcher at The Art Academy of Latvia. Primarily her research seeks to enrich the historical analysis of jewellery art history in Latvia during the Post-Soviet period. „The theme is jewellery art in Latvia from 1991 until present (2019/20). I focus on individual artists and collections that hold Latvian contemporary jewellery such as The Latvian Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, The Artists’ Union of Latvia etc.

Since 2015 PhD candidate within The Art Academy of Latvia located in Riga.


Mohammed Kwaku Baidoo- PhD candidate

Department of Educational Innovations in Science and Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi


The processes of acquiring jewellery education in Ghana is either through School-Based or apprenticeship programme. Concern expressed by some players in the jewellery industry is that most students who acquire jewellery education through School-Based (Metal Product Design Section, KNUST) are not able to practise as jewellers after their graduation because there is mismatch between skills that students acquired while in school and that of jewellery industry’s needs.

This study therefore sought to describe the characteristics, similarities and differences of School-Based and Apprentices Jewellery Education programmes in Ghana, also design and propose models for teaching and learning of Jewellery by School-Based and Apprenticeship systems of education in Ghana and finally assess the designed models to ascertain their effectiveness on knowledge and skills acquired by the learners through School-Based and Apprenticeship programmes in Ghana.


Yueyang Sun– PhD candidate

Loughborough University, School of Design and Creative Arts

Title: Technological Innovation in Antique Ming dynasty Chinese Filigree for Jewellery Design Development.

1st supervisor: Dr Roberta Bernabei, 2nd supervisor Dr Robert Harland



Jie Sun -PhD candidate- January 2021 to December 2021 introduction to PhD study- no qualification obtained-period of study ended in Jan 2022.

Loughborough University, School of Design and Creative Arts

Title: Contemporary Art Jewellery acts as a Mediator in art therapy and the social-virtual sphere

1st supervisor: Dr Roberta Bernabei, 2nd supervisor Prof. Phillip Lindley


Wenyan Luo – PhD candidate- ongoing

Title: Reinvigorate Chinese Inlay Technique in Jewellery Design and Practice with the use of CAD/CAM applications. (provisional title)

Loughborough University, School of Design and Creative Arts

1st supervisor: Dr Roberta Bernabei, 2nd supervisor Prof. Richard Bibb


Katie Brown- PhD candidate

University of Dundee, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

Title: Exploring hearing aids and super normal design.

The intent of this project is to challenge prevalent visions for the future of hearing aid design: that they will either ‘disappear’ through miniaturisation, or else by appearing to be something other than a hearing aid, whether mainstream consumer electronics or jewellery. And to challenge the implication that this disappearance – even if possible – would be a positive outcome for everyone concerned.

The research will explore themes of stigma as part of understanding the different social and cultural relationships that exist and their link to hearing aids. It will involve the experiences and perspectives of wearers, non-wearers, health care professionals and manufacturers of hearing aids.

In response (yet also as a mode of inquiry) it will use super normal design: defined as the design of everyday objects that fit into our lives so comfortably as to usually go unnoticed (another, more subtle form of invisibility, in a way). By which we mean the design of hearing aids that are in some ways archetypical hearing aids and recognisable as such, yet at the same time understated, and subtly and beautifully resolved.

Research questions include:

How does the experience of wearing hearing aids differ across hard of hearing, deafened and D/deaf users?

What decisions are wearers making with regards to passing, covering and uncovering? In what way does stigma affect these decisions?

How can the design of hearing aids better represent the identity of their wearers? What would a super normal hearing aid look like, and who might wear one? What role can design play in challenging stigma associated with hearing aids and hearing loss?


Mala Siamptani 2018- present, PhD candidate

University of Central Lancashire, UK

Supervisors: Dr Jennifer Eve Barrett, David Stuart Binns

Title: How do digital technologies (CAD/CAM/RP/AR) influence creativity in contemporary jewellery design practice?

This research explores the concepts and themes that emerge when questioning creativity in current jewellery design practices. Thus, it is aimed towards educators, craft practitioners and the jewellery industry. The research is divided in two phases: the first phase uses qualitative approaches, gathering data through observations of students in an educational environment, followed by interviews with jewellery design practitioners, to establish an initial scope in relation to the research question. The results of phase 1 will inform phase 2 which will focus on a practice-based methodology. The intention being to explore how digital technologies enhance the potential for designers in the jewellery field to develop their creative practice further and enable them to reassess the contemporary value of jewellery. The consensual assessment technique will be further researched and used as a creativity assessment tool to be applied to the outcomes of phase two. This research has identified a lack of questioning on the influence of the use of digital tools and aims to communicate a changing vision of the world within the confines of traditional jewellery design practice.


AMAL AL-ISMAILI PhD candidate- completed

Sheffield Hallam University

Title: Interpreting the Traditional Jewellery of Bedouin in Oman through Contemporary Jewellery Practice

The aim of this research is to understand the subjective values associated with Omani traditional jewellery, based on the knowledge acquired from oral interviews with Bedouin women who are both makers and wearers of this jewellery. The study then seeks to interpret this traditional Bedouin jewellery through contemporary jewellery practice.

The methodology employed in this study is practice-based research that builds on knowledge developed through fieldwork1 and fieldwork2.

The insights gained from this research inspired me to create jewellery under the following themes- Jewellery and materials, Jewellery and mixed cultures; Jewellery and social practice, Jewellery and recycling and sustainability and Jewellery and technology.


SONGÜL ARAL PhD candidate


Title: Metal jewelry found in the province of Malatya / Metal jewelry found in the province of Malatya

Gazi University / Institute of Educational Sciences / Department of Handicraft Education

The general purpose of the thesis study is to determine the Metal Jewelry found in Malatya City Center and to examine them in terms of their technical features. Technical features of the detected and examined metal jewelry; analysis of material and ornamental properties. Within the sub-purposes; It is the recording of the work of the Hoşhanlı bracelet workshop, which produces in Malatya, by watching it on site. The universe of the study is Metallic Jewelry Found in Malatya Province, and the sample is; Malatya Beşkonaklar Ethnography Museum, located in the city center of Malatya, constitutes a metal jewelry collection belonging to Akcebe Jewelry and Hoşhanlı Jewelry. Sample; 8 pcs of Frontal, 4 pcs of Frontal brooches, 11 pcs of Bracelets, 18 pcs of Bracelet, 1 pcs of Anklet, 3 pcs of Hamaylı, 5 pcs of Cufflinks, 10 pcs of Necklace, 7 pcs of Pendants, 15 pcs of Earrings, 14 pcs of Amulet, 1 pcs of Scallops clasp, It constitutes a total of 103 metal jewelry, 6 of which are Yanakdöven. Information forms were prepared by making general-detail photographs and measurements of the detected metal jewelry. The process analysis of the workshop has been a guide in the analysis of the metal jewelry examined in the museum. It is thought that it will help educational institutions by recording the process analysis steps in the workshop and taking place in the thesis. In line with the information forms prepared, the materials used in the production of Malatya metal jewelry, their construction techniques, ornament motifs and pattern features were examined. The prepared information form was used for the analysis of each metal jewelry sample. The information and data obtained were processed into the general breakdown table. Data obtained from the table; The analysis was transferred to the thesis text as results and evaluations. With the thesis study, information about the metal jewelry making workshops lost in the historical process in the city center of Malatya was obtained. The history of the jewelery industry in Malatya has been examined in detail with the support of the literature review and the findings of the collectors. In the past and today, important results have been reached

 jewelery and metal jewelry. Main objective of this study is to