'Challenging Jewellery' - New Temporary Programme At Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam

Thursday January 11th 2018

Challenging Jewellery is a unique, and experimental temporary Master Programme on jewellery at Sandberg Institute Amsterdam.

This Master Programme is an initiative of MASieraad, four well known Dutch professionals on jewellery: Gijs Bakker, Ruudt Peters and Ted Noten as designers, Liesbeth den Besten as an art historian and expert on jewellery.

From experience they strongly felt the urge for establishing a Master Programme in jewellery in the Netherlands that goes further and deeper than just the ornament.

The temporary programme, Challenging Jewellery, focuses on building a persuasive collective. One that could be defined as both a corporate association and a movement, driven by a common interest in ‘team spirit’ and the relevance of the silent side of the beauty. The initiative is driven and operated by way of a fully-functioning company structure.

This process will facilitate the study of current notions of human need focused on objects. Further investigation will also take place in fields that need aesthetic support in order to allow ‘healing’; this may for example include employing aspects of jewellery in medical and political areas.

Individual research and practices will continuously interact with the administrative, productive and communicative tasks that everyone in the team agrees to perform. Ideally the collective that is formed over the course of the programme will naturally extend into a continued existence and significance beyond its set timeframe of two years.

The programme is looking for participants who use creativity as an important tool for the construction of – and reflection upon – our times. The profession of jewellery thinking and making is taken as the starting point. A common definition of relevance, an initial collective exercise, is immediately followed by executive arrangements and action. Applicants from fields not directly related to art, as well those outside the usual student age group, are very welcome.

Tutors, guests and participants form a mix that is characterised by its potential to explore while paying attention to the small, silent and private, the human handling, and the careful treatment of material thoughts, values and behaviours.

The Temporary Programme challenges the subject of jewellery on a fundamental level – how it relates to our present time. The approach represents an attempt to think big on a small scale, and presumes an ability to understand ‘micro-working’. The input for Challenging Jewellery is based on intergenerational dialogue. An advisory board, comprising four key figures in the realm of jewellery and design, ensures this will be done in a solid cooperation with the relevant fields. The visiting tutors and guests – varying from theoreticians and curators to contemporary architects, designers and artists – guarantee a continuous renewal of viewpoints on and insights into a discipline manifest in traditions, historical design and theoretical connotations.

Like the previous Temporary Programmes – Material Utopias, Materialisation in Art & Design, Fashion Matters, and the current programme, Radical Cut-Up – Challenging Jewellery works together with the Gerrit Rietveld Academie BA departments and workshops, such as Ceramics, Glass, Textile, CadCam, Wood, Metal and Photography.



Programme Directors: BLESS: Desiree Heiss (Paris), Ines Kaag (Berlin).

International guest lecturers will contribute to the research part of the programme as well as to the making and communication of the results.

The programme runs from October 2018 till June 2020.


Image: Elizabeth Taylor, photo: Herb Ritts


'Challenging Jewellery' - New Temporary Programme At Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam