NAJ News

BCTF Award Winners

07 Jun 2019

In April the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate played host to British Craft Trade Fair 2019, and once again the best in home-grown talent was on show.

The highlight of the event – which encompasses a range of craftsmanship including jewellery, glass, ceramics and textiles – is the presentation of awards for best in show.

The winner of the NAJ Award for Excellence at BCTF was named as Francesca Marcenaro, a London-based Italian designer who, through her ‘glass granulation’ technique on metal, pushes the boundaries between art and jewellery. This innovation produces a soft sparkle on her original, tactile surfaces complementing the stylish jewellery. Thanks goes to the NAJ’s Lindsey Straughton’s fellow judge, Kath Libbert, of leading contemporary gallery Kath Libbert Jewellery, Salt Mills, Saltaire.

Meanwhile, last year’s NAJ winner Ellen Monaghan was a joint winner of the Form & Function Award, sponsored by The Platform Gallery. And Ugly Jewellery was Highly commended for the BCTF Award for Excellence, sponsored by The Pyramid Gallery.


Show organiser, Margeret Bunn said: “BCTF is a real celebration of all things British and handmade, and our award winners represent that brilliantly. I’m delighted to congratulate them all for their well-deserved accolades. We are very fortunate that our awards are supported by important industry associations, prestigious galleries and trade press, so a big thank you to them all for getting behind the show and supporting the best of British here today.”

Visitor numbers were up and many exhibitors reported that trade was exceptional as retailers lined up to place orders on their stands.

“It has shaped up to be a fabulous edition of BCTF,” Margeret conīŦrmed. “Buyers are aware that demand for handmade British products has increased over the years and they are keen to offer something new and unique. We have some incredibly talented designer-makers from all parts of the UK, so it’s well worth the visit for gallery owners, gift shops and other discerning retailers.”

Award winner Francesca MarcenaroFrancesca Marcenaro NSAJ Award winner BCTF2019Award-08

Winners aside, there was much to catch the eye of jewellery buyers. Fife jeweller, Evie Milo, was, in fact, named ‘Arts in Fife’ Artist of Merit 2019 before she even arrived at the BCTF. She works with the bowls of salvaged antique sterling silver teaspoons, which she re-imagines and transforms into items with a new beauty. The stems of the teaspoons are not discarded. Often beautifully engraved and bearing original maker hallmarks, they’re formed into rings and sold with small provenance tags outlining their history.

Yorkshire-based Lebanon-born designer Rouaida Boullier, who works with silver, 18ct gold, gemstones, diamonds and pearls, won a Highly Commended Award at BCTF 2018 and this year her Adonis necklace and earrings caught the attention of the judges. The blood-red carnelian stones, central to the polished silver pieces, are inspired by the death and restoration of Adonis of the Greek myth.

Download Feature