Jewelry + Metalsmithing

Undergraduate

  • BFA | 4-year program

    The undergraduate program in J+M offers progressive levels of design complexity and technical challenges as students seek unique design solutions and learn to execute their ideas with skill and ingenuity. Professors help students to hone critical thinking and making skills through challenging assignments, selected readings, lively group discussions and by encouraging unconventional approaches that allow for expressive exploration.

  • Inspiring Community

    Approximately 35 undergraduate students working with all types of materials and techniques share studio spaces and specialized equipment in RISD's Metcalf Building. Faculty members are readily available to provide focused, individual attention both in class and as students work on their own in the studio. The dozen grad students in the department enrich the discourse, contributing to a ready exchange of ideas.

  • Learning Environment

    Throughout the program, students benefit from recurring contact with the professional world. Visiting artists from across the US, Europe and beyond offer valuable exposure to current critical analysis and artistic practices developing in the field. They also provide refreshing insight and international perspectives during critiques and individual studio visits. In addition, the department assists students in finding rewarding professional internships at selected companies or studios.

  • Curriculum

    Sophomores enter the program after RISD’s required year of Foundation Studies and are introduced to fundamental design principles, the history of adornment and the traditional skills of the gold/metalsmith. Students also begin to develop their own design process for jewelry. Juniors continue to refine their technical skills by delving further into a personal approach to design and content, while learning fundamental computer design skills, formal rendering techniques and the basics of enameling, casting and alternative materials usage.

    Foundation Studies

    • Fall
    • Drawing I
    • Design I
    • Spatial Dynamics I
    • Liberal Arts courses
    • Wintersession
    • Non-major studio elective
    • Spring
    • Drawing II
    • Design II
    • Spatial Dynamics II
    • Liberal Arts courses

    Sophomore

    • Fall
    • Sophomore Jewelry I
    • Sophomore Metalsmithing: Sophomore Smithing & Jewelry
    • Sophomore History of Adornment
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Wintersession
    • Non-major studio elective
    • Spring
    • Sophomore Jewelry II
    • Sophomore Metalsmithing: Sophomore Smithing & Jewelry
    • Liberal Arts elective

    Junior

    • Fall
    • Junior Jewelry 1; Junior seminar
    • Junior Jewelry: Investigative Drawing
    • Junior Metal Forming and Casting
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Junior Jewelry 1; Junior seminar
    • Junior Jewelry: Digital 3D Modeling and Rendering
    • Junior: Color as Content
    • Liberal Arts elective

    Senior

    • Fall
    • Senior Studio 1
    • Senior Jewelry; Senior seminar
    • Professional Practices
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Senior Jewelry; Senior seminar
    • Senior J+M Degree Project
    • Liberal Arts elective

  • Degree Project

    Seniors pursue independent work that reflects a personal aesthetic and culminates in the exhibition of a final body of work. A professional practices seminar and meetings with visiting professionals help strengthen each student’s portfolio.

     

  • Application Requirements

    1. application form + fee
    2. official academic transcripts
    3. test scores: SAT or ACT and TOEFL or IELTS if English is not your first language
    4. portfolio of work 12–20 examples
    5. drawings 2 RISD-assigned samples
    6. writing samples 2 RISD-assigned pieces
    7. optional: letters of recommendation 1–3 suggested

    All freshman applicants apply to RISD as opposed to a specific department and begin with a required year of Foundation Studies. Students select a major midway through the first year but don’t begin those programs until sophomore year.

    For more information or to begin the application process, visit the Apply page.