Every year the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council (GC&DC) hosts its annual competitions for jewellery craftsman and designers all over the UK to celebrate the highest standards in the goldsmithing, silversmithing and jewellery related industries. These awards are often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the Industry’ (GC&DC), and are open to anyone in the UK who have a passion for precious metals, gemstones and all kinds of jewellery.
There are several categories to enter, each with a specific and different brief ranging from 2D and 3D design, to Fashion and Fairtrade jewellery design.
This year our Junior Designer Nicole Wong, entered the brand-new 2020 ‘Commercial Jewellery – Creative Design’ brief sponsored by ‘Beaverbrooks’. This award celebrates creativity and design within the commercial jewellery sector as it is probably the most important step in the manufacturing process as the designer must consider factors for high volume production.
For this award, Nicole had to work to very specific parameters and guidelines, making the design even more challenging. It is with great pleasure for us to announce that for her outstanding creativity and imagination, Nicole has been awarded first place, or the Gold award. In addition to this, she also won a special award as the ‘Best (2D) Designer’, acknowledging her as the best Gold award winner within the whole 2D design category. To share her thoughts and express her gratitude, we asked Nicole a few questions:
How do you feel after winning not one, but two awards, including a special award?
Well I guess I felt overwhelmed as I wasn’t expecting to win anything and this was my first time winning something at the GC&DC awards. It’s such a prestigious organisation, so to be acknowledged by them for my ability is something quite special. After being an apprentice for three years, continually training and working on getting better [at my craft], it just feels like all my hard work has paid off so that I can now call myself an award-winning designer.
What inspired your design?
The brief was to design a suite that would celebrate the 100th anniversary of Beaverbrooks. So, for the ring I used a solitaire with halo shape and having the anniversary in mind, I thought to incorporate ten X’s in my design to take on the halo shape, as an X in roman numerals represents the number ten, in this case it would represent a decade. Continuing with the roman numerals theme, the letter C represents 100, so this was used in the collet with micro-pave champagne diamonds to add a little colour to the piece.
What did the GC&DC have to say about your design?
They said that my design followed the brief the best out of all the designs and had the most potential in terms of commerciality and fitting their brand. They even said with a few tweaks there was potential to create a wider range to expand the collection.
What’s next for you?
Continuing to design and create original pieces and perfecting my skills under the watchful eye of my teacher and master maker Neil Rayment . Hopefully this will help to get my name out there as a designer and I look forward to entering the competition for more awards next year.
A word from the master maker
I’m so happy that Nicole has won these awards so early in her design career, she has been an exemplary apprentice under me and has worked hard for them. Its energising for me, apprenticeships in the jewellery industry have been a long tradition and require a lot of hard work and dedication. Jewellery making is a complicated skill which demands consistency and discipline, so for Nicole to win a double award after just three years, makes me a very proud teacher and boss.