Alchimia is a private contemporary jewellery school founded in 1998 by Lucia Massei and Doris Maninger. Located in Oltrarno, the historic artisan district of Florence, Italy, the school’s mission is to provide a supportive and practical working environment where students learn the conceptual and technical framework necessary for the design and creation of contemporary jewellery. The conscious decision to establish Alchimia in Florence has significantly enhanced both the quality and variety of our students’ knowledge and skills. A city known for its roots within the fields of art and design dating back to medieval times, Florence exposes students to a unique environment where they work and live alongside craftsmen of all different materials and techniques. With students coming from all different ages, backgrounds and experience levels, the diversity of Alchimia’s student body remains an important element of the school’s character. Small in numbers, with a maximum of 12 students in each class of the core study program, interaction and communication among the student body and our skilled teaching staff has helped establish Alchimia as one of the premier contemporary jewellery schools in the world, as evident in the numerous international prizes, exhibitions, and collections our students partake in each year.
Alchimia’s 3 +2 year program is structured to allow students to gradually develop an awareness and understanding of their own work, as well as the professional standards of the contemporary jewellery field today. Once instilled with the knowledge of traditional skills and practices, students are encouraged to employ this knowledge in new ways as a means of developing the experience necessary to become professional makers, artists and designers. There are no prerequisite requirements to enter Alchimia’s Basic Jewellery I course, the first in our core three-year program. We feel there can be no entrance exam because it is impossible to evaluate talent objectively. Rather, our main concern is to give equal opportunity to those eager to learn, regardless of prior experience. The second and third year function somewhat differently. It is possible to enter directly into one of these years, however applicants must submit a portfolio prior to enrollment in order to ensure the student's previous experience will enable them to follow our program with success. Alchimia’s staff of 10 teachers and technicians lead since September 2010 by Prof. Ruudt Peters are all professional artists, designers, historians, or jewellers employed on a part-time basis so that they may continue to pursue the highest standards of achievement within their respective fields. Each year the school also hosts numerous lectures, seminars, and workshops led by internationally recognized artists, designers, gallery owners, art historians and critics.
In 2012 Alchimia obtained a European certification for Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) and Master in Fine Arts (MFA) which are both degree-level diplomas accredited by E.A.B.H.E.S. (European Accreditation Board of Higher Education Schools). It will be therefore possible to choose between the standard study program (3years) and thr accredited one (3 years for Bachelor + 2 years for Master). Both European degrees consist of a specific number of credits, which are obtained using a system of equivalence and course credit accumulation earned at each student's home institution. Students need to acquire a minimum of 180 ECTS credits (European Credits Transfer System) for a Bachelor's degree, and from 60 to 120 ECTS credits for a Master's degree. Credits are allocated to all educational components of a study program and reflect the quantity of the work each component requires to successfully complete a full year of study. The European Bachelor and European Master are recognized in affiliated Universities and Higher Education Schools, and improve students' geographical mobility, both in terms of their studies and of their professional careers. For this reason it is possible to attend one year only at Alchimia, obtaining 60 credits, and then decide to continue the studies in another Country.