Shortly after the 2013 winners of the Saul Bell Design Award competition were announced at JCK in Las Vegas we kicked off the 2014 call-for-entries campaign. Renderings and photographs of entries across the award’s six categories(Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium® Silver, Enamel, Metal Clay, Alternative Metals/Materials, Hollowware/Art Object) began trickling in, and the deadline inspired a flurry of last-minute entries.
This year’s competition includes some exciting changes. The biggest is the introduction of a new alternative metals/materials category. The predominant material in this category can be any non-traditional metal or material not covered in another category. This might include base metals and reactive metals, resin, glass, wood, found objects, and textiles. There is a huge range of creative possibility in this category and your entries did not disappoint!
It was thrilling to watch the panel of discerning and impressive first-round judges as they scrutinized hundreds of entries, conferred with one another, and carefully considered the merits of each. Even better, the event took place at my hands-down, all time favorite spot in Albuquerque, Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Cultural Center. Los Poblanos is a stunning historic property, designed by renowned architect John Gaw Meem and set among 25 acres of lavender fields, enormous cottonwood trees, and lush formal gardens.
After hours of thoughtful deliberation, the judges whittled the entries down to only five finalists in each category, each of whom will be notified in early November and asked to present their completed pieces for final judging by mid-January.
If you didn’t get a chance to enter the competition this year, you can always set your sights on the next SBDA competition. The deadline for entries will be in September, so watch Rio Grande’s Blog or the Saul Bell Design Award website for updates!