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The oldest known jewellery is a set of tiny shells, coated in red clay and pierced with holes, dating back 82,000 years.

From these humble beginnings a vast and varied global tradition of jewellery making has developed, one that has played an important part in world history and which remains a significant craft.

Historically, jewellery had been an indicator of wealth and status, and as useful for warding off evil spirits as it is to clasp together the ends of a shawl.

The materials used to make jewellery provide endless inspiration, from precious metals and gemstones to wood, glass, enamel, ceramics, and fiber as well as existing objects such as coins, pebbles, buttons, and shells.

Craft Scotland represents almost 450 jewellery makers who use an array of techniques and processes, including high-polishing, brushing, hammering, piercing, engraving, weaving with wire, enameling, and incorporating found, vintage, recycled, and everyday objects.

Some work with traditional materials and processes while others experiment to produce flamboyant body adornments in vacuum-shaped plastics, which transform jewellery into works of art to be displayed when they are not being worn.

You can search for Scottish jewellery artists on the Craft Scotland website and browse our database of talented makers, or read special features on internationally renowned craft makers, such as Dorothy Hogg and Peter Chang.

Featured Jewellery Film:

Articles on Jewellery

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