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Bright Young Gems

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 The IJL 2017 Bright Young Gems have been named as Kristina Ferenchuk, Ishtar Liljefors, Holly O’Hanlon, Annabel Large and Leanne Yau.  This IJL initiative, now in its thirteenth year, is a unique opportunity for emerging designers, providing them with an outstanding commercial platform and excellent exposure at IJL 2017 this September, as well as pre-show mentoring to ensure that they all maximise their IJL experience and capitalise on the benefits of exhibiting at the UK's premier jewellery show.

Lindsey Straughton, NAJ Jewellery Ambassador says: “ I am so looking forward to supporting this year’s Bright Young Gems as they are talented designers with fresh interesting jewellery.”

This year’s Bright Young Gems are:

Kristina Ferenchuk

KristinaA graduate in Jewellery Design at Central St Martins, Kristina has developed her own style and way of working with precious metals. She handcrafts all her pieces herself, enabling her to technically develop moving parts and mechanisms and opening up possibilities for future designs. Kristina gets great personal satisfaction through overseeing  the design development through to the final piece that has weight, meaning and a future life. Her jewellery is a romantic interpretation of the universe and how it is interconnected and continuously changing. All her pieces are articulated and move in an interconnected manner.  Whether on or off the body, her aim is to engage the wearer in the magical process of playful creation with each piece, sparking curiosity and a fascination with the unknown. 

Kristina comments: "I feel incredibly honoured and excited to have been selected as a Bright Young Gem. This will be a great opportunity for me to get valuable feedback from an international audience, and develop myself further not only as an artist but as an entrepreneur.”

Annabel Large

AnnabelAnnabel, a jewellery design graduate from Birmingham School of Jewellery, has a passion for precious metal and gem set fine jewellery. Having previously studied fine art she has a creative flair for the design process and is inspired to design and create fine jewellery that challenges the traditional aesthetic, offering a timeless alternative to women who’s style is as unique as they are; adornments that become future heirlooms and are crafted from precious metals and hand selected gemstones. 

"In the future I hope to establish myself as a reputable and successful jewellery designer and entrepreneur and feel that the Bright Young Gems initiative is an amazing platform to launch my career. The opportunity to be involved with International Jewellery London will,  I'm sure, prove to be an invaluable experience  allowing me to showcase my work and network with people in the jewellery industry", says Annabel.

Ishtar Liljefors

IshtarIshtar Liljefors is a contemporary art jeweller who has recently completed her degree in Jewellery & Silversmithing at Plymouth College of Art. Ishtar works predominantly with precious metals and gemstones using traditional bench techniques. She designs and creates conceptual pieces of jewellery that explore her interests of the natural, historical and fantasy worlds.  Her inspiration for her sterling silver stacking rings with cast and set sapphire was born from fairy tale narratives. These rings are part of her ‘Once upon a time’ collection, and echo the theme of encapsulation and amulets. Here the stone was cast within and then set.

On being selected, Ishtar says: “Bright Young Gems 2017 is the perfect platform to launch my new jewellery career. It will give me unrivalled opportunities to meet and gain advice from industry professionals and leaders within the field, and to showcase my unique designs within this highly esteemed international event. This is the breakthrough I could only dream of, and the chance to aspire to from graduation to the next exciting step in my jewellery journey.”

Holly O’Hanlon 

HollyHolly recently graduated in Jewellery Design at Central St Martins. Her aim is to give priority to the overlooked, utilitarian or mundane, and in particular to elements that remain from a practical task. The minimal and finely detailed brooches of slate, steel and precious metals from her graduate collection reflect her observations of excess layers of decomposing posters and fragmented signs on walls. Deceptive, playful and engaging, the jewellery aims to still a moment between a purposeful action and it's lasting remains.

Holly explains: “To have my work selected for Bright Young Gems at the starting point of my career is so exciting.  IJL offers an invaluable opportunity for exhibiting and promoting my jewellery to industry and a variety of influential professionals and I am looking forward to seeing what the response will be.”

Leanne Yau

LeanneLeanne is a graduate of Central St Martins. As a Chinese student born in Britain, her perspective as a young designer considers the clash and harmony between these two cultures and how they have affected her as a citizen. Leanne’s  focal point has always been her curiosity of what it means to be considered a British citizen.  Her collection is a playful yet powerful illustration of difference between the two cultures she lives in, taking stereotypical objects and making them more valuable than they should be.

Leanne comments: "When I saw the email I almost screamed with joy! I feel honoured to have been chosen and can't wait to share my collection. It will give me the opportunity to communicate with designers and to improve my professional practice."

The three designers whose work was Highly Commended by the judges are Olivia Creber (Royal College of Art), Hannah Viner (University for the Creative Arts Farnham) and Susanna Gogarty (London Metropolitan University).  Examples of their work will be on show at IJL 2017.



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