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The 2015 International Jewellery Fair will host the inaugural Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Championships
The 2015 International Jewellery Fair will host the inaugural Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Championships

Jewellery fair comp attracts international talent

Attendees at the upcoming Sydney jewellery fair will have the opportunity to learn from an international jewellery manufacturing competition winner – who has also agreed to be involved in a new industry contest.

The inaugural Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Championships (JDMC) is an initiative organised by the Young Jewellers Group (YJG), with the support of International Jewellery Fair (IJF) organiser Expertise Events. The competition will provide local jewellers with the chance to showcase their manufacturing skills while competing against fellow industry participants.

Ewen Ryley, Young Jewellers Group founding member
Ewen Ryley, Young Jewellers Group founding member

The JDMC, which is loosely modelled on the US Bench Pressure Challenge held in Chicago, will require jewellers to complete a number of manufacturing techniques within a set timeframe before a live audience.

YJG founding member Ewen Ryley said the response to the competition had been overwhelming, adding that Jimmy Butts, a jeweller who won the US bench challenge in both 2013 and 2014, would be a guest judge for the JDMC.

“Snagging Jimmy Butts is very exciting,” Ryley said. “He knows what it is like to compete under pressure so there is no better judge, in our opinion, for the first JDMC.”

Ryley added that Butts would also present a number of masterclasses throughout the event. “Jimmy has a wealth of knowledge in a wide variety of manufacturing skills which he will be able to share with us all during his masterclasses,” he explained.

Butts’ masterclasses will include techniques such as basic to advanced pave and head setting. Evolution Jewellers director Anthony Nowlan, WA TAFE teacher Peter Keep and Academy of Jewellery Manufacture and Design founder Jacques Fabian will also offer masterclasses covering skills ranging from setting to CAD.

The low-down

The JDMC was developed based on the success of the Jewellers Bench feature, which was introduced at the 2014 Sydney fair and subsequently added to the 2015 JAA Australian Jewellery Fair program.

US manufacturing jeweller Jimmy Butts
US manufacturing jeweller Jimmy Butts

Expertise Events managing director Gary Fitz-Roy told Jeweller he originally contacted the YJG to promote more hands-on jewellery manufacturing techniques and skills on the fair floor.

“The YJG jumped at the opportunity and we worked together last year with the aim of a full-on competition this year with prize money,” he explained.

Jewellers will be competing in four competition categories – jeweller, setter, CAD technician and hand engraver – for the chance to win prizes including thousands of dollars in cash, jewellery services, CAD/CAM software and the opportunity to become a judge for the 2016 JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards.

Ryley noted Nowlan had also been confirmed as a judge for the competition. He added that YJG was still in talks with a number of other local jewellers about judging the JDMC as well as presenting masterclasses.

The IJF will be held from 29 August to 31 August at the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island. More information on the JDMC is available on the IJF website.

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New plans for 2015 Sydney fair already announced

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Tuesday, 15 October, 2019 06:16pm
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