Sandra Wilson

+44 (0)1382 385279
Reader (Jewellery & Metal Design)


Dr Sandra Wilson is a contemporary jeweller and silversmith interested in the transformative power of making for materials, objects and makers. Her highly interdisciplinary work has won awards from the Scottish Arts Council, the Audi Foundation for Innovation, and the British European Designers Group. Her work is also in the collection of HRH Princess Anne.

She completed her PhD in 2006 establishing the influence of the organic philosophy of nature developed by the German Romantic Philosophers on the development of contemporary craft. She is interested in the ways that natural systems and notions of growth can guide the development of new digital technologies such as 3D printing.

She advocates for making practice as research and projects have included Pulse: The Stuff of Life exploring the beauty of 3D protein architecture and thoughtfully integrating traditional hand fabrication and new technologies such as 3D printing. From Pulse, work was included in three exhibitions, namely; Origin: Ur Sprung Schmuck – an international touring exhibition including Inhorgenta the worlds' largest jewellery fair in Munich; Nature Inspired Design – an AHRC/EPSRC national initiative -Design for the 21st Century; and Design4science an international touring exhibition and symposium highlighting cutting edge design and science. 

Co-investigator on Imprints: Public Responses to Identity Management technologies and practices a major £1.9m EPSRC research project. This research was concerned with the way that new wearable technologies could empower the user to express their fluid identities rather than be used for surveillance.

Her research-led teaching philosophy is concerned with an active participatory process where students are directly involved in creating new knowledge through their interaction with materials and ideas in live research projects.

She is co-editor of the new Journal of Jewellery Research see  and writes frequently for Art Jewelry Forum.

Current research projects are concerned with transforming recycled gold liquid from mobile phones and other electronic devices into solid state artefacts; investigating the lesser known technique of Dutch Raising in silversmithing and the 3D scanning of historical artefacts to gain new knowledge and understanding of traditional making processes.

Research projects

  • IMPRINTS Public Responses to Future Identity Practices and Technologies
    This 3 year research project examined the taboos and desires of identity management – specifically - What will influence UK and US publics to engage and/or disengage with identity management practices, services and technologies of the future? EPSRC, £467,522. Co-Investigator. Collaborators; Prof Liesbet Van Zoonen, Loughborough University; Prof Pam Briggs, University of Northumbria; Dr Aletta Norval, University of Essex and Dr Dave Thurman, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, USA.  October 2011 - 2014.
  • Tempting Fate: A historical perspective of jewellery, superstition and disease.
    This historical research at Goldsmiths Hall and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London has explored the symbol system related to jewellery superstition & disease. Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. £ 2,184. Principal Investigator. December 2010.    
  • Pulse: The Stuff of Life. 2004 – 2006. New Jewellery based on Protein Architecture Exhibition catalogue with essay by Kate MacIntyre Buckingham Chilterns University. Sandra Wilson, Jivan Astfalck & Bernard de Bono. Scottish Arts Council, University of Dundee and University of Central England. 

Research outputs

  • Dutch Raising, a lesser known silversmithing technique in progress for Silver Studies the journal of the Silver Society 2017. Work also exhibited at Elements Festival, Edinburgh, 2016.
  • Identity Management, Premediation and the City, chapter 5 in Digital Futures and the City of Today: New Technologies and Physical Spaces EDS. Edited by Caldwell, Glenda; Smith, Carl; and Clift, Edward.  2016, ISBN 9781783205608.
  • A reflection on learning crafts as a practice for self-development in Reflective Practice International and Multidisiplinary Perspectives Volume 18 issue 2 – 2017. Taylor & Francis online
  • Premediation & Identity Management: New Model Cyborgs Organic and Digital. Leonardo Electronic Almanac 2013.
  • Design4Science: The Visual Communication of Science 2007 – 2009. International touring exhibition & associated book. Wheeler, Shirley; Long, Angela. Wellcome Trust. ISBN: 978-1-873757-91-8 p.82.