Class Character

Class Character is a platform for faculty of Canadian Jewellery programs to share the victories of their graduating students and open the doors of their respective departments to the MetalAid community. This is an ongoing, annual project. If you would like to see your school featured in future editions of Class Character, please contact us for submission guidelines and details.

Compiled by: The MetalAid Team

Published: 2019/07/16

Natalia Badulescu
Earrings (2019)
Sterling silver, 14K gold, pearl
Image: Tanya King

vancouver community COLLEGE
vancouver, british columbia

For faculty at VCC’s full-time 2-year diploma program, 2018/19 was a year of reflection, as the college mandates a “Renewal” of each department every 5-7 years. This involves surveying alumni, students, employers and faculty to determine the future direction of the program. After several surveys and focus groups, the importance of a high level of technique became clear. The next phase of curriculum development will involve finalizing which skills are essential for a career as a bench goldsmith or independent artisan, and ensuring students can perform these skills with confidence by the end of their 2 years with us.

Therefore, changes in the coming years could mean spending more time on advanced levels of fabrication, casting, finishing, stone-setting and digital design, while moving more specialized skills such as repoussé, enameling, lapidary and hollowware to an optional third year. Students who wish to pursue further studies will still be able to transfer to degree programs at NSCAD and Alberta University of the Arts (formerly ACAD).

Vancouver’s current economy is making it more challenging for students to commit to a full-time program for 2 years, so the near future could see more flexibility in schedules, and/or the option of completing the diploma on a part-time basis. Indigenization is also becoming increasingly urgent, and transfer agreements will be pursued with Northwest Coast Indigenous jewellery programs, as well as exploring ways to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and design methodologies in the curriculum.

Ya’Ya Heit
Raven Pipe (2019)
Sterling silver, turquoise
Image: Tanya King

Raphael Braga
Ring from Monsters of the Deep collection (2019)
Sterling silver, pearl
Image: Tanya King

This year, our students continued to amaze us with the variety and skill of their work. At the end of each academic year, students in First and Second Year each have 5 weeks of full-time studio to create a small body of work based on their chosen theme. Technology formed the basis of several collections, from 1980’s space art to digital communications. One student created kinetic jewellery designed to soothe the anxiety of the digital age. Other themes included “Monsters of the Deep”, “Otherworldly Flora”, and cultural themes relating to students’ Scottish, Persian, Chinese, Indigenous and Mexican heritages. As usual, we feel we have as much to learn from our students as they do from us!

Karin Jones, MFA NSCAD, Department Leader, Jewellery Art & Design, Vancouver Community College