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The alchemical dream of man-made crystals: A contextual review of the creative use of man-made crystals for the production of jewellery

Boons, Sofie

Authors

Sofie Boons



Abstract

This paper reports on the limited creative use of man-made crystals for the production of jewellery designs through a contextual review. Jewellers have used crystals for the creation of jewellery for centuries (Philips, 2012) utilising tools to adjust and enhance them. Today however, significant innovations in man-made crystals are revolutionising other sectors (i.e. technology and engineering). In the jewellery industry, where crystals are used in great numbers, there has however been limited creative exploration of these grown materials. The jewellery industry instead is fearful of a significant disruption by these ‘fakes’ (Pyne, 2019) with only a sparse number of jewellery crystal suppliers taking an interest in growing crystals for the purpose of creative exploration beyond the imitation of mined crystals. Artefacts are reviewed in which man-made crystals have been adopted, thus identifying how this enabled creativity in design. Furthermore, the impact of the terminology used to label man-made and mined crystals is interrogated and a need for the identification of alternative terminology proposed. The paper concludes with a summary of future potential creative possibilities achievable when jewellery designers have greater involvement, understanding and opportunities for collaboration to enable the creative enhancement and incorporation of man-made crystals into jewellery designs. It was initiated as part of a PhD study into the design implications, possibilities, and limits of utilising man-made crystals in the development of jewellery designs at the Centre for Fine Print Research in the University of the West of England.

Citation

Boons, S. (2021, March). The alchemical dream of man-made crystals: A contextual review of the creative use of man-made crystals for the production of jewellery. Paper presented at Fifteenth International Conference on Design Principles & Practices, University of Monterrey, Mexico

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Fifteenth International Conference on Design Principles & Practices
Conference Location University of Monterrey, Mexico
Start Date Mar 2, 2021
End Date Mar 5, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 8, 2021
Keywords Man-made Crystals, Jewellery Design, Contextual Review
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/7190585




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