Student club combines art, metal and jewelry

This is an art piece made by a student in the club that was featured on the clubs Instagram.

Photo courtesy of Jewelry Student Co-Op

This is an art piece made by a student in the club that was featured on the club’s Instagram.

by Devin Whatley, Staff Writer

Students at San Diego State’s Jewelry Student Co-Op spend their free time doing what they love most: creating jewelry and other metal arts.

The club is led by a group of graduate students in the Jewelry and Metalsmithing program.

Club president and jewelry graduate student Rachel Ness said the organization is all about expressing the member’s artistic potential and the pride they take in making jewelry and other metal works.

“It’s about communicating this potential for our field,” Ness said. “One of the ways we do that is by bringing in professional artists and showing different ways of how they are expressing this medium and communicating it to the people.”

The organization sells student art in public raffles and sales on campus. The money raised is then used to get international artists in the jewelry making, metalworks and sculpture industries to speak to the organization and provide guest lectures during their visit to the university.

The club had its most recent sale on Nov. 25 and 26 in the Art North building. Art pieces from undergraduate and graduate students were up for sale for members of the public. The club also hosted a raffle where people were able to select student-made art by donating $5 for one art piece and $20 for five art pieces.

The jewelry club took a group photo.

“It was a great opportunity for people,” Ness said. “You were able get the chance to win a fun piece.”

Club Treasurer and fine arts graduate student Jennifer Hansen was pleased with the results despite the sale occurring later than in previous years.

We had the sale a little later this year than in the past and I’m not sure it had as much publicity as it could have, but it’s always fun,” Hansen said. “There was a good turn out; we’ve yet to tally up the sales but it felt busy.”

In terms of how the art was made, students used a variety of materials to create a different kinds of wearable art such as earrings, necklaces, pendants, rings and bracelets.

Ness said the students in organization are versatile in what they create, but during meetings they come together to talk about the work they have done.

“It’s more like we’re self-driven,” Ness said. “We do come together and have conversations about the work. It’s more based on the choices we make depending on the conversation we are having and we critique on that.”

Being apart of the organization has provided many great moments for students on campus.

One moment Ness recalls is being invited to do an exhibition last spring at Galerie Marzee in the Netherlands, which she said is the largest jewelry gallery in the world. 

“It was an incredible feeling,” Ness said. “It’s the largest jewelry gallery in the world. The student work that goes in there is postgrad, and it’s selective. It means something when Marie-José (van den Hout), the owner of Galerie Marzee, selects your organization to be on display. It means she believes it. She trusts the work that is coming out of here based on the circumstances.”

The organization hopes to get more students involved, especially those who are in the School of Art and Design. 

When told to describe the organization in one sentence, Hansen said arts and crafts are something every student can get involved in.

“Craft continues to be relevant and important,” Hansen said.

For more information on the Jewelry Student Co-Op, reach out to @sdsujewelry on Instagram and check out their meetings on Mondays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in Art 469/465.