Juan Juan Hu
I am from a product and jewellery design background in China. I graduated from the jewellery pathway of MA Design in 2012.
Tell us about your work.
The sense of mystery achieved by water’s fluid and flexible nature has always inspired me. I aim to capture this sensory experience of water within the jewellery.
From this as a starting point I explore how these characteristics in water might be transferred into physical wearable jewellery. How the jewellery interacts with the wearer and the tactile experience from the materials used have been a crucial component of my investigation.
Chains are the main material used in my final collection. Its flexibility and adaptability create the sense of fluidity I admire in water. The laser welding technique is the main technique in this project. I hope wearers will be touched by the fluid tactility of my work and experience a unique wearing experience.
How did you hear about Central Saint Martins?
I knew Central Saint Martins from a book, The Art of Jewellery Design, written by Elizabeth Oliver who was a lecturer at CSM jewellery. I was a product designer several years ago and I am very interested in jewellery. The book written by Elizabeth introduced me to the modern jewellery design styles and approaches, which open a new view about jewellery and attracted me to make the decision to learn jewellery through a course at CSM.
There is an organisation in Shanghai, China to support qualified students in applying to the University of Arts London, so I applied and passed the interview in the end.
How would you describe your course?
The MA Jewellery course comprises of personal projects as well as live projects with industry. The personal project offers us opportunities to discover ourselves and our design styles and the industry experience helped us to understand the materials, manufacturing process and the market.
The tutors helped us to shape our personal style and design identity, pushing us to explore and find the potential capabilities continuously, and giving guidance when we had difficulties.
Technicians always gave us technical suggestions on how to realise our designs. The staff in Student Services are very kind and provide a lot of information with patience.
What sort of a person do you think you need to be to do well on your course?
I think to do well on the course the student should challenge themselves to find new design possibilities and their own potential. They should take advantage of Central Saint Martins’ resources, as well as be strategic about management.
Why did you choose this particular course?
Because of my interests and passion.
Did you get involved with industry or exhibitions on your course?
I had participated in the Palladium Competition organised by the International Palladium Board and Central Saint Martins twice, in 2011 and 2012. My 'flowing red' necklace and 'flying lines' shoulder piece were finalists in both competitions.
'Flying lines' was exhibited in Rock Vault during London Fashion Week in February 2012. Besides that, my MA project achieved a commendation award by Nova, The Lowe and Partners Award and was exhibited in the 'Nova awards' exhibition at the SW1 gallery and 'Designers Block' during London design week in September 2012.
The experience of participating in exhibitions is valuable because they are good opportunities of co-operation with industry and helped me to understand the requirements of the market and the customers.
What do you love about Central Saint Martins?
I liked studying here because CSM is a treasure box for me. The creative atmosphere, the professional tutors, the talented students from various departments, the library resources, all of the above are excellent and provide me with nutrition to explore my design and arts career.
What are you doing now?
I hope to build up my own design studio to explore jewellery design combining emotional expressions with new technologies and handcrafts. Now I am seeking collaborative opportunities with the jewellery industry on materials and manufacturing processes.
Who inspired or motivated you?
Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan.
How does the reality of studying here compare to your expectations?
It is much better than what I expected. Whilst studying, I had the chance to explore myself more and reach my potential as a jewellery designer, as well as collaborative opportunities with industry.
What advice would you offer to others?
My advice is as follows: to be true to the heart, sometimes intuition is key to finding creative ideas, and to be strategic.