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Winners honoured at Goldsmiths' Craftmanship & Design Awards 2020

28 Feb 2020

The presentation of the annual Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards took place at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall in London on Monday 24th February 2020 where Ute Decker collected the NAJ sponsored Fair Trade Award with her Calligraphy Hand Sculpture. 

This popular annual Awards Ceremony – known as the Jewellery Oscars – was hosted by esteemed jewellery journalist and co-founder of The Jewellery Cut, Rachael Taylor, welcoming over 300 guests, including world-renowned jewellery houses, notable sponsors, industry associations, leading designers and the UK jewellery press.

This Award's reward excellence in technical skills and creative design in precious metals and related materials. The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council (GC&DC) which operates the competition, actively encourages established craftpersons and designers in the industry, as well as apprentices and students, to enter their work.

Ute Decker collecting her fair trade GCDC gold award

Image: Ute Decker presented with her Gold Fair Trade Award by NAJ Chair Harriet Kelsall and Dr Tim Schroder, Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Each year, the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council honours a member of the UK industry with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020 this honour was presented to Charlotte de Syllas in recognition of her outstanding contribution and commitment to the jewellery profession. She is internationally recognised for her sculpting and carving of gem materials in her bespoke jewellery designs. Charlotte’s lifelong love of colour and originality has engendered innovation to traditional forms in creating intricate structures that combine all her skills as a goldsmith, fine carver and artist.

The GC&DC’s 2020 awards exhibition at Goldsmiths’ Hall includes two of Charlotte’s award-winning designs. Her Tourmaline ‘Dragon Fly’ Brooch, winning the Goldsmiths’ Company Award in 2007, and Charlotte’s carved Jade ‘Flight’ Necklace, where she won the Lapidary & Carving section in the 2015 Goldsmiths’ competition, along with the C. W. Sellors special award.

Charlotte was presented with the LAA silver medal by the Prime Warden Timothy Schroder, and Tom Fattorini from Thomas Fattorini Ltd, sponsors of this award.


The Jacques Cartier Memorial Award

The Jacques Cartier Memorial Award is given at the discretion of the Council for exceptional and outstanding craftsmanship. It is only awarded when, in the Council’s judgement, an entry achieves a standard to justify the honour. This Jacques Cartier Memorial Award this year was presented to Tom Rucker for his suite of coloured platinum jewellery.

The Goldsmiths’ Company Award was won by Wayne Meeten for his beautifully and serenely hand-crafted ‘Dance in the Night Sky’ Vase.

Speaking of the awards, GC&DC Chairman Peter Crump, said,

“We kickstart the 2020s with another stellar year for the Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards. Across the competition’s 31 categories, we have this year awarded outstanding new and established craftpersons, once again proving the brilliance – and future – of UK jewellery, silversmithing and the allied trades.

"From the presentation of the Cartier Award to Tom Rucker, a craftsman that we have nurtured through these awards, to seeing emerging talent such as Alexander Wood receive both the Theo Fennell Apprentice and Master Award and the Paul Podolsky Award, the Council is pleased to celebrate and promote all of our winners’ successes today and long into the future.”


Ute collects NAJ Fair Trade Award amongst others honoured

Ute Decker - Caligraphy Hand Sculpture - NAJ Award (002)

Other key highlights from the 2020 Awards included Ute Decker collecting the Fair Trade Award with her Calligraphy Hand Sculpture (image right), sponsored by the National Association of Jewellers. 

Ute who was born in Germany but now lives and works in London and is best known for her minimalist yet bold sculptural pieces. Ute's Calligraphy Hand Sculpture was produced via her innovative method of sculpting, bending, and twisting gold and silver into expressive three-dimensional 'geometric poetry'. Ute is known worldwide as a pioneer of the international ethical jewellery movement and works predominantly in recycled silver and was one of the very first worldwide to create pieces in Fairtrade gold.

From 641 single entries in total, there were 138 winners recognised at the 'Jewellery Oscars', with 42 Gold, 49 Silver and 47 Bronze Awards presented, the most Gold for a number of years.

On the increasing number of Gold Awards Simon Forrester NAJ Chief Executive said,

"42 Golds being presented at the GCDC Awards demonstrates the bar continues to be raised for excellence in Jewellery design and manufacturing. We're extremely proud to be associated with the event as sponsor of the Fair Trade Award, presented to Ute Decker by NAJ Chair Harriet Kelsall. My congratulations to Ute for her amazing Calligraphy Hand Sculpture – a worthy winner of a Gold ‘Jewellery Oscar’ indeed."

Other awards presented include:

  • The College Trophy was presented to Birmingham City University for the fourth year running. This trophy is awarded to the College or University that has achieved the highest total of points accumulated from any gold, silver and bronze prizes in the competition.
  • Scott Smith won the Silversmithing Champagne Gosset
  • Hiu Yan Wong won the new Commercial Jewellery, creative Design Award sponsored by Beaverbrooks, as well as and best overall 2D Designer Award
  • Alexander Wood won both the Theo Fennell Apprentice and Master Award and the Paul Podolsky Award.
  • The Junior Award was presented to Silversmith Apprentice Harry Lowe for his masterpiece, his hand made Bullet Teapot, that also won the Birmingham Assay Office Award
  • The Senior Award was won by Przemyslaw Beres for his seal engraving.
  • Yumiko Lijima won the Brown & Newirth Award for her hand made Bracelet
  • The Boodles Fine Jewellery Award was won by Tom Rucker, along with also winning the Technological Innovation Award, sponsored by The Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office.  
  • Zeemou Zeng won the Vipa Designs Award for his Multi-Functional Earrings/Rings
  • The International Jewellery London Award went to Sonia Cheadle for her Carbon Cuff with yellow diamonds.
  • The two Gold & Silver Wyre Drawers Awards were won by Anna Gordon and Andrew Lamb, both tutors at Glasgow School of Art.
  • Paul Wells won the Lindstrom Award with his Innoxia Silver Bowl


Patrons, Sponsors & Contributors

As in previous years, the headline sponsors for 2020 included The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths as its Founding Patron, The Goldsmiths’ Company as Leading Patron, Cartier, Graff Diamonds and Valcambi as Principal Patrons.  Special Patrons this year were: International Jewellery London (IJL); The Goldsmiths’ Centre and Brown & Newirth with HRH Princess Michael of Kent as the Council’s Royal Patron.

NAJ members and supporters can view the winners exhibition in a two-week promotion at the Birmingham Assay Office from 11th to 26th of March.

Source: The Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council