BIRMINGHAM, England, January 22, 2017 - Three second year students studying for a Higher National Diploma in Jewellery and Silversmithing at the Birmingham City University School of Jewellery have been shortlisted as finalists in an annual design competition run by Birmingham-based casting house, 3D printing and bespoke manufacturing company Weston Beamor.
The brief for this year’s Live Project was to design a halo engagement ring and a fitted wedding band to sit alongside it. All designs had to include a primary gemstone or pearl, mounted in precious metal. Students were asked to tailor their designs towards 25-35 year olds.
Three potential winners – Ruth Hallows, Bethany Ross and Sarah Shiau – have now been selected, with the final results to be announced at 2pm on Tuesday 7th February at Jewellery & Watch. The presentation will take place at Weston Beamor’s stand P38-Q39 in Hall 17. Samples of the three winning rings will be made by Weston Beamor and displayed on their stand at the show.
“All three of the shortlisted rings reflect the designers’ unique perspectives, approaching the halo engagement ring from interesting new angles,” said Richard Vinten, a bespoke CAD designer at Weston Beamor. Vinten was responsible for judging the entrants’ designs, alongside colleagues Anousca Hume and Ed Hole.
Ruth Hallow’s Celestial ring in platinum and yellow gold, which was inspired by the night sky, stars and constellations was praised by the judges for ‘thinking outside the box’ both in her interpretation of the halo design and for the high standard of her supporting work.
Bethany Ross used a circular cabochon opal in an intricate design inspired by the natural world and in particular forests and deer – especially antlers - which are very much on trend in home furnishings at present. The judges praised Ross’s cohesive development of the concept and her innovative use of a diamond-set half-halo.
The final contender, Sarah Shiau, put forward a contemporary and elegant design giving a modern twist to a classic look. Shiau’s inspiration came from the landscape of America, particularly its national parks and the Grand Canyon where the rocks are formed into different layers of flowing curves. This student’s sketchbook and the thorough development of her design were applauded by the judges.
“All three designers had really thought through the manufacturing process and we can’t wait to see the finished rings,” commented Weston Beamor’s CAD designer Anousca Hume who will be working closely with the students to bring their designs to reality.
The winner of the competition will receive a cheque for £500, while those in second and third place will win £250 and £100 respectively. All three students will also receive a week of work experience at Weston Beamor.
Speaking on behalf of the School of Jewellery, Course Tutor Kate Thorley said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for all those who enter the competition, not simply those who win, to see how a commercial jewellery business operates and to gain an understanding of what it is like to work to a strict design brief.
“We very much value our close working relationship with Weston Beamor and know that our students learn a great deal from the behind the scenes factory tours they provide. They also gain real insights into trend and customer analysis in the Q&A sessions with members of staff and improve their design development and CAD skills as a result of the competition.”