The British Academy of Jewellery is delighted to announce the winners of its Pins of Praise design competition, launched in support of NHS staff and volunteers working to save lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Open to both BAJ students and the general public, the competition challenged participants to use their CAD skills to design a brooch pin that will be sold to raise money for NHS Charities Together, a membership organisation representing and supporting over 250 NHS charities.
Designs were judged by a panel of professional jewellers and NHS workers, who selected one winner from the external entries and three from the BAJ community. The winning external design came from Elisabeth Barton, while Caitlin Rawe, Jacqueline Chisholm and Kristina Lindsay were selected as the student winners.
BAJ was thrilled to receive such a wide range of imaginative entries and would like to thank everyone who took part in Pins of Praise. The competition’s exacting judging criteria were a reflection of the extremely high quality of all the designs that were submitted.
Elisabeth’s winning design, which features two hands holding each other in the outline of a heart, was inspired by the experiences of members of her own family working on the frontline of the NHS during the pandemic. “After talking to my NHS family members about how they felt working through this time, the main words that they used were unity, community and togetherness,” explained the designer.
“I felt the holding of hands was the best way to symbolise these words. Putting them in an outline of a heart shows the love and pride that we have for the NHS in the UK.”
Elisabeth, who has 10 years’ experience in the jewellery industry and has run her own CAD design business since 2019, also added that she “was pleased to see a jewellery competition that showcased CAD and 3D printing skills. Although this new technology is widely used within the trade they do not necessarily get recognised as a discipline within their own right,” highlighting BAJ’s commitment to industry-relevant education.
Jewellery Fundamentals student Kristina Lindsay’s brooch also focuses on the image of holding hands, symbolising the care offered by NHS workers. Caitlin Rawe, on the Jewellery Design & Manufacturing Diploma, designed a beetle holding a heart aloft in its pincers, while Jacqueline Chisholm, studying on the Preparation for the Jewellery Industry course, combined a folded facemask with botanical elements.
“The entries were all amazing, with such a high standard of creativity – I loved that there was such a variety and range of ideas. They all had outstanding features, so it was so hard to choose just three,” said Pins of Praise competition judge Tim Haddon, an NHS paramedic working with the East Midlands Ambulance Service.
The winning Pins of Praise designs will be produced and sold through the BAJ website, with all profits going to NHS Charities Together. BAJ is pleased to be able to support the medical community at a time when the invaluable contribution of health workers is more important than ever.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but the tireless efforts of frontline NHS workers and volunteers during this time are deserving of our utmost gratitude and respect,” commented Kate Rieppel, Head of Academy at BAJ. “The Pins of Praise competition is BAJ’s way of thanking the members of the healthcare community for their hard work and sacrifice during the pandemic.”