Studying jewellery in Melbourne (update)

12 05 2015

It’s been over a year since I last wrote about places to study jewellery in Melbourne. Time for an update.

With respect to formal degree study, the schools in Melbourne are:


Now, short courses for jewellery and silversmithing:


There are also many jewellers who regularly open their studio doors and generously share their knowledge and passion.

… I’m sure there are many more, so I’ll add to this listing as I uncover them.


I’d really like to create a listing of the best short courses in Melbourne for jewellery making – can you recommend where you’ve been or heard is good?


Previous, now superseded, posts about learning jewellery making in Melbourne


Tertiary open days 2014

20 04 2014

If you’re in high school and thinking about studying jewellery / making at university, or at any stage in life and considering your next creative move, then you’ll want to get to the university open days.

It’s a great way to get a feel for a place, see the facilities first-hand, and speak with lecturers and in many cases current students.

Melbourne universities:

  • NMIT: actually has regular information evenings, next one is 19th June [link]; keep an eye on their academic calendar for announcements of their formal open day
  • Monash: 2nd & 3rd August [link]
  • RMIT: 10th August [link]

It’s not the end of the world if you can’t make it though – I didn’t and believe I was still able to get a good feel for each university (RMIT and Monash) during my interviews. But if you can possibly do it, try to find the time.

On the spot: NMIT vs RMIT

20 12 2013

I was recently asked by a potential jewellery student for some advice about choosing between RMIT and NMIT.

BIG question.

So I thought I’d reproduce (without the parts personal to the original enquirer) my answer here, in case it’s of interest to others.

First things first: this conversation was only about these two schools, but it should be noted that other options are available (see this post) with the other most formal established school being Monash.

So … what was my answer?

It’s a tricky topic and one that everyone would answer differently.

I’m happy to give you my personal opinion, but it’s only mine and from my experience, and certainly not the gospel; the final decision can only be yours after all.

As a caveat though, (as you probably read on my blog) I did the RMIT course but it was years ago now (2004 – 2006); the course seems to be a little differently structured now and the projects different. To be quite honest, I didn’t know about NMIT when I applied to the university courses; I’d not lived in Melbourne before and only knew about Monash and RMIT. So I made a choice between those two (at the time I wanted to do a ‘university fine art degree’), based solely on how the interviews felt and what I thought of their graduate exhibitions and facilities. I loved RMIT but was happy that I had done jewellery evening classes beforehand, otherwise I’d have been under-prepared skills-wise.

On to RMIT vs NMIT:

Did you have a chance to see the graduate exhibitions? They were quite different and probably the most excellent demonstration of each school.

Did you have an interview at both schools? Perhaps you got a ‘gut-feel’ for the one that suited you best and felt right?

Each course seems to me to have quite a different focus – NMIT is known for being technically focused and connected to industry, and RMIT more conceptually and contextually focused. That is not at all a criticism, but a description of their historic evolution.

NMIT used to offer an evening or part-time stream (they may still?), which is helpful if you need to work during the day to fund uni.

If a student was really serious about jewellery or metalsmithing as a career, I’d personally recommend starting at NMIT to get a good grounding in technique and handskills; then going to RMIT if they’d like further artistic development and the international connections that university offers.

I have known a number of students who transferred into 2nd year RMIT after 1st year at NMIT – and that seemed like a good way of doing it (though that was a few years ago now, you’d best check if that’s still possible).

Another option may be to learn some handskills before you start either course.

One is the MADA (Monash) summer intensive. I’ve not done this before, but it looks like a great introductory option.

I’d also recommend Northcity4 classes (the people here are lovely), but the timing may not work with starting a uni course; though there’s no reason you couldn’t do both if you wanted to!

I hope that’s helpful. Most of all though I hope that I haven’t made it more confusing for you!

Best wishes for your decision and best of luck in your future – I’ll keep an eye out for your name in future exhibitions!

Everyone’s view on this would be different I expect.
The more views potential students are exposed to, the more informed their decision can be.
Please contribute and share your thoughts too.

Studying jewellery in Melbourne

27 11 2013


THE UPDATED POST IS : Studying jewellery in Melbourne (update) [12May15]

Original post is below:


Update: please go to this NEW updated and revised post about jewellery classes in Melbourne, as information in this post may now be outdated


Read the rest of this entry »

Short courses in Melbourne, update

13 01 2013


THE UPDATED POST IS : Studying jewellery in Melbourne (update) [12May15]

Original post is below:


Read the rest of this entry »

Vito Bila ‘narrative’

20 09 2012

Since first seeing one of Vito’s silver vessels in Craft Victoria … perhaps in 2002 … I’ve very much admired his work. In fact, I’ve wished to add one of his fine silver vessels to my collection for years. Ah, maybe one day.

I happened to be in the area today and so on a whim popped in to see his masters exhibition ‘narrative‘.

photograph published with artist permission


photograph published with artist permission

I loved the paper studies on the left of the above image … magic. Naturally I also wanted the silver pieces above; and to my surprise also very much liked the piece in-between, which for some reason reminded me of a bronze-age kind of aesthetic.

Seeing such beautiful smithing like this makes me want to get back into smithing … it is such an enjoyable (though physically testing) task. It’s a shame there are hardly any places to learn smithing or practice it, as the sheer scale of the space needed and the many tools (hammers and stakes), not to mention the large annealing torches(!) seems prohibitive. If you know of anywhere I could practice smithing, like a space for some-time rent or such, please do let me know. [I notice that NMIT now has a smithing evening class … which is cool, but evening classes don’t suit me right now, though maybe next year.]

narrative’ by Vito Bila was at Monash University 18th – 20th September 2012.

‘Fresh!’ 2011 @ Craft Victoria

21 12 2011

It’s that time of year again – time to visit Craft Victoria to see the selected art graduate works at Fresh!’.

photograph with permission

The aesthetic was quite different to last year – there seemed more installation focussed work, and much less colour than I would have expected of a group exhibition. It was surprising to me actually.

image with permission

Artists selected to participate are (alphabetically):

  • Matthew Benjamin (VCA, Photography)
  • Dan Bowran (Monash, Glass)
  • Hannah Chamley (RMIT, Fashion)
  • Jia Jia Ji Chen (RMIT, Ceramics); right below
  • Allona Goren (RMIT, Gold & Silversmithing); left above
  • John Gosper (RMIT, Fashion)
  • Elly Hall (Monash, Photomedia)
  • Lisa Imai (VCA, Sculpture / Spatial practice)
  • Wendy Korol (RMIT, Gold & Silversmithing); right above – overall winner
  • Sophie Moorhouse Morris (RMIT, Ceramics); left below
  • Rosina Prestia (Monash, Sculpture)
  • Nellie Rogerson (Monash, Painting)

image with permission

Last year’s exhibition post is here.

Fresh!‘ 2011 is at Craft Victoria until 23rd December 2011.