Entries to Editor’s Choice awards surge in 2010
|By Tom Wildhern|
LONDON – Entries to IJL’s Editor’s Choice awards almost doubled in 2010 and had an overwhelmingly British flavour, reflecting the strength of UK jewellery design talent spanning established names to new designers.
Freelance jewellery correspondent Claire Adler, who writes for leading publications including the Financial Times and The Spectator, was tasked with choosing the award winners for a second year, and stressed how innovative the entries were this year.
“The number of entries this year was up 87 percent,” Adler told Jewellery Outlook.
“There was a strong surge in British entries this year.”
Adler referred to the unconventional and highly imaginative nature of some of the award-winning designs.
“The most fabulous jewellery is not necessarily about being pretty,” she said.
“Many Editor’s Choice winners used materials in unexpected ways creating jewellery that ranges from striking to thought-provoking to completely wild.
“Eye-popping and way-out jewels awarded by Editor’s Choice include Big Ant’s ring inspired by a fantasy of snails in outer space, and D2W’s ring made using 3D photography and laser techniques – it’s a jewel that’s haunting, but maybe romantic to some.”
Adler singled out creations by established UK jewellery designers, such as Babette Wasserman and Malcolm Morris, both of whom have designed pieces for leading celebrities.
Babette’s fans include UK television host Jonathan Ross, while Malcolm counts Joan Collins among his clients. He made a tiara for the movie “Shakespeare in Love”, worn by Gwyneth Paltrow.
“Editor’s Choice jewellery that’s easier to simply throw on and adore includes Babette Wasserman’s Windsor Magma necklaces with their chain of delicate woven silk, and Jessica Jewellery’s pendants transporting gorgeous photography onto acrylic,” Adler said.
Malcolm Morris’s Magma Collection comprises bold and striking pieces that photograph well.
The Magma Collection was the winner of the Visual Impact category – a show-stopping piece most likely to be picked up by the press because it photographs brilliantly and will work well editorially.
“The edgy look of oxidised silver is contrasted with the softness and lustre of the pearls,” Adler said, referring to Malcolm Morris’s Magma Collection.
“It’s tactile and is so obviously hand-crafted, and it draws your attention to the process of making jewellery.”
Babette Wasserman’s Magma Necklaces and Francesca Sybilla Augusta’s JK ring with pink sapphires, were both Highly Commended in the Visual Impact category.
“This year is really becoming our year! We have just been voted finalist as Brand of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards and now being Highly Commended for Visual Impact is a huge achievement and a wonderful recognition,” Babette said.
“Our luxury silver jewellery range definitely has the ‘wow factor’. It is flying out of our 200 stockists as well as selling incredibly well on our website www.babette-wasserman.com.
“I think our contemporary brand with impactful designs, prices that don’t break the bank and all packaged in stylish purple boxes and pouches seems to be hitting the mark!”
The Branch was a winner of the Technical Excellence category for its AW10 range ring, which combines wood and metals in an innovative way.
“We feel this range is special and unique because of the work and expertise that go into designing and making this collection,” says The Branch’s Wendy Pickard-Sauret.
“One thing that is rarely considered when regarding the production of our jewellery is that we cannot solder any metals when setting to the wood, because of course it would set fire to the wood.
“This issue constantly has us devising different methods to bring the elements of the wood and metal together as seamlessly as we do.
“There are no set rules for each piece on how we combine these materials. With the production of each piece there is therefore a huge amount of brainstorming to work out how we can produce it to the standard we have set ourselves, to combine the elements we love to work with and keep them together.
“Life would be much easier if we used stones, or other synthetic materials, as we would be able to use traditional setting methods and soldering. With these particular pieces, more than ever, our expertise was pushed to combine the wood and metal.”
Jessica Jewellery Design was the other winner of the Technical Excellence category, for its Contemporary Acrylic Jewellery Collections (circle shaped pendants), while Decï was Highly Commended for its Roma Ring (green intaglio carving with gold wire wrapped round.)
“To have this recognition for craftsmanship and appreciation of my work at such an early stage of my brand’s life is not only flattering but extremely encouraging,” said Dessy Tsolova, designer of Decï.
“It’s a very special milestone for Decï jewellery.”
Big Ant, a young Polish company, was a winner of the Overall Originality and Inspirational Craftsmanship award.
Big Ant has taken on the task of building international awareness for Marcin Tyminski, a Polish designer who has been active in the Polish market for over 10 years.
Marcin has won many prizes in Poland and has had a lasting influence on Polish jewellery design.
“For Big Ant and Marcin, to win the award is a great honour and acknowledgement of the craftmanship of a Polish designer,” said Adam Mularuk of Warsaw-based Big Ant Business Solutions.
Big Ant which uses the commercial name MISHU DESIGN wants to be recognized as a top world class designer of jewellery. We understand this is a process and we are on the way.”
D2W (Digits2Widgets) was the other winner of the Overall Originality category, for the Kissed ring which portrays two faces, designed by Nicholas O’Donnell-Hoare and Chloë McCormick.
“We want D2W to be the technical partner who can work with designers to make their vision a reality,” says Veronique Jackson, manager of D2W.
“We come to IJL with our digitisation capabilities: 3D photography and X-ray based imaging.”
Jackson spoke highly of the skills of the two designers.
“D2W commissioned Nicholas O’Donnell-Hoare and Chloë McCormick to create the “Kissed” collection to showcase its digitising and manufacturing tools for jewellery designers,” she said.
“Nicholas and Chloë chose to use the 3D photography and laser sintering to their full potential. The ‘kissing face’ looks clearly amused and the ‘kissed face’ looks clearly surprised, which reflects precisely the emotions of the moment when the 3D photo was taken.”
Sarah Jordan’s Pirouette Collection and Yuki Mitsuyasu’s Heart Shaped Pendant were Highly Commended in the Overall Originality and Inspirational Craftsmanship category.
“To have the Pirouette collection promoted as original and inspirational at the design led IJL exhibition and having the collection promoted to the cream of the jewellery trade is superb recognition and acknowledges my design skills,” Jordan said.
“The Pirouette collection is a fine example of hand carving wax and casting techniques. Each piece is made of two intertwining segments that balance and dance together in harmony — hence the ballet influenced name!”
Yuki Mitsuyasu saw her commendation as a way to raise her profile in the industry.
“This means a lot to me because one of the biggest reasons for participating at IJL is to get exposure and let as many people as possible know my brand and work,” she said.
“The Heart Shaped Pendant is a conceptual piece entitled ‘The Lovers’. At opposite ends of a line (the chain) are the two pieces which represent male and female.”
Carrie Elspeth’s cleverly crafted Cubic collection won the Commercial Vision category.
“It is a great honour to have my Cubic collection officially recognised as a successful concept and design in such a competitive field,” said Carrie Shapiro, Creative Director Jewellery.
“I began my handmade-jewellery business in 1999, and during these last 11 years I have worked incredibly hard to maintain the principles I started out with: keep my products handmade in the UK, strive to always produce exclusive but accessible designs and focus on an exceptional level of customer service.
“Being able to have a long-term commercial vision for my company and its products has been an absolute necessity, to enable the business to continue growing in a market flooded with jewellery, much of it imported and available at a cheaper price point.”
Silverline’s Sphere of Life was Highly Commended in the Commercial Vision segment.
“Sphere of Life, our brand, was created with a specific group of consumers in mind – the jewellery gift buyers,” said Eilon Livne, General Manager of Silverline Jewellery Ltd.
“The collection was particularly designed to offer them clear commercial value – a unique and sentimental jewellery gift that will create an unforgettable moment when given.
“Every detail in our products was carefully thought through – from the packaging through the sentimental story behind each item to the design of the item itself.
“Being highly commended for Commercial Vision is a significant acknowledgement of our success in creating a unique, innovative and well-targeted product, which offers the customers fantastic value.”