The winners of the 2014 Saul Bell Design Award were announced recently at an awards ceremony and dinner here in Albuquerque. The awards ceremony was the culmination of a year of creation, submission, and deliberation. Here are the spectacular winners:
Igor Salnikov of Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation, was given the honor of first place in the Gold/Platinum category. Igor’s “Nautilus” ring is crafted of 18k yellow gold and embellished with 550 white diamonds, 178 sapphires, 26 rubies, 12 emeralds, 18 tsavorites, five quartz crystals, and one citrine. The ring is also decorated with carved golden elements and the central part of the ring spins. The large quartz crystals act as magnifying glasses, allowing detailed consideration of all the fine elements inside the ring.
Andrea Koenig-Carnahan of Louisville, Kentucky describes her experience making “Surrender,” the second-place winner in the Gold/Platinum category: “It demanded all I had and still pushed me further. It was only when I stopped trying to do it logically, and surrendered and entered the mindset of the piece, that it all came together.”
Hollowware/Art Objects Category
Aleksandr Maryaskin of Yorktown, Virginia created the remarkable “Silver Filigree Vanity Mirror,” which took first place in the Hollowware/Art Objects category. The mirror is handmade from rendered U.S. quarters, which were melted into ingot form then rolled into wire and hand-pulled to the appropriate sizes. The frame was made first, and each decorative piece was handmade and added individually.
Second place in the Hollowware/Art Objects category was awarded to Sue Aygarn Kowalski for her beautifully crafted “Oil Can Teapot.” Sue says of her creative approach, “The functional work I make advocates for aesthetic experience over speed and efficiency, for skill over blind use, for self reliance over dependencies, and for an absolute love of process.”
Silver/Argentium® Silver Category
Valerie Jo Coulson of Pequea, Pennsylvania has this to say about her gorgeous necklace, “The Cynosure II,” which won the Silver/Argentium® Silver category: “By virtue of the principle of Sacred Geometry, that which is intrinsic in the very order of nature itself, both biological and cosmic, The Cynosure emerged. Known also as the North Star, it is defined as something that attracts attention by its interest and brilliance.”
Bruce Hartman’s “Carnelian Wave Pendant” was the second-place winner in this category. The piece features a center stone that was relief carved by hand to create a wave texture and then frosted to a matte finish. The stone was back-carved to lighten its tone, and gold leaf was added to the back of the stone to enhance and brighten the stone’s color. Silver granules and tube bezels for the diamonds’ settings were attached to a silver inlay piece that was formed to flow into the center of the carving. Finally, a tube rivet attached to the granule inlay goes through the stone and bezel to hold all three pieces of the design together.
Merry-Lee Rae of Freedom, California created “Bobcat Secret,” the first-place winner in the Enamel category. Merry-Lee shared these thoughts about her extraordinary enamel work, “Bobcat crossing my path. Residing in the Bobcat’s locket is the sleeping, dreaming secret.” The piece is cloisonné with 18K granulation and sapphires.
“Mandarine Fish” by Artem Kutyrev of Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation was the Enamel category second-place winner. Artem applied the technique of stained-glass enamel in this ring. He placed small LED lights inside the ring to highlight the transparency of the enamel. The fins, eyes, and tail of the fish are movable, and the ring is made of 18K gold set with diamonds and colored gemstones.
Alternative Metals/Materials Category
Zoltan David of Bee Cave, Texas had this to say about his exquisitely crafted Alternative Metals/Materials, first-place winning piece, “Celestial Winds”: “The law of attraction was my inspiration—that force that binds and balances all things. Some call it gravity. Some call it love. I call it God.”
“It Begins” by Elysha Roberts of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts was created through experimentation with materials and fabrication processes. In order to create her unusual necklace, Elysha researched scientific floral etchings and microphotography, and found that these works referenced patterns found in nature while abstracting them to create a sense of awe and wonderment.
Metal Clay Category
Christi Anderson of Marana, Arizona created the Metal Clay category first place-winning bracelet, “Door to My Dreams.” “The door panels are constructed in fine silver with gold as hardware to make the fine details stand out,” she writes. “This piece is symbolic of the time passing in our life. I’ve moved around quite a bit and each new house has a different door and a different chapter in my life. I’ve collected door images for 20 years, and each door in my bracelet is actually out there.”
“Slavik Tales: Leshy” by Anna Mazon of Crakow, Poland was the Metal Clay category second-place winner. As the title suggests, the pendant was inspired by Slavic folklore: “Leshy” is a woodland spirit who protects wild animals and forests. The piece is made of bronze, copper, and silver metal clay and is adorned with peridots and sapphires.
Emerging Jewelry Artist Category
The Emerging Jewelry Artist category is reserved for emerging designers, 18 years of age or younger. This category places no limitation on media used and requires only that the finished piece is wearable jewelry adornment and is fabricated by the entrant.
Do these stunning pieces inspire you to get busy in your studio? Be sure to visit the Saul Bell Design Award Competition website to browse fourteen years of SBDA boundary-breaking design!