Siobhan Maher, a member of Domino’s in-house design team has won this year’s Houlden Group Design Award for the Best Bridal Design. Siobhan’s ‘Treasured Moments’ matching engagement ring and wedding ring scooped her the laurels in the £3000-£5000 category of the competition. Her designs in 950 platinum features a solitaire 0.50ct round-brilliant diamond and 0.08ct of pave diamond detail on the engagement ring and another 0.04ct diamond detail on the wedding band.
Speaking at the Award ceremony, which was held at The Jewellery and Watch Show Birmingham on 3rd February, where the winning and short-listed bridal designs are on display, Houlden Group’s Stuart Laing said the judges had been looking for innovative commercial designs at commercial prices.
Siobhan is no stranger to design awards. Indeed, it was her early student success at The Jewellery School in Birmingham, where some four years ago she won an annual award sponsored by Domino’s sister company Weston Beamor whilst studying for an HND in Jewellery and Silversmithing, which first introduced her to the company. Since then she has gone on to win a Lonmin Design Innovation Award for pieces in platinum and a number of other accolades from the Goldsmiths’ Craft Council.
Whilst she clearly has a real talent for it, jewellery design was not Siobhan’s first career choice. Having completed an English degree at the University of Birmingham she initially worked in the recruitment industry. “It just wasn’t creative enough for me. I had been doing night classes in jewellery making at the Midland Arts Centre in Birmingham and loved it so much I decided to sign up for a full-time course at The School of Jewellery and I’ve never looked back,” she said.
Siobhan is clearly delighted with her recent win, as is her boss, Andrew Morton, managing director of WB The Creative Jewellery Group of which Domino is a part. “She’s a real star and I, and all her colleagues, couldn’t be more pleased by her success. Thanks must also go to the Houlden Group for opening their competition this year not simply to designer makers but also to larger, commercial companies such as ours. Domino is passionately committed to great British design and manufacturing and our whole design team works really hard to ensure that our bridal collection has original design features to ensure it stands out from the crowd. Gaining recognition in this way is great accolade,” he said.
Whilst Siobhan may have eschewed Dickens for design, she still enjoys a good story and all her designs including ‘Treasured Moments’ have a tale behind them to help retailers romance the sale.
“All couples have special moments in their relationship. The first date, the first kiss, the special holiday, and this is what the little diamond details on these rings are designed to represent. I think it’s a truly romantic idea that each couple can use these jewels as tangible mementoes of the minutia that build a relationship,” she commented.