Susan Cross profile picture

Job title:

Reader, Jewellery and Silversmithing

Office:

Hunter Building, P18b

Office hours:

Mon, 9am - 5pm; Tue, 9am - 5pm

Biography

‘…..complex in construction, exquisitely made and showing superb craftsmanship….’ 

Jerwood Award Winner 2007

Susan Cross lives and works in Edinburgh.

Following a two-year foundation diploma at Herefordshire College of Art & Design, Susan then completed a four-year Jewellery degree at Middlesex Polytechnic, London graduating in 1986. Susan set up her first studio in London before relocating to Edinburgh in 1989.    

Susan has been a part-time lecturer in the Jewellery & Silversmithing department at Edinburgh College of Art since 1989 and continues to exhibit her work both nationally and internationally. 

Susan has won multiple awards and competitions for her work to date. In 1999 she was awarded a travel bursary by the Scottish Arts Council to visit Japan, and has also been invited to teach in Finland (1992 ECA teaching exchange), India (1998 through an invitation from the British Council), New Zealand (2006) & South Korea (2008 ECA masterclass)

Public Collections include:

  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London & Dundee
  • National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • Crafts Council, London
  • Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
  • Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
  • The Alice & Louis Koch Collection, National Museum, Zurich, Switzerland

In 1997 Susan was invited to become a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmith’s and also the City of London.

Susan’s most recent notable accolade was to be joint winner of the prestigious Jerwood Applied Arts Award for Jewellery in 2007. This award is given by the Jerwood Foundation in recognition of: excellence, innovation, commitment and significant contribution to the field of jewellery

In 2008 Susan was invited to become an Honorary Fellow of Herefordshire College of Arts and also was appointed a Readership from Edinburgh College of Art in recognition of her continued achievements.

Research interests

  • Jewellery
  • Materiality & Process
  • Drawing
  • Historical & Contemporary constructed textiles
  • Natural forms

Teaching

Susan teaches design & technical instruction at Undergraduate & Postgraduate level on ECA’s Jewellery & Silversmithing course. Susan has also been external examiner for London Metropolitan University for the Jewellery BA (hons) course 2008-2012. 

Alongside teaching commitments, Susan is also invited to sit on selection committees for new graduate bursaries and exhibitions.

Research

Susan is currently working on a new collection of jewellery developing themes of containment, boundaries and the transience of time and growth. 

Drawing underpins the development of ideas, combined with a constant reflective process through material exploration that fuels new directions. Textiles are a deeply rooted passion that continue to inspire her work, whether in the form of borrowed techniques or exploring visual references. 

Precious metals such as silver and gold are central to the making process. Silver is oxidised black emulating a drawn graphite or inky line. In recent work pearls and semi-precious stones are integrated alongside metalwork. The contrast between the blackened silver wire and the white of the pearls evocative of monochrome drawings.  

The symbolic meaning of stones in jewellery is ancient and often became important personal amulets. This new phase in Susan’s practise seeks to highlight the fleeting transience of life but also to symbolically empower the wearer.

Current research questions include: 

  • What are innovative & unorthodox methods of material construction and how can they be employed within contemporary practise? 
  • How can drawing underpin the design & making process? 
  • How can the exploration of materials & technical methods best translate the visual qualities achieved through drawing?
  • What are the symbolic references of jewellery as depicted in historical portrait painting and how can this inform contemporary practise?

Forthcoming exhibitions:

  • 2022    Collect: international art fair for modern craft & design, Somerset House, London 

Selected Exhibitions since 2010:

  • 2020          800 degree + Schmuckgalerie tal 20, Munich, Germany
  • 2019          Tsukura, Gallery Nishikawa, Kyoto, Het Labo Atrium, Tokyo
  • 2017          Schmuck, Munich, Germany
  • 2015/6       Heat Exchange 2, UK & European touring
  • 2015          A Sense of Jewellery, Goldsmiths Centre, London
  • 2014          Back to the Front, RWA Bristol
  • 2013          Retrospective, Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh 
  • 2011/12     Drawing, Permanence & Place, European & UK touring 
  • 2010          Drawing with Objects, Contemporary Applied Arts, London

 

Further information on my work and the concepts that underpin its development and making can be found in the following film interviews:

  • Jerwood – was filmed in support of the Jerwood Awards for Jewellery, 2007
  • Creation ll – was made by the Goldsmiths Company in support of a major group exhibition Creation ll – an insight into the mind of the Modern Artist-Jeweller, 2009
  • Susan Cross in conversation with Amanda Game, 2021
  • Recording of a presentation on my practice given to the Scottish Gemmological Association, Edinburgh on 11 November 2021

PhD Supervision Topics

Accepting applications
  • Contemporary Jewellery

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