Artisan Awards 2024 Art Fest Slated for 12th-13th Feb

In a dazzling showcase of innovation and artistry, the final round of the Artisan Awards 2024 unfolded with delightful surprises, unveiling a rich tapestry of high design, creativity, and impeccable craftsmanship. The two themes were by far the toughest ones in the Artisan repertoire to execute, namely “Unusual Materials” and “Objet Trouvé”.

Blending non-precious materials with fine gems and precious metal, each creation bore the indelible mark of ingenuity, offering a glimpse into artistic expressions of the finalists. The results prove that India has a vibrant talent pool, and a veritable breeding ground for innovation.

Alice Cicolini is a picture of concentration at the judging round.

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) concluded its final judging round for the 7th edition of The Artisan Awards 2024 on 22nd January 2024, powered by GIA India. This edition of The Artisan Awards received more than 600 entries from around the world including India, Canada, USA, Bahrain, Egypt, Dubai, and Pakistan.

‘Objet Trouvé’ (Found Objects) explores art crafted from visible yet frequently altered objects that are atypical yet serve as art materials due to their non-art function. A ‘found object’, whether it’s natural, man-made, or even just a fragment, is preserved due to an inherent connection by the artist. It can be treated as a work of art in itself, and as a muse for inspiration.

The idea was to design a piece of jewellery that depicts the essence of ‘Objet Trouvé’ by taking an object of one’s past and reimagining it in a modern form. Examples of ‘found objects’ could include vintage poker chips, antique coins, collected shells, vintage Venetian glass beads, buttons, and beachcombed shells.

The second theme, ‘Unusual Materials’ encouraged designers to create a dialogue between the familiar and the unexpected by combining contrasting materials with at least 50% precious materials. Unusual materials could include cement, titanium, wood, porcelain, bamboo, slate, meteorite, glass, recycled plastic, leather and more.

Jury Payal Singhal in a discussion with Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions and Marketing, GJEPC.

The esteemed jury comprising Alice Cicolini, renowned UK jewellery designer; Biren Vaidya, Managing Director, The Rose Group; Payal Singhal, Fashion Designer; Apoorva Deshingkar, GIA India – Senior Director of Education and Market Development; and Toktam Shekarriz, Dubai-based jewellery designer chose six winning pieces from the 20 finalists displayed at the event.

The 20 finalist pieces will grace the spotlight at Ice Factory, IFBE, in Ballard Estate, Mumbai for a two-day exhibition on February 12th-13th, 2024.

Prior to that, the technical jury consisting of Devinder Layal, Jewellery Artiste and educationist, Meenal Choksi, Head of Design, Moksh Fine Unseen Jewellery; Sushama Kalzunkar Sawant, PD & Merchandising Head, Dia Gold Creations; Janki Choksi, Founder, Janki Choksi Designs; Gunjan Sapra, COO & Head of Department, Jewellery Designs, International Institute of Gemology; and a GIA Instructor chose the 20 finalist renderings from the ~ 600 sketch entries.

The two-day viewing art fest will see the largest-ever congregation of luminaries and aesthetes from the world of arts, crafts & design; curators, art gallery owners and patrons; art schoolteachers, deans and students; socialites, celebrities, connoisseurs, architects, painters and sculptors; along with jewellery designers (experienced and young) will grace GJEPC’s Artisan Jewellery Awards 2024 gallery showcase at Ice Factory.

The by invitation only awards nite will be held on the 13th evening.

Alice Cicolini trying out a hair ornament during the judging round to evaluate the piece’s wearability.

Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, stated, “GJEPC’s vision extends beyond the conventional, aiming to redefine the landscape of jewellery design. Through the Artisan Jewellery Design Awards competition, India seeks to elevate itself and position as the global premier design hub, aligning with the government’s campaign of Design in India. Through this design competition, GJEPC reaffirms its commitment to encourage an environment that will nurture the creative spark within designers.”

Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotion & Marketing, GJEPC, adds, “Each year, we strive to introduce a distinctive theme, challenging participants by collaborating with curators to elevate their engagement. Over the past seven years, the Artisan Awards have assumed increasing significance globally, with India recognising them as the most coveted accolade. This prestigious award serves as a driving force, inspiring designers, budding students, and manufacturers to create thematic jewels at the highest echelon. The quality of production within this thematic framework is truly remarkable.

“We take pride in the continued participation of enthusiasts, hopeful that this positive trajectory persists. The entries received reflect a consistently elevated standard in design, manufacturing, and overall quality. The growing exposure in India plays a pivotal role in bringing forth a collection of truly phenomenal jewellery products.”

Alice Cicolini said, “As a jewellery designer, the prospect of an award process like this is truly invigorating. I find great excitement in witnessing competitions that encourage designs using more unconventional materials and explore global trends. The freedom afforded to India’s young designers through these themes is commendable and inspiring. Personally, there are a couple of pieces from today that stand out to me as not only intriguing designs but also impeccably crafted.

“Having worked in India for nearly two decades, I can attest that it stands as one of the most extraordinary nations for jewellery production, boasting incredible craftsmanship. Witnessing the remarkable work emerging from this country is always a source of excitement. Moreover, it is refreshing to see young jewellery designers break free from traditional constraints, allowing their imaginations to take flight—an approach actively encouraged by institutions like this one. Design, being a commercial art form, requires assurance that there is a market for innovative work.”

Payal Singhal was fascinated by the exploration of innovative materials and the creation of pieces that could endure for generations. Reflecting on India’s design and manufacturing talent, Singhal noted, “The Artisan Awards showcase a remarkable standard. The ability to work with challenging materials and produce versatile, aesthetically pleasing, and finely crafted jewellery is a testament to the high level of expertise present in our country. The innovation displayed at the awards reinforces my belief that India possesses superior capabilities in terms of design, quality, and finishing.

“As for elevating jewellery into wearable art, initiatives like The Artisan Awards play a crucial role. By encouraging designers to view jewellery as an artistic expression rather than just ceremonial or status symbols, we encourage a shift towards wearable art. Supporting and motivating young designers and jewellery brands to embrace this perspective will contribute to the evolution of jewellery as a form of artistic expression rather than merely a complement to attire or a symbol of status.”

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