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Martin Linning, Martyn Brown and partners at award ceremony in Hong Kong
Martin Linning, Martyn Brown and partners at award ceremony in Hong Kong

Aussie jewellers win international prize

Two Australian jewellers took to the world stage last week by winning the Craftsmanship Award at the 2013 International Jewellery Design Excellence (IJDE) Awards.

Martyn Brown and Martin Linning from Queensland-based store Jewellery By Design (JBD) won the award for their jewellery piece “Undulation”. The awards, which take place in conjunction with the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, were announced at a gala event held in Hong Kong last Tuesday.  
Last year, the duo’s piece impressed judges at the 2012 JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards and was responsible for Brown and Linning winning the Jeweller of the Year and the CAD/CAM awards. 
The biannual IJDE Awards are open to those who have already won a national industry honour, and as such “Undulation” received automatic inclusion. 
The winning bangle is made from a finely wound, anodised titanium wire overlaid by a network of gold rivulets that direct 1,200 loose brilliant cut diamonds, bound together by a hand-cut glass sleeve.
Brown and Linning were the only finalists in their category to design and manufacture a piece. All other finalists were designers only.
Commenting on the win, Brown told Jeweller: “We were obviously very happy to have received the Craftsmanship Award as we designed and manufactured this piece ourselves. We worked very hard to make sure everything worked perfectly so it was gratifying for that to be recognised on an international level.”
Linning said that the two men had no idea whether they had a chance of winning the competition; particularly since the judging criteria differed greatly to anything they had experienced previously. 
Different judging
The international award winning "Undulation" bangle
The international award winning "Undulation" bangle
“Judging in Hong Kong is totally different to that in Australia with more emphasis being placed on personal interviews and having to explain the techniques and materials used,” Linning said.
“Importance is also placed on the journey of the idea - meanings and stories behind the piece. This is definitely not what we are used to.”
Entrants are judged on innovation, craftsmanship, aesthetics, wearability and functionality. Winning pieces are showcased at the Hong Kong show.
Once back on home soil, Brown said “Undulation” would be proudly displayed in JBD’s Townsville store alongside the three awards. 
“Its future beyond that is uncertain as we have had some international interest to purchase it. But I think we have grown quite attached to it so letting go might be difficult.”
As for plans to design and manufacture another award-winning jewellery piece, he explained: “We are constantly thinking of new designs and interesting concepts – always trying to push ourselves creatively is the key to our success.” 
According to Linning, the decision to enter a design competition should not be taken lightly.
“It’s a huge commitment of our time and resources to enter design competitions. We have always got plenty of ideas. It is a matter of what ones are right at the time. 
“Being in Hong Kong and meeting other international designers has certainly given us plenty of inspiration for the future.”
JBD business manager Bevan Hill said: “This award has showcased the passion and dedication these two jewellers have for their industry and on behalf of the entire JBD team we congratulate them on their win. It has been an honour to work alongside them on this journey of creativity and their award win has highlighted their hard work."
Second win at awards
This is the second consecutive time that an Australian entrant has won an award at the international competition. In 2011, Tasmanian Emily Snadden received a Merit Award.
Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) CEO Ian Hadassin attended the 2013 award ceremony and commented: "This second major win reinforces the fantastic talent that young Australian jewellers and designers possess. I hope it will encourage more industry designers and manufacturers to enter the 2014 JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards so that they too might have the opportunity to showcase their skills to the world."
The Craftsmanship Award was one of four major categories, which also comprised the Champion of Champions, the Innovative & Uniqueness in Design and the Aesthetic Award. This year’s competition attracted 187 entries from 28 countries.

Martyn Brown and Martin Linning accepting their award.
Martyn Brown and Martin Linning accepting their award.

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