Jewellery - MFA

Programme video: Jewellery - MA/MFA

Former programme director Stephen Bottomley


Jewellery & Silversmithing at ECA has an international reputation as one of the leading courses that produces some of the most exciting graduates every year.

Our MFA programmes help you build a body of work or collection built on your personal individual research proposal, along with support and guidance from the department's dedicated and highly experienced international staff.

Your proposal for study may build on an existing body of work or previous undergraduate practice.

You will be challenged to develop your work both creatively and conceptually though short projects and tutorial guidance. The final body of work you design and make for exhibition aims to be explorative, original and challenging.

The department’s philosophy balances material and technical innovation alongside the more traditional craft techniques and concepts of our historic discipline. Our objective is to design and create personal, individual pieces of work that push the boundaries of our subject. We want you to create the heirlooms of the future and sensory objects that enrich people’s lives, successfully reflecting both ‘thought’ and ‘practice’.

We teach you to work with and explore the use of a broad variety of materials, including precious metal, plastic, textile, enamel and stone. Maintaining high standard of hand skills and original design work is at the heart of our programme, with a commitment to help you to develop a clear and original creative voice through your drawing and making.  Uniquely to other craft and design course of its kind life drawing, painting and printing continues as a key part of all four years of the programme.

Awards and career paths

Of the four major awards we have won at New Designers in the last five years, two have gone to MFA students, including the Weston Beamor CAD Design prize for Jewellery (Alexandra Von Trapp, 2015) and the Goldsmiths’ Company Award for Jewellery (Karen Donovan, 2014). We have also had multiple successes in the Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards and student work purchased by major collections, including the National Museum of Scotland (Wanshu Li, 2016).

These international platforms help our graduating students quickly establish themselves as emerging designer/makers and many go on to establish their own studio business straight away. Others opt to spend a year as an artist in residence on one of the many professional business development schemes available, or are recruited into design companies on graduation.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • The success of our graduates
  • The quality of the teaching  and reputation and experience of our staff
  • The international reputation of our department, alumni and links abroad
  • The specialist facilities and dedicated studio spaces
  • The stimulating creative environment of the University and UNESCO capital city of Edinburgh

Student work


Stephen Bottomley, Programme Director; Tutor | View staff profile >

Stephen trained at the Royal College of Art (1999-2001) having also studied at West Surrey College of Art and Design and the University of Brighton, with a key period working within Rhode Island School of Designs’ metal programme (USA 1998).

Stephen established his first studio in 1990 in Brighton with a Prince’s Trust Grant, exhibiting his work regularly in exhibitions and at outlets. After twelve years’ lecturing and leading several courses at Hasting College of Art, with the University of Brighton, he relocated to Sheffield in 2004. Between 2004 and 2007, Stephen was course leader for Metalwork and Jewellery at Sheffield Hallam University and also the fourth Chairman of the ‘Association for Contemporary Jewellery’ (ACJ).

Susan Cross, Reader in Jewellery; Tutor | View staff profile >

Following foundation studies at Herefordshire College of Art & Design and completing a degree course specialising in Jewellery at Middlesex Polytechnic, London in 1986, Susan moved to Edinburgh in 1989 and has continued to parallel her work. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally with invitations to give master classes and lectures both in the UK and abroad.

Jenny Gray, Lecturer; Carving, Modelling, and Mould Making

Jennifer is a designer based between Edinburgh and London. She produces objects and jewellery in a range of materials using techniques, which move in and out of the hand-made, and the digital. Each series is unified, in particular through the use of traditional hand carving methods, enhanced by taking advantage of emerging digital technologies.

Jo Pudelko, Lecturer; Plastics specialist

Jo studied at Edinburgh College of Art within the Jewellery and Silversmithing department, graduating in 2006. After returning to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in 2007 she set up her own studio within Coburg House and regularly exhibits her work around the UK and abroad.

Jessica Turrell, Lecturer; Enamel specialist

Jessica trained in jewellery and enamel at Central School of Art, London. After graduating in 1998, she set up a studio in her home city of Bristol. Over recent years she has undertaken a sustained period of research into mark-making using non-traditional enamel techniques as well as running specialist workshops. Jessica’s current studio practice includes the production of both jewellery and larger scale enamel work.

Kathryn Hinton, Lecturer; Silversmithing and Computer Aided Design Tutor

Kathryn Hinton’s current work focuses on merging traditional silversmithing techniques with digital technology. While studying at the Royal College of Art (2008-10) she explored the possibilities of new technology such as rapid prototyping and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling. This led to a 2 year MPhil research project entitled ‘The Craft of Digital Tooling’. In this time Kathryn developed a user interface that works alongside computer aided design software to mimic the physical actions of silversmithing, in particular the hammering process used in forming sheet metal. The digital objects are realised through processes such as rapid prototyping, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling, casting and press forming.

Dorothy Hogg MBE, Emeritus Professor; Lecturer

Dorothy studied at Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art and was course leader of Jewellery & Silversmithing at Edinburgh College of Art from 1985 until 2007. In 2001 she was awarded an MBE for services to jewellery and silversmithing. In 2005 she won the Brilliantly Brimingham Jewellery Award which is awarded to the jeweller who has made the greatest contribution to the world of designer-maker jewellery.

Brigitte Bezold, Lecturer; Stone setting and core jewellery techniques

Brigitte is German trained Goldsmith who lives and works in Bavaria, travelling to Edinburgh each year to deliver a specialist stone setting class to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.


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News & events

Hands drawing 960x610.jpg

Photo of a student working on a sketch
Noelia at work sketching ideas for her jewellery
This series is inspired by drains and manhole covers across Edinburgh

Eva Cameron Coutts talks to Erasmus+ jewellery resident, Noelia Garcia.

Scatter 2015, Brooch, enamel, oxidised silver.png

Photo of a brooch designed by Susan Cross
"Scatter", 2015 (Brooch, enamel, oxidised silver)
Image by Michael Wolchover

Susan Cross’s work was inspired by Elizabethan blackwork embroidery from the 16th and early 17th centuries.


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