Alchimia contemporary jewelry school is directed by Lucia Massei. The expansive two-year BFA and MFA programs have been developed over more than a decade of experience in close collaboration with a team of international teachers and advisors, all leaders in their respective creative realms.
Alchimia’s objective is to teach students to express their creativity through contemporary jewelry, developing high-quality technical and theoretical skills. By adopting the technological developments of our time and the most experimental cultural trends, Alchimia encourages its students to enhance their talents. Its focus draws on the revision and adoption of traditional techniques and carefully selected materials combined with experimental and groundbreaking approaches to design, teaching students how to transform ideas and research paths in jewelry and design objects, and how to access the working context.
The students of Alchimia are mentored and tutored by a team of experts in jewelry, design, and the visual arts. While using their own experiences as reference, tutors profess techniques, tendencies, and developments in the field of contemporary jewelry and propound emergences in personal creativity by offering tailored guidance and evaluation over the course of the students' academic years.
The decalogue of Alchimia:
Merging Tradition and Innovation
Our first goal, or better, our mission, is to master, preserve, and spread traditional techniques—in particular, those related to Italian cultural heritage—in order to develop, transform, and merge them into contemporary thinking and culture. We think there cannot be any true innovation without the knowledge of what came before. Tradition and innovation, like mind and hand, need to move together.
Constant Attention to Pedagogy
This particular aspect is crucial to our work, and we can proudly say that we’ve developed a special “Alchimia method” based on efficient organization, an environment that values hard work as well as familiar atmosphere and curricula that balance theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience. What we offer and search for is a plurality of perspectives and ever-present enrichment in terms of content and teaching methods.
Quality of Teaching Staff
Our teachers represent the best among the different schools, both Italian and international, and they pass on to their students not only technical skills but their passion and dedication, which is the essential condition to ensure the excellent level of teaching and the uniqueness woven into each course. This can be felt and seen both from inside the school and from the outside through its creative results.
Our relationship with those who attend the school, regardless of the type and duration of the courses they chose to attend, is always characterized by the utmost attention to their individual qualities that we strongly encourage to express. We believe that only through the development of each one’s individual potential, as well as of their culture, our students (who come from all over the world) can effectively build an original career in the future.
Research and Experimentation
Since our approach is characterized by a permanent tension toward self-renewal, research is part of every single aspect and activity of the school, from experimentation with materials to constant reflection on the different “forms,” from manufacturing processes to the improvement of our teaching methods and, in a broader sense, of our coaching. The results are so significant—as confirmed by many international awards—that we are considering establishing a department dedicated exclusively to innovation and research in the future.
Our metaphorical roots, as well as our physical roots, are deep in the heart of Florence, the capital of the Italian Renaissance and the heir of its challenging legacy in jewelry, but they are also turned outward, pushing us to strengthen our collaborations with institutions spread throughout the continents. This is because we believe that only through reciprocal knowledge and through exchange between different cultures, which should not be limited to the field of arts, we can understand who we are and achieve innovation in the things we choose to do. Our teachers and staff members, as well as our students, come from all over the world and it is also thanks to them that our “language” has acquired such a distinctive and strong identity.
In a time like ours, characterized by a marked sectoral specialization as well as many artificial boundaries (such as the cyclically retraced one between art and craft), where a number of (often fictitious) subdivisions exist inside each and every discipline, the curricula of our courses systematically integrate elements of conceptualization to break free of these barriers both in terms of technical application as well as in structural development.
Autonomy and freedom from any conditioning, even bureaucratic conditioning, are part of the DNA of the school. Over time, we have been faced with choices about several options that would have changed the size and structure of the school significantly, but to us, it was simply a matter of confirming (and so will it be in the future) a precise choice. It is a choice that we consider crucial to ensure that a mixture of theoretical tension and pragmatism, professionalism and creative drive, which we believe to be our biggest strength.
Our vision is the idea of structuring Alchimia more and more as a place that promotes and disseminates creative means of production and learning, with one foot in the arts (in the broadest sense) and one in technical and technological research (including industrial applications); in short, a permanent link between worlds often thought to be distant (from a geographical, sectoral, professional, and artistic perspective) but which potentially complement each other.
It is the keyword, the one-word synthesis, of the school’s philosophy and the indispensable tool for achieving each one of its goals. We strongly believe that one of the few possible answers to a crisis that concerns the entirety of a socioeconomic model is a different way of understanding work, at once ancient and modern, a mixture of empathy for the people who work with us, have the love for doing things properly and aspire to constant improvement. That’s what we mean by passion, the intangible but tangible element that determines the success of Alchimia, embracing both the design and ethics dimension. It is our priority to pass this on to our students.