Since the 1960s, the British jewellery artist David Watkins has been celebrated for his pioneering and experimental approach to jewellery forms, materials and techniques. Originally trained as a sculptor, jazz musician, and model maker, his previous careers are echoed through the form, rhythmic and futuristic feel of his most iconic pieces.
Through his practice, Watkins has engineered new techniques and materials - computer-aided drafting, hand-dyed industrial acrylic, neoprene and plasma-coated steel - to test the possibilities of jewellery as wearable sculpture. His radical approach to designing and making positioned him at the forefront of the influential New Jewellery movement of the 1980s.
In 1984 Watkins was appointed Professor of Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art, a post he held until his retirement as Head of Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery. When he retired in 2008, his personal contribution was recognised with the award of an Emeritus professorship.