It was a celebration of talent and creativity at The Artisan Awards 2022 gala held on 13th April in Mumbai.
Hosted by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and powered by GIA, a host of top jewellery designers, members of the jury and industry leaders were in attendance to cheer the winners of the Artisan Awards 2022 at a glittering event in Mumbai on 13th April at St. Regis. The Artisan Awards were given away by Chief Guest David Bennett, former Worldwide Chairman, International Jewellery Division, Sotheby’s, and currently co-founder of Understanding Jewellery, who had specially travelled all the way from Geneva to attend the ceremony. (Click here to read more about him)
He was accompanied by Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, Vipul Shah, Vice Chairman, GJEPC, Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions & Marketing, GJEPC, and Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director, GIA India, to give away a total of 9 awards – three in each category of the theme, The Collectors, which centred on three iconic women – Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Hutton, Wallis Simpson – who were jewellery connoisseurs and famous for their individualistic styles and bejewelled collectibles. The participants had a tough task of visualising and creating jewellery that would complement their personal and aesthetics.
Despite the challenging subject, The Artisan received a total of 570 entries from India, the UK, the UAE, Egypt, Turkey, and Russia. The entries were evaluated based on the versatility, technicality, and adaptability of classic curations in today’s time.
Eminent personalities from the world of fashion and jewellery were part of the jury. The technical round was judged by Vikram Singh, Creative Head of Walking Tree and Devinder Layal, Jewellery Artist and Educationist. They whittled down the entries from 570 to around 30 in each of the three categories.
The first sketch round was judged by yet another group of renowned figures, including, avant-garde jewellery designer heading VAK Jewels Vishal Kothari, Managing Director, GIA India Sriram Natarajan, former journalist and columnist Gayatri Rangachari, bespoke Jewellery Consultant Arundhati De, award-winning jewellery designer and professor Reena Ahluwalia, and David Bennett, who also doubled up as the Chief Guest for the award ceremony.
Call it a universal synchronicity, but who would have been a better judge for the Artisan than Bennett himself, the man who headed the auction of Wallis Simpson’s jewellery collection at Sotheby’s many years ago.
The jury shortlisted 30 entries from the three categories based on the versatility, technicality, and adaptability of classic curations in today’s time. The shortlisted finalist pieces were then manufactured, and in the second round, the jury shortlisted 9 winners from these.
Nisha Jhangiani was the curator and conceptualiser for the The Artisan Awards 2022.
As a prelude to The Artisan Awards, a luxury roundtable, All For Art, was held by GJEPC which witnessed industry stalwarts like Gayatri Rangachari Shah, Vishal Kothari, Milan Chokshi, and David Bennett as panellists. The conversation was moderated by Deepti Sasidharan, art historian and founder of the Eka Archiving Services. The eminent personalities discussed the journey of jewels that has transcended since the royal era and how millennials have adapted these fine pieces of heirlooms in their urban lifestyle. And while jewellery is a blend of many aspects – intrinsic, personal wealth, beauty, and cultural influence, it is also a form of artistic expression. The conversation revolved around how skilled craftsmanship and creativity can catapult jewellery into high art.
As for The Artisan, David Bennett noted, “I am thrilled to see young jewellery designers put across stellar pieces for the world to see. It was exciting to experience the journey of these entries from the initial designs on paper to witnessing the final three-dimensional creations.”
Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “This has been a year of revival and resilience. Today, our country is known for our exceptional designing and manufacturing talent pool, which has created renowned jewellery pieces cherished across the world. The inception of The Artisan Awards was to provide a platform for aspiring jewellery designers, who have the courage to break the mould and think beyond all possibilities. The annual jewellery design competition hosted by the Council is to recognise their talent as the ultimate benchmark for creativity, innovation, and design excellence.”
Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions, Marketing & Business Development, GJEPC commented, “The Collectors is a theme that dares designers to think uniquely. Styling the three icons was not an easy task, especially since the women were jewellery collectors with an exceptional eye for design and detail. To conceptualise sophisticated creations, one requires the ability to have design empathy to visualise concepts that were in alignment with the aesthetics of these divas. Each year, we have been surprised by the entries that surpass our expectations, thus underscoring the level of talent this industry possesses. The Artisan is well on its way to becoming a hallmark for ground-breaking thinking in the jewellery space and we, at GJEPC, really look forward to the same.”
Gayatri Rangachari Shah, said, “All the pieces were innovative, and the quality, workmanship, design, and the execution were impressive. The participants did a spectacular job. It is heartening to see the amount of talent we have in the country and across the world.”
Arundhati De, Bespoke Jewellery Shopping Consultant, had a word of advice for the designers. “I’d like to advise them to find their own voice, their own design sensibility and stick to it. Only those designers who use qualitative material, quality workmanship and a look and vibe that is distinctly their own, will eventually stand out.”
Vishal Kothari, Founder & Creative Head, VAK Jewels said that the competition was challenging. “The participants had to stay true to the theme and get into the mindset of what these famous personalities would’ve worn … and the designers did a great job. The Wallis Simpson segment excited me – every piece was well made, conceptualised, and finished. For me, it was a challenge to select the best three. I’m happy to note that India has abundant talent, and one can tell from the way they have conceptualised the jewels, the gems they have used, and incorporated 3D effects that have brought to life every piece. Indian manufacturing has improved swiftly in the last decade. The finish is of the international level. It’s exciting to see India raising the bar to the same level as Italy and France.”
Nisha Jhangiani, Curator of The Artisan Awards, said, “Since the last few years, we are seeing a lot of innovation and creativity in the entries from India and various countries. After much deliberation, we thought it helps to make the theme more challenging but keeping in mind that referencing should be easily available. This time, we wanted to push the boundaries a little more. As for the final round, we definitely saw some entries that met the brief. For me, that’s a great thing, as we are trying to discover the best in the business.”
Reena Ahluwalia, Jewellery Designer, Professor and Painter, said, “I could see the vision, passion, and hard work that designers poured into their final designs. Congratulations winners on your incredible success. The GJEPC has done a terrific job in creating an active platform that will keep encouraging and celebrating design talent.”
Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director, GIA India said, “The final designer pieces showcased in The Collectors theme are exquisite, and one can observe immense amount of work that has gone into making them. The designs are impressive. The pieces in the Wallis Simpson section were interesting and had more variety and uniqueness. By far, it was the toughest segment to judge. The quality of manufacturing was very good, and so was the detailing and precision. It is encouraging to know that India has enormous talent. With the rapidly changing consumer demand, talent, too, is evolving, and we are certainly observing this in the entries this year.”
Apart from attractive cash prizes, the winners of the Artisan Awards will be offered internship with top brands in the industry. Moreover, the winning pieces will be showcased at international trade shows under the India gallery, thus helping the designers to attain the deserving status as artists.
GJEPC conceptualised The Artisan Awards in 2014 with the sole purpose of motivating designers and artisans who are the backbone of this industry. The Awards provides a platform for jewellery designers to push their creativity and design aesthetics to showcase world-class pieces. Over the years, the Artisan Awards has been attracting a lot of entries not just from India, but all parts of the world – thus establishing its prestigious leadership position in the jewellery industry.
Here are the winners of The Collectors Theme, Artisan Awards 2022
Pendant designed by Pratiksha Gandle; manufactured by Reliance Retail Ltd. (Reliance Jewels)
Brooch-cum-pendant designed by Jayaprabu B; manufactured by Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers
Necklace-cum-bracelet designed by Divya Banjare; manufactured by Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers
Brooch designed by Dip Sit; manufactured by KGK Creations India Pvt. Ltd.
Ring designed by Vishnupada Das; manufactured by Popley Eternal
Earrings designed by Suryadeb Ghosh; manufactured by Gehna Jewellers Pvt. Ltd
Necklace designed by Shrutika Shinde; manufactured by Walking Tree Ventures
Ring designed by Pooja Mohnani; manufactured by International Institute of Gemology
Brooch designed by Ruchira Singh; manufactured by Walking Tree India Pvt. Ltd