The call for entries for the 15th annual Saul Bell Design Award competition went out today. This year we want to know: What is design to you?
As an artist and a jeweler, you design every day. But how often to you stop to think about what design IS? How often do you consider your own personal definition of design and how it feeds your work? Merriam-Webster defines design simply as a process of planning and making decisions about something being created. But we’re pretty sure there’s more to it than that.
The Saul Bell Design Award has been challenging jewelers to stretch the limits of design and of what they are capable of for 15 years. And every year we receive designs from around the globe that are simply breathtaking.
“There is no higher incentive to challenge us as designers than the Saul Bell Awards,” says Ryan Roberts, the winner of the 2013 award in the gold/platinum category. “Knowing that your piece must show the judges something new and innovative forces us to push ourselves outside our comfort zone and do something we’ve never done before.”
There are seven categories in this year’s competition: gold/platinum, silver/Argentium Silver, hollowware/art objects, enamel, alternative metals/materials, metal clay, and emerging jewelry artist. The judges of the competition, often master jewelers themselves, look for innovation and originality of design, successful incorporation of materials, wearability, and quality of workmanship. They examine each finalist piece by hand and on a model with a keen eye for each of these attributes.
Design means something different to every jeweler. That’s the beauty of it, and that’s what the Saul Bell Design Award is celebrating this year. To get you ready to submit your most inspired piece to the competition, we dug back through the archives to see how past winners of the competition defined design.
“Design is what keeps me awake at night” Eva Martin, second place, Silver/Argentium® Silver, 2011
“Design is putting your inspiration in a form other people can read.” Andrea Williams,
first place, Beads, 2011
“Design is identity.” Sung-Yeoul Lee, second place, Hollowware, 2011
“Design is amazingly difficult.” Jason Dow, first place, Gold/Platinum, 2010
“Design is all around you. It’s everything.” Wayne Meeton, first place, Hollowware, 2011
“Design is a great idea that you change to turn into something tangible.”
Heather Bayless, second place, Silver/Argentium® Silver, 2010
“Design is visual music.” Falcher Fusager, first place, Enamel, 2009
“Design is a distilling process. You start with an overarching idea and then boil it down to the details.” Michele Mercaldo, first place, Silver/Argentium® Silver, 2009
“Design is every ingredient relative to the next ingredient.”
Gail Crosman Moore, second place, Metal Clay, 2009
“Design is the perfect extension of human creativity.”
Thomas Dailing, first place, Gold/platinum, 2008
So, what is design to you? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts with us. Or, even better, answer our call for entries and enter the competition—show us how you define design.