Lodz is the second biggest city in Poland. It is renowned for being a center of the textiles industry which also houses its own museum. The International Textile Triennial is held here. The museum is also home to a collection of contemporary jewelry as well as a renowned art museum.
Wladyslaw Strzeminski College of Art in Lodz
The jewelry department has four studios
This is where traditional goldsmith art is taught, but also handling modern technology such as CAD systems
The ‘Dialogue of four cultures’ festival regularly takes place in the city. Lodz is increasingly presenting itself as the country’s center for jewelry. In 1959, a class for applied arts in small formats was established at the Institute for Fashion Design of the state College of Art (now the Wladyslaw Strzeminski College of Art) by Prof. Lena Kowalewicz- Wegner. This gradually led to the setting up of a jewelry department as well as departments of jewelry and gallantry design. In 2002, these were replaced by the department of jewelry at the Institute for Textile and Fashion Design.
The department comprises four main areas: jewelry design, goldsmithing, a studio for enameling and workshops. Specialization begins in the second year of study after an initial year of introduction to all the areas. The course lasts 8 semesters and is completed with a dissertation. Graduates receive the title ‘Magister of Art’. The program operates at an international level thanks to the use of the latest technologies and computer programs.
From the 2007/2008 academic year, the direct study program will be divided into two levels course I will last 3 years and graduates receive the title of ‘Bache or’, course II will take two further years and ends with the title of ‘Magister of Art’ Both courses can also be studied through d stance learning (at weekends, for a fee).
This re-organization of the study programs has allowed the course to be adapted to the teaching programs at the art colleges in Europe in accordance with the ECTS system, enabling the exchange of students, teachers and courses within the framework of the Erasmus program. This jewelry department is the only one of its kind operating under the Polish state education system to correspond to international requirements.
The jewelry design course focuses on general knowledge in art history and theory. This covers art history, clothing and jewelry, aesthetics and philosophy. This knowledge is relevant to the entire study period Development of an individual style is encouraged through intensive general artistic training. Training in creative artistic issues and the development of practical skills are based on both traditional and modern methods. Computers are used as we as experimenting with new materials and exploring artistic ideas. Based on observations of nature and the substance of materials and forms, a new form of jewelry expression is sought as well as other ways of wearing jewelry adapted to the anatomy, body shape, clothing and means of expression. All these conditions must be combined seamlessly together in the end result and offer intellectually convincing solutions. The technique is lust one way of creating an aesthetic impression and enabling functionality.
Jewelry is one of the things we first notice about a person. It provides information about the person and forms part of communication between people. The question of whether jewelry is art is not answered by its function but by its artistic statement. The particular attractiveness of jewelry comes down to the fact that, when making artistic statements, virtually unlimited means of production and effects can be achieved.
In order to test unique capabilities, ideas and implementation in the form of competitions, support is offered during the course. Students or graduates who form part of the Polish goldsmithing elite have received numerous prizes in international competitions. The latest successes include the ‘Award of Excellence’ at the 20th International Cloisonne Jewelry Contest in Tokyo in March 2007. The prize was awarded to Ewa Buksa- Klinowska, a student in the enameling department. Two artistic groups of graduates from the Lodz college of arts are also very active: Grupa Szesc (Group Six) and Grupa G7 (Group G7). The college of arts presents its achievements at international trade fairs for jewelry and watches such as the ‘Inhorgenta Europe’ in Munich, the ‘Midora’ in Leipzig, the ‘Amberif’ in Gdansk, ‘Gold, Silver, Time’ in Warsaw and ‘Chroma’ Jewelry From Six European Schools.
Students also take part each year in ‘Image and Form’ in St. Petersburg, ‘Silver’ in Legnica, ‘Elektronos’ in Gdansk and ‘Presentations’ in Warsaw. They are often among the winners of the big prizes. Individually, they present their works at fairs in Tucson (USA), amongst others. The works of the Mariusz Drapikowski students also decorate the altar at the chapel of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa and can be found in collections in the Vatican. The teachers frequently form part at European competitions for jewelry and take part in numerous seminars and symposiums in Turnov/Czech Republic. St. Petersburg, Nimes. Legnica, Gdansk and Sandomierz. Their works are featured in museum collections in Poland, the ‘Czech Republic and Russia as well as in numerous private collections.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the jewelry department at the college of art, dorks produced at the college will be displayed at an anniversary exhibition in Lodz, which will also involve the graduates and art groups. At the same time, a scientific conference will be held, providing an overview of the international situation in goldsmithing arts. The commitment and vibrancy of the art college contribute to the development of goldsmithing arts in Poland and create a basis for the international collaboration of artists. The college of art is also a member of the Society of Goldsmiths’ Art.