IJL reveals 2018 Bright Young Gems, stars of the future
LONDON, June 2018 – International Jewellery London (IJL) has announced the four winning designers nominated as the Bright Young Gems for 2018 – Katharina Kraus, Zeemou Zeng, Daisy Grice and Yayun Fang – at a special celebratory preview in London, IJL Curated 2018.
Now in its fourteenth year, this IJL project provides the winners, all young talented designers chosen as ‘the stars of the future’, with the unique opportunity to showcase their work at this premier industry jewellery show, as well as benefit from dedicated mentoring from jewellery experts before the event to ensure that they maximise the experience.
The BYGs are selected from final year students and students from UK colleges and universities who have graduated in the past two years, by a preeminent panel of judges comprising Hilary Alexander OBE, Editor-at-Large Hello Fashion Monthly; Annabel Davidson, Editor of Vanity Fair on Jewellery and Alice Edwards, Jewellery Editor for the Sunday Times Style and The Times LUXX magazine, Liza Urla, influencer and founder of Gemologue and, for the first time representing retailers, guest judge Henry Graham, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Wolf & Badger.
As always the standard and diversity of work presented was very high and two additional designers were named as Highly Commended by the judges.
Sarah Kitley-Spencer, Event Manager, said: “This year’s four Bright Young Gem winners illustrate the wonderful talent coming out of our universities and colleges. Visitors to IJL always make a bee-line for the Bright Young Gems stand and I am so pleased that we can share the work of these very talented young designers with them. Our thanks go to all the universities who entered and our judges for their support. Congratulations to the winners and we look forward to seeing them on 2 September at Olympia.”
Claire Price, Senior Lecturer / Programme Leader at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, says: “Bright Young Gems is an inspirational platform and an incredible opportunity for new graduates to receive valuable feedback and exposure at the beginning of their careers in the jewellery industry.”
The 2018 Bright Young Gems
Katharina Kraus from the University of the Arts London Central St Martins, is distinguished by her cutting-edge handcrafted jewellery, using traditional techniques and tools. She explores the natural light reflection in gemstones by placing different colours and light reflection styles in juxtaposition with each other, to create visual effects that move and change when worn. The soft light reflections in the hand-carved stones contrast with the precise visual effects of regularly cut gems. Altitude and elevation are central to Katharina’s jewellery with each gemstone angled with or away from the body. This stems from her fascination with the angled lines found in the architecture of cityscapes and the depth of carved lines in stone and concrete, when seen from the ground.
Originally from Munich, where no building is taller than the church in the city centre, her designs explore the relationship between idea, design, maker and material, highlighting the fundamental connection between the object and the process of how it is made. Her collections of gold plated sterling combine translucent Agate and transparent Quartz with a wide array of clear coloured stones.
Katharina says: “By exhibiting at IJL, I will be able to meet potential stockists and new customers face to face and I am looking forward to the insightful feedback. The mentoring day with industry leaders is an amazing opportunity to grow my network and expand my mind-set. Taking part in the IJL Bright Young Gems initiative will take my business to the next stage and help me establish my work in the UK.
Zeemou Zeng, a graduate from the London University of the Arts, designs contemporary fine jewellery and accessories using his wide knowledge of craftsmanship and different materials (such as precious metals, glass, stones and porcelain) to create unique designs which possess both functionality and beauty. Having originally studied interior and architecture design in China, followed by an MA course in Designer Making, his breadth of design studies have influenced the way he approaches design, resulting in innovative and often surprising solutions.
This is reflected in Zeemou’s latest fine jewellery collection, Melody, using pearls and cleverly incorporating a unique movement mechanism within each piece. As a result, the pearls not only slide, thereby creating a new look each time the jewellery is worn but also a different sound depending on the length of tube used. This beautiful collection – designed in 18 carat yellow gold, white and rose gold, with Japanese Akoya white pearls and Tahitian black pearls – consists of rings, pendants, bangles and earrings.
Zeemou explains: “Being nominated as a Bright Young Gem is the highlight of my career. I am looking forward very much to showing my collections to the UK and international jewellery world at IJL. It is also a fantastic opportunity to network and learn how best to develop my business.”
Daisy Grice is a graduate of the Birmingham School of Jewellery with a BA (Hons) in Jewellery and Silversmithing. After working in the industry for two years, Daisy returned to the school and has learnt 3D computer aided design so she is able to combine both her traditional bench skills and modern technology to produce contemporary, statement pieces with a gothic aura. Daisy has won an array of awards for her work and has a strong signature style, inspired by nature’s enchantments and gothic architecture with a twisted dark side she creates “jewellery for the original”. When designing, she usually has a fictional persona in mind, often pulling themes and characters from dark tales and fantasy films to inspire her work.
The “Twisted Tales” collection which Daisy has designed and made for her graduate show has a statement neckpiece produced in laser sintered nylon adorned with sterling silver thorns and the easy wear collection is made in solid sterling silver with a highly polished finish set with black diamonds.. The hero piece was designed with the aura of an evil queen, for a powerful woman. Daisy wanted to create something of uniqueness, to make the wearer stand out, Twisted Tales has been designed for alternative, fashion conscious, statement makers.
“I am thrilled to have been selected as one of the four Bright Young Gems for 2018, having spent the last year perfecting my skills I am now ready for start of my business and I will be expanding my Twisted Tales collection in preparation for the show Exhibiting at IJL will be the perfect platform to launch myself as a designer to the industry and receive feedback from people viewing my work with fresh eyes.”
Yayun Fang, from the University of the Arts London Central St Martins, finds her inspiration for her jewellery designs in the craftsmanship of traditional lace pieces seen in old paintings. By researching and learning bobbin lace making skills, she experimented with her own lace techniques that could be applied to metal. Influenced by daily digital technology and inspired by classic hip-hop jewellery culture, Yahun creates bold yet very delicate jewellery, using traditional craftsmanship and digital software.
Yayun says: “I am thrilled to be nominated as a Bright Young Gem. I am going to use this opportunity as a younger member of the jewellery community to show how exciting and cool it is to combine the traditional aspects of craftsmanship with modern technology to create pieces that are unexpected and vibrant.”
The two designers whose work was Highly Commended by the judges are Rosie Groom (Birmingham) and Belle Smith (Central St Martins). Examples of their work will be on show at IJL 2018 alongside seven other shortlisted entries.
To discover more about this year’s Bright Young Gems, please visit http://www.jewellerylondon.com/brightyounggems
Free registration for IJL is now open. Visit http://www.jewellerylondon.com/attend/ to ensure you receive your badge in the post.