The 2010 Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards – regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the jewellery and silversmithing industry – were presented in a glittering ceremony at Goldsmiths’ Hall on Monday March 1.
Organised annually by the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council, with the support of the Goldsmiths’ Company and other companies and individuals in the industry, the competition has become diverse and wide-ranging embracing every aspect of the craft and design activity currently being practised. All the work entered is judged by skilled and experienced practitioners drawn from their specialist fields of expertise within the profession.
Professor Dorothy Hogg MBE, one of the outstanding jewellers of the last 40 years, was the deserved recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award Medal. A relatively new category in the history of the award ceremony (this is only the third year it has been awarded), the medal is given by the Council “in recognition of the recipient’s outstanding contribution and commitment to the craft and industry of silversmithing, jewellery and the allied crafts”. Still working as a jeweller today Dorothy’s work is featured in exhibitions and permanent collections around the world.
The Best Senior Award went to silver polisher Trevor Goodfellow, for his consistent, outstanding high quality metal polishing and finishing – a rare moment of public recognition for the important contribution the polisher makes to the silversmithing industry. Trevor also won the Gold award in the polishing category.
Lee Simmons, of Sheffield Hallam University, won the best Junior Award for his innovative titanium and silver jug which showed competence and maturity, as well as a sophisticated use of traditional techniques and new technologies. Lee also won the Goldsmiths’ Company’s silversmith award at New Designers 2009.
Among the many high profile awards given each year is the Goldsmiths’ Company Award which is awarded at the discretion of the Craft and Design Council. It is presented to a piece of finished work that is deemed to have achieved the highest standards of both craftsmanship and design. This year’s unanimous winner was self-employed silversmith Kevin Grey who received it for his stunning oxidised silver and silver bowl, demonstrating his impressive mastery of laser welding. Not surprisingly Kevin’s bowl also won Gold in the Technological Innovation Award – 3D category.
The Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office Special Award which celebrates the use, importance and contribution of the role of technology in today’s industry was won by Jack Row of Weston Beamor Ltd for his technically innovative fountain pen concept.
This year Goldsmiths’ Company apprentices performed particularly well in the Apprentice/Trainee Diamond Mounters category. For this award the judges were looking for crisp, accurate and controlled work that demonstrates diamond mounting techniques, attention to detail and high skills. The winners included Barry Conn apprenticed to M A Griffin who won a Gold Award for his silver cross brooch and James Stanley apprenticed to C A Treble who won a Silver Award for his silver butterfly brooch.
Phil Wilkins apprenticed to Theo Fennell was not only presented with a Silver Award for his white gold dragon locket but also won the Podolsky Award, an award which is given to a young designer or craftsman under the age of 30 in education or the industry who shows outstanding potential in silversmithing, jewellery or the allied crafts.
Adam Claridge received a Commendation for his gold and silver diamond mounting piece which also secured him the GEM-A Award, a scholarship to attend The Gemmological Association of Great Britain’s (Gem-A) daytime Diamond Practical Certificate course and examination held at Gem-A in Hatton Garden. Finally Ashley Pither, apprenticed to David Morris International, exhibited his silver coat pin in the Gem-A Diamond Scholarship Award category.
The Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council was founded in 1908, its purpose being to encourage and promote excellence in both craftsmanship and design among all those involved in goldsmithing, silversmithing and jewellery industries and the allied crafts. Today the Council has H R H Princess Michael of Kent as its patron and remains committed to supporting the superb levels of skill and diversity that constitute a world-class industry in the UK.