Forman, who works at Georgies Fine Jewellery in NSW, was awarded the top prize in the Stuller Battle of the Benches contest held in Louisiana, US.
The 2nd annual competition was held in conjunction with US jewellery supplier Stuller’s Bench Jeweler Workshop in March.
Battle of the Benches judge Adrienne Keleher explained that of the approximately 30 applicants, four jewellers were selected to take part in the three-day contest.
Forman was the only Australian competitor, with the others being located in the US.
“These four contestants are at the top of their game, so trying to choose winners from their level of competency is difficult,” Keleher said.
Forman told Jeweller that receiving the top award was a “huge surprise”.“I had such a fun time competing and it was such an honour to be crowned overall winner,” she said.
Contestants were graded on a wide range of areas, including proficiency in CAD, traditional soldering methods, transforming a cast into a finished piece and ability to work in front of a live audience under challenging time constraints.
The first day of the competition involved a CAD and Render challenge that asked competitors to design, model and render pieces in a CAD program.
On day two, which featured the Parts and Pieces challenge, jewellers had to fabricate a custom piece on the spot from an assortment of components, metals and gemstones.
Forman won the second challenge along with the third Polishing and Finishing challenge. This final test required contestants to prepare, polish, assemble and set the CAD design they submitted during the competition application process.
As previously reported by Jeweller, this is not the first time Forman has entered and won a jewellery contest.
In addition to winning the Nationwide Apprentice of the Year Award in 2013 and 2014, the jeweller was awarded the gold medal in the Metals and Engineering – Jewellery category in the WorldSkills Australia National Competition in 2014. She then took home a silver medal at the international WorldSkills event in Brazil the following year.
Forman said that while she hoped to return for next year’s Battle of the Benches, she was currently focused on helping to train 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition winner Hannah Alexander. Alexander is competing for a chance to represent Australia at the international WorldSkills event in Abu Dhabi later this year.
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