Spanning the gamut from traditional goldsmithing to experimental processes and materials, Jewelry + Metalsmithing offers a tight-knit community of students and faculty fully engaged with the discipline. Critical analysis and an open exchange of ideas support each individual's exploration of the relationship of jewelry to the body.

Degree programs

4-year undergraduate degree
MFA / Post-B
2-year graduate program / 1-year post-baccalaureate program

Undergraduate and graduate students bounce ideas off each other and work in close proximity as they hone technical skills and become adept at working with a wide range of metals and other materials.

Anthony Anderson | senior

“In Jewelry + Metalsmithing, the learning process is so much more important than finishing individual projects. And learning scenarios in our department are so fun and interesting. I also think it’s very important that the major is about jewelry and metalsmithing, which means we’re not at all limited in what we learn and do. I sort of landed here by accident, but it’s the perfect major for me.”

Tracy Steepy | department head

“Given the rich history and legacy of RISD’s J+M program, we’re in a unique position to educate students at the intersection of art and design. We’re interested in cultivating a broad range of skills that allow practitioners to move fluidly across disciplines and position themselves anywhere in the field with the highest level of professionalism and individual artistic authorship.”

J+M majors graduate with a strong grasp of their individual expressive capabilities and a solid foundation on which to build a career as a jewelry artist, production designer, metalsmith, teacher, gallery owner — or any number of entrepreneurial pursuits that involve designing and making.

Alumni at work

Lauren Tickle MFA 09 | jewelry artist

In her Increasing Value series, Lauren Tickle makes materialism explicit by using American dollars to create brooches, cufflinks, necklaces and more. After being selected one of eight winners of the international Preziosa Young 2013 Design Competition, Tickle took part in an exhibition that traveled to Italy, Germany and Poland, and also took home the Inhorgenta Munich 2014 prize. Closer to home, she creates work sold at the MoMA Design Store in NYC, among other venues.

Tzu-Ju Chen 00 JM | jewelry designer

Balancing a studio practice with her position as senior jewelry designer at FGX International, Tzu-Ju Chen creates work that incorporates artistic traditions from around the world. At FGX she designs products for labels such as No Boundary and Style & Co. and works closely with art directors, clients and overseas vendors. Chen draws inspiration from various cultures encountered during her travels — including her year in Rome as part of RISD's European Honors Program. A subsequent Fulbright Fellowship in China further fueled her research into working with unorthodox materials.


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