Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council launches 2018 Awards
LONDON, September 17, 2017 – The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council (GC&DC) returned to International Jewellery London in early September, using its presence at the trade show to launch the 2018 edition of its unique and industry focused annual competition – The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards.
These prestigious Awards inspire excellence and skills development among students, apprentices, designers and craftsmen working in jewellery, silversmithing and the allied trades. The competition embraces all aspects of activity in the profession and encourages individuals, companies and organisations to participate and become involved.
Reflecting on GC&DC’s time at IJL, Council chairman Andy Putland said: “Once again it was a pleasure to be a part of IJL, meet many people who are interested in our annual awards, from new and established designers to apprentices and those considered masters of their craft.“The GC&DC Awards are going from strength to strength with increased industry recognition of their importance and value.”
Such acknowledgement is signified by the announcement that luxury diamond jeweller Graff is now a Principal Patron of the GC&DC Awards.
This new special award seeks to identify, reward and celebrate fine diamond jewellery of originality, meticulous detail and distinction.
Graff join the GC&DC alongside prestigious French jewellery house Cartier, the Council’s long-term supporter of the distinguished and esteemed Jacques Cartier Memorial Prize, and a generous Principal Patron of these exceptional Awards for nearly 60 years. The Council has more than 80 Patrons, Sponsors and Contributors supporting its 2017/18 Awards.“We are delighted and honoured to announce Graff as a new Principal Patron, supporting a premier award within the competition, focusing on jewellery that reflects Graff’s house style of luxury, innovation and excellence, where diamonds will need to be the predominant precious gemstone,” Putland said.
“Graff is a celebrated and distinguished international jewellery house, which in turn recognises the standards of skill and excellence that these Awards inspire.”
During IJL, the GC&DC also hosted its hotly-anticipated and well-attended ‘In Conversation’ session with British jewellery star Stephen Webster and Eliza Higginbottom of daring jewellery sculptors Yunus & Eliza, famed for their recent work with Game of Thrones, and as part of the British Fashion Council’s Rock Vault initiative.
This stimulating hour of discussion was chaired by Council member Jos Skeates, delving into their career progression, digital vs. bricks and mortar retail, collaborations and future aspirations.
On the subject of brand development, Stephen Webster remarked: “I would encourage new designers to focus on their digital connections to build their brands – not just retail stores. Now, it’s about having a highly effective combination of a strong digital identity, an online presence and if possible, a retail space where customers can touch, feel and explore your collections.”
The GC&DC’s ‘In Conversation’ series is a biannual event, with a spring edition due to be held at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London, in early 2018. This will feature Cartier as GC&DC celebrates a significant milestone, 60 years of collaboration and partnership with Cartier.
Also on show at IJL, the GC&DC presented a number of award-winning pieces from its 2017 awards, with a new display each day that attracted great attention and enthusiastic dialogue from visitors. The designs on show included Special Award pieces such as the Leopards’ Head Silver Sword by James Kydd, Engraved Silver Tumbler by Louise Sorrell, The Dune Stellar Detachable Earrings by Tomasz Donocik and Silver Gilt & Resin Finger Ornament by Stephanie Holt.