Our mission is to inspire students to think critically and ask the right questions about studio practices as they relate to environmental and personal health.

Starting conversations regarding wise studio practices early on, coupled with the volume of students in any given studio, will create a capillary effect of awareness in the field.

Ethical Metalsmiths Students (EM Students) utilizes and exemplifies the significant impact of students, so they may have greater voice in shifting the contemporary conversation within the jewelry and metalsmithing fields.

We have developed projects that give students a platform to share the variety of ways that they consider ethical studio practices. 

Photo Credit Ariel Hodge

Photo Credit Ariel Hodge

Our projects:

  • So Fresh + So Clean Student Exhibition

  • Emerging Artist Award

  • CriticalSmiths Poster Series

  • #MakeItEthical Social Media Campaign (and raffle)

These projects are coordinated by school chapters of EM Students. 

CALL FOR ENTRY: So Fresh + So Clean 2019


Entry deadline: June 8th 2019

Emerging Artist: $1000
Guest Juror’s Choice: $500
EM Student’s Choice: $250

2019 Guest Juror:
Sarah Rachel Brown
Contemporary Jeweler & Host + Producer of the Perceived Value Podcast

Student Exhibitions: So Fresh + So Clean

Photo Credit: MJ Tyson, student member 2017

Photo Credit: MJ Tyson, student member 2017

Through the lens of sustainability EM Students challenges you to investigate your studio, processes, methods, and personal goals. Consider the small everyday actions that may be overlooked (like riding your bike to the studio, or making reusable studio rags from old clothes). What are some of the things happening in your shared studio that regard environmental or personal health? What are some concerns you have regarding metalsmithing processes that you would like to see further researched, or changed? Are there processes or materials you avoid for ethical reasons?
Tell us about it, ask questions, and then show us the work you are making!

Emerging Artists

Michael Hull: 2018 Emerging Artist

Michael Hull: 2018 Emerging Artist

Emerging artists are chosen from the the applicants of So Fresh + So Clean. The Emerging Artist is awarded $1000, receives a featured page on the website, an interview and the opportunity to work on EM Student projects.

CriticalSmiths Research Series

Survey results from the QCA research team

Survey results from the QCA research team

The CriticalSmiths is a student lead research project created by EM Students and Wellness for Makers to inspire students to think critically about studio safety issues and their personal work habits.

THE RESULTS: A poster will be designed and distributed to share with the metals community.

Want to start a CriticalSmiths Research Project at your school?
EM Students and Wellness for Makers will support you and your students every step of the way!

Contact Lucy Louise Derickson at emstudentcommittee@gmail.com

Our STUDENT Members




EM Students founding chapter is based out of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), in Richmond, Virginia under the faculty advisor Susie Ganch.

EM Students:VCU is responsible for organizing So Fresh + So Clean, the #MakeItEthical social media campaign, and have been EM Students representatives at SNAG each year, where they give out screen printed studio rags and other fun SNAG swag.

Griffith University.jpg

EM Students newest Chapter is based out of Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, in Brisbane, Australia under the faculty advisor Elizabeth Shaw.

EM Students: QCA is the first to participate in the CriticalSmiths Research Series.


Would you like to start a EM Students chapter at your school?

Contact: Lucy Louise Derickson


We seek to establish best practices in the Jewelry and Metalsmithing fields and share our findings with students, instructors, and the larger community.

Our STUDENT Instagram