I’m delighted to share some exciting news! This year, for the first time, I entered the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards and was honored to receive four awards. The competition is held once a year and attracts entries from the UK’s most talented craftspeople. I entered the setting category with the Jabot Bow and Arrow brooch set and two rings from my Jubilee collection seen below. Winning awards for diamond setting skills, the craftsmanship and the prestigious Boodles jewellery award for the piece that they felt best represented “a combination of fine design and great craftsmanship in a piece of fine jewellery”.
Although they appear simple and, I hope, elegant, the Jabot Bow and Arrow Brooch Set was a challenge to create. The two brooches were made entirely by hand and the bow was forged from one piece of 4mm round gold wire. The size and position of each diamond on the arrow “feathers” were plotted and laid out manually – like a jigsaw puzzle, a laborious process, but the satisfaction it gave made this well worth the effort! Each diamond is held in with four grains of gold with no extra grains. Extra grains are used to fill gaps, however, when the stones are well laid out perfectly and ideal in size there is no need for this.
Setting diamonds on adjoining perpendicular surfaces, as they are on the vane of the arrow, is a particularly challenging technique for a setter to master. If you look closely you can see that diamonds are set around the sides of feathers also, as well as on the front surface. To achieve this a step must be cut into the metal around the edge, which allows the grains to be raised to hold each stone in place. The 3 large stones creating the “arrow head” can be removed so that the pin can be threaded onto clothing and secured in place.
I was honored to receive the Gold Boodles Fine Jewellery Award for the Bow and Arrow brooch. The Silver prize for 3D Craft Jewellery craft, and both Silver and Bronze prizes for 3D Craft Setting from the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council – the highest setting prizes awarded this year. In the recent history of the competition I am the first women to win a setting Award in the senior category so this it’s particularly pleasing to have won these two!
The awards ceremony was held at the awe-inspiring Goldsmiths’ Hall, near to St Paul’s in London. It was a wonderful evening, and such an honour to receive my awards. My pieces can be seen a long all the other winning entries in the gorgeous Goldsmiths Hall until the 2nd March. Please see their website for details http://www.craftanddesigncouncil.org.uk/