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Amelia Pask, of GMW Jewellery in Blenheim, New Zealand, has won the 2020 Nationwide Apprentice of the Year Award.
Amelia Pask, of GMW Jewellery in Blenheim, New Zealand, has won the 2020 Nationwide Apprentice of the Year Award.

Nationwide Jewellers announces 2020 Apprentice of the Year winners

Boasting a new format, the 2020 Nationwide Jewellers Apprentice of the Year awards have given Australia and New Zealand’s emerging jewellers the chance to demonstrate their talent.

This year’s winner was third-year apprentice Amelia Pask, of GMW Jewellery in Blenheim. Tasked with designing a dress ring as a 40th wedding anniversary gift, Pask developed a bold floral design with room for five family members’ birth stones. Her prize was a digital camera with macro capability, and her name will be engraved on the Nathan Cameron Perpetual Trophy.

Third-year apprentice Kaela Donahoe, of Fishers Jewellers in Whangarei, was also given special recognition by the judges, and presented a high distinction for her work.

For the same brief, Donahoe developed an elegant ring showcasing the couple’s birth stones, with room on the band for the birthstones of their children alongside a dusting of melee diamonds.

Judges were particularly impressed with Donahoe as this was her first ring, and she had no previous experience with custom makes. Her sketches, costing and manufacture were all noted for their quality.

A new format saw entrants create a design based on a real-world-style brief commensurate with their apprentice year level, complete with personal details about a client, ideas and a budget.

Examples included a custom engagement ring, a custom brooch for a retiring art gallery owner, and a pendant fitting a ‘nature’ theme.

Entries opened in mid-August, with participants required to submit their finished piece by 2 November. Metal for the pieces was donated by Peter W Beck.

The contest was originally scheduled to begin in June with winners announced at Sydney’s International Jewellery & Watch Fair but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Niven McArthur, Director Merchandise and Marketing at Nationwide Jewellers – who formed one-third of the judging panel – said the new format was well received by the competition’s entrants.

“It is a shame that the current restrictions around the pandemic could not allow for a ‘live’ presentation at the Sydney IJWF Nationwide dinner. We enjoyed a presentation Zoom call with each winner,” McArthur said.

The competition will be held again in 2021.

This ring, by third-year apprentice Kaela Donahoe of Fishers Jewellers in Whangarei, received special recognition by the judges.

Amelia Pask's winning ring was designed to fit a brief for a 40th wedding anniversary ring.

 

More reading:
Jewellery apprentice recognised in Queensland awards
Buying group launches 2020 Apprentice of the Year Competition
Nationwide kicks off apprentice support program
 











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