Artisan Awards 2022 Concludes First Judging Round

The Artisan Awards’ theme ‘The Collectors’ was demanding, but the submissions by participants were equally challenging to choose from for the eminent jury. Here’s an overview.

GJEPC held the first round of judging of the 5th Edition The Artisan Awards 2022, at Four Seasons, Worli, Mumbai, in December 2021.

The design competition themed ‘The Collectors’ focussed on three iconic women, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Hutton, and Wallis Simpson, and attracted over 570 sketch entries from across the country and various parts of the world. The participants were expected to visualise these divas in their prime – the way they dressed then, their personal style, the kind of jewellery they wore, the attitude they projected – and create a bejewelled accessory that would go with their persona and aesthetic.

An eminent panel of judges shortlisted 30 entries from the three categories based on the versatility, technicality, and adaptability of classic curations in today’s time. The jury included Gayatri Rangachari Shah, journalist, author, and jewellery enthusiast; Arundhati De, bespoke jewellery consultant; Vishal Kothari, founder and creative head, VAK Jewels; Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director, GIA India; Reena Ahluwalia, jewellery designer, professor, and painter; and David Bennett, former Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division. Joining them was Nisha Jhangiani, curator of Artisan Awards.

The winners will be declared based on the finished pieces that will be judged in March 2022.

Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “I’d like to extend my gratitude to the esteemed jury for their time and valuable inputs to judge the first round of The Artisan Awards 2022. We received an overwhelming response despite the tough theme. The participants had to use their imagination to style the three famous celebrities whose jewellery collections were unparalleled. Their legacies continue to live on even today and through The Artisan we decided to tackle a bold new idea and push the design envelope.”

Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions, Marketing & Business Development, GJEPC commented, “The Collectors is a theme that dares designers to think out of the box. Styling the icons of yore is not an easy task, especially since the divas were jewellery connoisseurs and collectors with an exceptional eye for design and detail. The Artisan Awards is the only platform in the country which allows young talent to unleash their creative ambitions in their chosen field. Year after year, we have witnessed extraordinary designs that are relevant to the challenging themes that we put up. And each time, we have been surprised by the entries that surpass our expectations, thus underscoring the level of talent this industry possesses.”

David Bennett, former Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, noted, “I was delighted to have been invited to judge the first round of GJEPC’s Artisan Awards 2022. The theme of The Collectors was clearly inspirational as we saw an incredibly wide range of highly imaginative and original pieces in precious and semi-precious materials. I was intrigued to see the life, style and character of each collector represented in these contemporary jewels. GJEPC should be applauded for their work in nurturing and promoting a new generation of jewellery designers and makers.”

Reena Ahluwalia, jewellery designer, professor and painter, noted: “GJEPC has created an excellent platform to celebrate creativity in design. A successful design displays a designer’s ability to create unique stories, memorable concepts along with technical innovation. That’s what I was looking for in the design entries. I enjoyed the designers’ interpretations and could see their joy in creating.”

Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director of GIA India, “It was a great opportunity to witness the upcoming design talent and their creations at the Artisan Awards 2022 jury meet. Personally, it was so rewarding to be a spectator in the midst of these creative minds and appreciate their designs, which were so painstakingly created for the theme, ‘The Collectors.’

My compliments to the GJEPC for creating this platform to recognise talented jewellery designers. As the pioneers in the field of gem and jewellery education, GIA is pleased to be associated with the Council and The Artisan Awards 2022 in supporting, encouraging and readying the next generation of gem and jewellery leaders and professionals.”

Vishal Kothari, Founder and Creative Head, VAK Jewels, remarked, “I thought it was a challenging theme for the young designers. To conceive pieces suitable for the three legendary jewellery collectors from the past was quite tricky. However, it was a fine attempt by the participants. One pair of earrings subconsciously plays on my mind – it was unique, edgy, wearable and at the same time a statement piece.”

Gayatri Rangachari Shah, journalist, author and jewellery enthusiast, said, “This year’s Artisan Awards entries showed tremendous potential, once again demonstrating the prodigious talent that is attracted to this prestigious contest. It was an honour for me to be on the jury to judge the innovative creations.”

Arundhati De, bespoke jewellery shopping consultant, commented, “As a first-time jury member for the Artisan Awards 2022, I was pleasantly surprised by the entries received for this year’s theme. It was an engaging theme, re-visiting an almost forgotten era of great female jewellery collectors, who had strong and distinct personalities and a great appetite for jewellery. Overall, the entries were fairly relevant. However, I’d have liked to see the use of more unusual gemstones, rosecuts and mixed diamond cuts; and a more modern approach to fine jewellery making.”

GJEPC conceptualised The Artisan Awards in 2014 and over the years, the prestigious Awards have been attracting a lot of entries not just from India, but all parts of the world – thus establishing its leadership position in the jewellery industry.

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