IJL special awards presented at GCDC 2015 awards ceremony
LONDON, March 3, 2015 – As part of International Jewellery London’s longstanding commitment to promoting new talent, three IJL Special Awards were presented on March 2 to outstanding jewellery designers at this year’s Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards.
Winning designer, Ornella Iannuzzi, was awarded the Gold Award for her stunning ring entitled ‘The Uprising Ring’. This piece was hand carved in wax and cast in 18ct rose gold, set with diamonds and pearls. The judges agreed that her refreshingly distinctive work had real star quality. The techniques employed in the making were finely executed and included hand carving, casting, optical setting, lapping, sandblasting, engraving and polishing. Ornello received a cash prize and her piece will be on display at IJL this September.
Ornella also won the top accolade of the evening, The Goldsmiths’ Company Award.
Sam Willoughby, Event Director at IJL, said: “It is very rewarding for IJL to work with the GCDC to identify these fantastic designers who are creating exceptional work. Ornella is a very talented designer and well deserves the recognition that this award will give her. Our support of these Awards, complements our wider portfolio of initiatives such as KickStart, Bright Young Gems and the F Hinds competition, all of which help identify and promote the next generation of design stars”.
Brian Hill, Consultant Secretary at Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council added: “IJL has been brilliant in its support and sponsorship of the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council. Over the last ten years, they have provided a fabulous platform and significant profile for us to promote these Awards, successfully network with the industry and increase the number of companies and individuals that are now supporting this unique competition that is for the profession.”
Two silver awards were also presented. One went to designer Flora Bhattachary for her Trillion Set Silver Gilt Rings in the Silver Section. The other was awarded to Amy Burton for her Skyline Rings – London New York and Paris, in the Precious Jewellery Section.
The annual awards, which attracted more than 700 entries from UK based designers and craftsmen, were judged by industry experts – with the winning pieces exhibited in a public exhibition at the Goldsmiths’ Hall. Sam Willoughby has been a member of the Council for the last six years, alongside respected designers and industry figures.
IJL is well known within the industry for the role it plays in supporting emerging talent, as reflected by Lindsey Straughton, BJA Marketing Manager, who is involved in the very successful IJL KickStart project now in its tenth year: “I can’t believe it will be 100 designers who have participated in this joint initiative! How fabulous! It’s very encouraging to know so many of them are doing so well in the trade or alternatively running interesting consumer facing businesses. IJL really did give a helping hand to kick start their success. It has been both rewarding and exciting helping them on their journeys.”
This was supported by Gaynor Andrews, Head of the School of Jewellery, Birmingham City University – whose students participate in the Bright Young Gems initiative, which is also now in its tenth year, attracting young graduate designers from colleges and universities across the UK. She commented: “Bright Young Gems offers an incredible opportunity for recent graduates to present their business profile to the industry. The advice and mentoring support they receive as part of the scheme is so important when undertaking a new challenge of this significance. We are excited to be in a position to showcase some of our emerging talent and welcome these important initiatives.”
Both KicKStart and Bright Young Gems are key highlights at IJL, attracting interest from visitors, exhibitors and the press alike. The deadline for entries to KickStart is now only just ten days to go, closing on March 13. For further details, please visit