Goto your account

Feature Stories














Jewellery design awards back with a bang!

The Jewellery Design Awards are returning to the International Jewellery & Watch Fair (IJWF) for 2019, following on from the hugely successful inaugural event in 2017. This year’s edition saw an incredible number of entrants submit pieces across 10 categories, with 44 standout finalists selected. Due to demand, the entry deadline was extended from 30 June to 21 July.

Joshua Zarb, general manager Expertise Events, which organises both the Jewellery Design Awards (JDA) and the IJWF, said his team had been “blown away by the calibre of entries”.

“First and foremost, the purpose of the Jewellery Design Awards is to celebrate the amazing skills within the industry in Australia and New Zealand,” Zarb said. “It’s a way to recognise the talent that’s out there, and identify new, up and coming designers and jewellers [with the Student/Apprentice categories]. That’s what keeps our whole industry strong over all.”

He added that the most well supported categories this year, in terms of number of entrants, were the Diamond Award, Coloured Gemstone Award and Bridal Award, with Coloured Gemstone being the most popular.

Josh Zarb, Leading Edge Group Jewellers general manager
Josh Zarb, Leading Edge Group Jewellers general manager
“It’s a way to recognise the talent that’s out there, and identify new, up and coming designers and jewellers [with the Student/Apprentice categories].That’s what keeps our whole industry strong over all”
Joshua Zarb, Expertise Events

Finalists were announced on 23 July. The most recognised jeweller is Mindika Haddagoda, who is a finalist in four categories for his pieces ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Venus’, ‘Tulips’ and ‘Rococo’. Matthew Ely is nominated in three categories for ‘Principessa’, ‘Ballare’ and ‘Chinese Fan South Sea Pearl Ring’.

Meanwhile, Matt Sime’s ‘The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed’, Sophia Peacock’s ‘Rainbow Serpent Cuff Bangle’ and Ben Tracy’s ‘Diamond Fantasie’ are the most recognised pieces, being named finalists across multiple categories.

There are some familiar faces in this year’s Award contenders. Haddagoda – who won his category in 2017 – has made it to the finals again, as have Jason Ree, Sonja Scharmann, Greg Holland, Amrith Dharmawardane and Sameer Aneez.

On Monday 5 August, Brett Low flew into Sydney to join the other members of the judging panel, Lester Brand and David Ole, to choose the winners in person. Judging was based on weighted criteria, with four key considerations: originality and creativity of the design, technical difficulty of construction, craftsmanship and finish of the piece, and wearability.

All the finalist pieces will be on display at the Fair, which will be held at the ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre from Saturday 24 August to Monday 26 August, with the winners announced at a canapé reception on the show floor at 4:30pm on Sunday 25 August.

“It’s great that the Awards will be held on the show floor this year, as it’s a way to bring the industry together, draw new visitors to the show, and celebrate the winners and finalists. It enhances the strength of the industry,” Zarb said.

In order to protect the integrity of the judging process, no details of the nominated pieces have been released to the public – until now.

BELINDA LUBKOLL

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Bauhaus Inspired
Inspiration: This piece was inspired by the simplicity of modern architecture. It also features a slightly angled setting to be a bit provocative and contemporary.
Materials: Sterling silver, topaz

EVANTHEA PENGELLY

Item: Earrings
Name of piece: Shield-Maiden
Inspiration: I saw a similar design made from brass in a trinkets market overseas, and thought it would turn out nicely in precious materials. Once I started to make the earrings and the final design emerged, they reminded me of Viking shields. Completion of this piece has inspired me to make a Shield-Maiden Collection of earrings that echo the aesthetic of Viking shield designs.
Materials: Sterling silver, 14-carat yellow gold, Welo (Ethiopian) opal

BRADLEY PIKE

Item: Pendant
Name of piece: Griffin
Inspiration: The materials shaped the final look of the piece. It’s a sterling silver pendant with a petrified wood ‘shield’ and central fancy cut ‘arrow’ shaped citrine
Materials: Sterling silver, petrified wood, citrine

 

SAMEER ANEEZ

Item: Pendant
Name of piece: The Autumn Vines
Inspiration: I have always been an Art Deco person, and so in doing Art Nouveau I was outside my comfort zone. I wanted to create something that looked and felt soft. I also wanted it to have complexity, but not to detract from the movement of the piece. The silver flows wonderfully and feels alive in its movement. The stones are well incorporated into the piece despite a modern setting process. To further add to the life of the piece, the tourmalines are set from dark to light going up, and the bale is incorporated into the design as one unified piece.
Materials: Sterling silver, citrine, green tourmaline

MILLY BELL

Item: Bangle
Name of piece: Fluid
Inspiration: This bangle’s fluid shapes that nestle beside each other are inspired by nature’s organised chaos: alike patterns found in the environment. I strove to create a sense of balance by incorporating an array of shapes and sizes that, when used repetitively, become ordered and uniform. Sculpting the outer panel using the technique of lost-wax casting really allowed me freedom to create a piece that was truly three dimensional and tactile, bridging my passion of jewellery and art together.
Materials: Rhodium-plated sterling silver

EILEEN LEAHY

Item: Figurine
Name of piece: Transformation of a Moth
Inspiration: The inspiration for this piece is the New Zealand Puriri moth, a creature whose lifecycle resonates with my journey. The moth spends seven years in caterpillar form, which represents the growth stage of learning and development. After transformation, it is a moth for a mere two days. This speaks to me of breaking free – displaying my new creation with confidence. The crafting of the piece brings life through the movement of the wings. Its adaptability to be worn as a whole hair pin, or as a pendant, reiterates the transformational stages.
Materials: 9-carat yellow gold, sterling silver, titanium, cabochon onyx

 

JEANETTE BROSSARD

Item: Bangle
Name of piece: Boulder Opal and Silver Bracelet
Inspiration: The bracelet is inspired by Earth, our planet.
Materials: Boulder opal, sterling silver

JASON REE

Item: Earrings
Name of piece: Sandstorm
Inspiration: Inspiration for these earrings comes from the undulating hills of the desert, windswept and unbroken by time, and the pure blue Outback sky, dropping to a starlit dreamscape under the Milky Way.
Materials: Black Australian opal, platinum, 18-carat white gold, 22-carat yellow gold, diamond

CINDY XU

Item: Brooch
Name of piece: Icy Conversation
Inspiration: The work expresses two opposing species having undergone ecological changes due to global warming: a polar bear and a fish on the last glacial islands. The opal depicts the ocean, while mother-of-pearl and diamonds represent glaciers.
Materials: 18-carat yellow gold, solid boulder opal, mother-of-pearl, diamond

 

MATTHEW ELY

Item: Tiara
Name of piece: Principessa
Inspiration: The piece is inspired by the bridal tiaras of European royalty, a reference to the historical traditions of courtship and marriage. It is handmade in platinum and features pear, Asscher and round brilliant diamonds.
Materials: Diamond, platinum

MINDIKA HADDAGODA

Item: Necklace
Name of piece: Aphrodite
Inspiration: This design has been developed and created with the influences of modern and traditional decorative elements. A fantasy-cut blue topaz is set within a heart shape and four claws in an ultimate representation of love. I used the blue topaz because it is often associated with loyalty and love and represents eternal romance and friendship. Blue topaz also symbolises honesty, clarity of feelings, and deep emotional attachment. Decorative elements on the top of the pearl will flawlessly blend with any bridal dress. The blue topaz, multi-colour sapphire and diamonds lift the bride to show her at her brightest on her wedding day.
Materials: Blue topaz, South Sea pearl, 18-carat yellow and white gold, diamond, Ceylon sapphire

MATTHEW JOHNSON

Item: Ring set
Name of piece: Harmony
Inspiration: This piece is a combination of everything I love: the unconventional, the challenge, contrast and detail; the pleasure of creating from the heart, giving surprise and joy to others; and the vulnerability of putting yourself on the line, the risk of offering your heart and life to another person. It represents two pieces coming together as one, in harmony.
Materials: Diamond, platinum, rose gold

BEN TRACY

Item: Ring set
Name of piece: Diamond Fantasie
Inspiration: This piece was inspired by the many fancy shapes that diamonds can be fashioned into, and I wanted to showcase these special cuts in this “two into one” multi-faceted ring. Using the eternally classic form of a cluster-style ring, this particular design combines some of those random fancy shaped diamonds into a unified piece of jewellery. It evokes the emotions of classical jewellery from past eras with a present twist, taking the wearer into a timeless future.
Materials: Diamond, platinum

GREGORIE VENDE

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Encaptured
Inspiration: I captured the eternity of a diamond with the purity of the platinum. The diamond is suspending from the top and bottom, letting all the colours and reflections free.
Materials: Australian champagne diamond, platinum, 18-carat yellow gold

 

AMRITH DHARMAWARDANE

Item: Pendant
Name of piece: Moments In Time
Inspiration: I wanted to create a tribute to time and space. More specifically, the movement of our lives as viewed through our closest star, the Sun. In a nod to our fleeting existence on this planet, my goal was to give the pendant an ethereal quality with each of the diamond-set bezels appearing as if they are floating in a void. The 12 tiny pieces indicate not only the passing of the hours within the day, but also the stars within the cosmos whose light can only be seen as tiny pinpoints in the night sky.
Materials: 18-carat white and rose gold, diamond

MINDIKA HADDAGODA

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Venus
Inspiration: This design has been created with the influences of ancient curve roof architecture and its associated decorative elements. Venus was a goddess of love and beauty. The centrally placed Ceylon blue sapphire, set with beautiful lip shaped claws, represent love. The combination of modern and traditional decorative elements represents beauty. The ring is a beautiful creation combining 18-carat white gold with yellow gold using CAD technology. A highly engineered look, fine edges, creativity, functionality and delicacy are the key features of this design.
Materials: Ceylon blue and pink sapphire, 18-carat yellow and white gold, diamond

CASSANDRA NITSCHKE

Item: Brooch
Name of piece: Emerald Glider
Inspiration: Cassandra Nitschke, of Andrew Mazzone Design Jewellers, was introduced to the incredible artistic world of Art Nouveau jewellery by images of French designer René Lalique’s famous dragonfly ornament. This then inspired her passion for jewellery design. The Art Nouveau movement embraced organic forms and mystical imagery, including creatures like the dragonfly. The dragonfly represents change, adaptability and transformation.
Materials: Emerald, sapphire, diamond, ruby, rose, yellow and white gold

ROBERT SAWTELL

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Templum
Inspiration: This ring is custom designed for a client’s unique style – a large statement ring able to be worn often, without the use of diamonds. It reflects her classic personality but with a hint of a romantic. The design theme is the contemplation of two slightly domed traversing crosses. The intent is to draw the eye outwards from the central keystone and evoke curiosity for what is within. The colourway is a soothing combination of deep blue, green and teal in the form of bright, sparkling Australian sapphires sourced directly from the mine in Sapphire, central Queensland. Each gem is set to maximise performance with the entire surface area visible against the white background. The setting allows maximum light to flush through the gemstone. The rose gold band brings warmth to the design with minimum volume.
Materials: Australian sapphire, platinum, 18-carat rose gold

MATT SIME

Item: Ring
Name of piece: The Cathedral of Vasily The Blessed
Inspiration: My design has been inspired by the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, a masterpiece that has stood tall in the Red Square in Moscow for more than 450 years. The eccentric architecture showcases nine domed towers that point up to the heavens, finished with an abundance of detail and texture. The unexpected patterning and unique use of symmetry inspired my piece, and I was captivated by the playful façade of this exceptional building. The interior of my design showcases a gallery of windows and pillars that join at the centerpoint of the domed ceiling, creating a central hierarchy. The use of gold has been intentional to reference the colour of the heavens and the windows corresponds to the Neo-Platonist idea of light as a symbol of wisdom.
Materials: Blackened 9-carat yellow gold

 

DANIEL CAP

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Celina
Inspiration: This beautiful piece is designed to reveal new surprises with every turn. It was inspired by the notion of poetry, by which many meanings can come from the same beautiful words.
Materials: 18-carat rose and yellow gold, silver, amatrine, ruby, diamond, zircon

MINDIKA HADDAGODA

Item: Pendant
Name of piece: Tulips
Inspiration: This design was inspired by the tulip flower’s elegant form and brilliant range of colours. My appreciation of the aesthetic beauty of tulips is the key element. The tulip is a symbol of feminine beauty and perfection. The combination of rubies and multi-coloured sapphires and diamonds bring a sense of contrast to the pendant. It is double sided and can be worn in four different ways. A precisely engineered look, unusual settings and high functionality are the hallmark of this design.
Materials: Ceylon blue, yellow and pink sapphire, ruby, diamond, 18-carat yellow and white gold

YUNA KIM

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Gradus
Inspiration: Gradus means ‘step’ in latin. This piece reminds you to take each step as it comes and reach your highest goals. Celebrate your success with this step by step ring – it’s the stairway to heaven. I use blue sapphires like a beautiful blue sky.
Materials: 18-carat white gold, Australian blue sapphire, diamond

MICHAEL MURATORE

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Stella Del Mare (Star of the Sea)
Inspiration: The Stella del Mare ring is inspired by the beautiful and captivating elements of marine life. The bright tones of this piece celebrate the mesmerising and colourful hues found in the ocean. Stunning tourmalines, tanzanites and sapphires are complemented by the bold and flowing curves of the design; a reflection of the unique features of marine species. Aptly named, this piece is a symbol of outstanding brilliance.
Materials: 18-carat white and rose gold, tourmaline, tanzanite, pink sapphire, diamond

BEN TRACY

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Vert-Eagle
Inspiration: The piece is inspired by the skyscrapers that soar high in the sky, competing for space with the eagles that look down upon them.
Materials: Mint quartz, diamond, 9-carat white gold

 

SOUKATA BASU MALHOTRA

Item: Ring set
Name of piece: Amoresque
Inspiration: These love/wedding rings are inspired by from the imperial beauty and continuity of Arabesque patterns – interlaced designs seen in Middle Eastern art – and convey the harmony of everlasting love. The title is derived from the combination of two words: amore, meaning ‘love’ and Arabesque. The combination is metaphorical, poetic and meaningful. The rings are an artistic representation of the eternal order and union in a relationship. Meanwhile, the diamonds depict forever love.
Materials: 18-carat yellow gold, 9-carat yellow gold, diamond

MATTHEW ELY

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Ballare
Inspiration: Ballare means ‘to dance’ and this exquisite handmade ring is inspired by the tutu of a dancing ballerina. The name also references the dance of light present in the white and pink diamonds in the cluster of the ring. The hand-pierced basket balances the delicate detail of the top setting, and takes its influence from European stained glass church windows.
Materials: 18-carat white and rose gold, pink diamond, diamond

GREG HOLLAND

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Diamond Moon Cocktail
Inspiration: This ring pays homage to the incredible New Zealand night sky. From the inspired collection Moon, this dress ring is a one of a kind. It features 178 diamonds and a secret pink sapphire heart.
Materials: Diamond, pink sapphire, recycled platinum, 18-carat yellow gold

GERARD MCCABE

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Wildflower Diamond Ring
Inspiration: Inspired by the beauty of native Australian flora, Gerard McCabe’s Wildflower ring captures the essence of the iconic Sturt’s Desert Pea flower. The use of varying golds, accented by vibrant diamonds, are delicately and artfully arranged to recall the distinctive nature of this South Australian floral emblem. The glistening diamond acts as the centrepiece to the flower which is surrounded by satin branches and leaves.
Materials: Diamond, 18-carat rose and yellow gold

BEN TRACY

Item: Ring set
Name of piece: Diamond Fantasie
This piece was inspired by the many fancy shapes that diamonds can be fashioned into, and I wanted to showcase these special cuts in this “two into one” multi-faceted ring. Using the eternally classic form of a cluster-style ring, this particular design combines some of those random fancy shaped diamonds into a unified piece of jewellery. It evokes the emotions of classical jewellery from past eras with a present twist, taking the wearer into a timeless future.I captured the eternity of a diamond with the purity of the platinum. The diamond is suspending from the top and bottom, letting all the colours and reflections free.
Materials: Diamond, platinum

 

JAKE COUGHLAN

Item: Ring
Name of piece: The Beast
Inspiration: This piece was made for a client of ours who came to us with the idea of a gent’s wedding ring that would be unlike any other. After explaining a massive signet ring would be a good starting point, the design process started. With very little restriction in design we had the opportunity to use shapes and colours to make the highlights pop. Throughout the 150-hour make, the design changed multiple times resulting in this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Materials: Platinum, 18-carat yellow gold, Australian yellow sapphire, diamond

PETA HEYS

Item: Ring and cuff Set
Name of piece: Men’s Elements Ring & Cuff Set
Inspiration: Throughout ancient history it has been said across various cultures and spiritual avenues that air, fire, earth and water were the four aspects of human nature. The Elements Mens Cuff & Ring Set, designed by Peta Heys, bears a continuous interconnecting wire pattern featuring these four elemental symbols. The matching oxidised sterling silver set is visual affirmation for modern times – to represent inner harmony through balancing the elements within.
Materials: Oxidised sterling silver

PETER KEEP

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Ocean Wave
Inspiration: The row of diamonds across the top of the ring represents a boat’s propellers cutting through the water. The wearer can insert the titanium wave pattern of choice depending on the occasion or mood. There are many design and material options that could be made to fit under the row of diamonds. In this case, the choices presented are ‘dead calm’ (no wave pattern) and ‘gentle swell’ (rounded sections).
Materials: 18-carat gold, diamonds, titanium

SOFIA PEACOCK

Item: Bangle
Name of piece: Rainbow Serpent Cuff Bangle
Inspiration: The Rainbow Serpent Cuff Bangle is a commissioned piece and the result of inspiration received from a combination of sources. The idea to use the Aboriginal symbol of creation – the Rainbow Serpent – came during the consultation with my customer when I intuitively sensed his very strong connection with the spirits of the land. The delicious colour combination of pink and white is serendipitous: the pink represents the ochre hues of the earth, while the white gold hints of our cosmic connections.
Materials: 9-carat pink gold, 18-carat white gold

JASON REE

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Kikkou
Inspiration: The inspiration behind this piece was the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands: the armoured tortoises, their sea dwelling counterparts, the movement and colours of the water, and the flora. Being able to combine this natural geometry with flowing organic shapes was rewarding in a way that can be hard to put into words.
Materials: Australian bicolour sapphire, platinum, 18-carat green and yellow gold, 14-carat red gold

 

IAN DOUGLAS

Item: Pendant
Name of piece: Tane
Inspiration: The Tane pendant was inspired by the Maori legend of Tane. Tane, god of man and forests, decided to separate his parents, Papatuanuku, the earth mother, and Ranginui, the sky father, who were in a tight embrace causing nothing but darkness. The pendant and its elongated design represent Tane and his siblings’ journey of separating their parents to reveal the light, thus creating Earth. The rough pink sapphire represents his sibling Tawhiri Matea, who left for the sky to be with his father. The purple sapphire represents Tane’s brothers, who stayed on earth, between both of their parents. The arrow that stretches between the paua and presses into the pearl represents Tane amid the act of pushing his parents apart. The woven flax leaf feature further ties the pendant to Maori legend and culture.
Materials: Pink and purple sapphire, paua, South Sea pearl, 18-carat yellow gold

MATTHEW ELY

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Chinese Fan South Sea Pearl Ring
Inspiration: Featuring a flawless 17mm round South Sea Autore pearl, the ring has been created to showcase the natural beauty of the pearl, which has been taken from a million-dollar strand. The tapered baguette diamond fan that cups the pearl was inspired by the design of traditional Chinese wooden fans.
Materials: 18-carat white gold, South Sea pearl, diamond

MINDIKA HADDAGODA

Item: Necklace
Name of piece: Rococo
Inspiration: Influences of modern and traditional decorative elements are key features of my design style. A fantasy cut amethyst is set with innovative setting methods, demonstrating modern creative awareness. Scrolling curves and chains enchant and dazzle the pearl with the sparkliest of merry-go-rounds. The combination of sapphires and pearls in two different planes is an innovative design, which at the same time increases the functionality of the necklace.
Materials: Amethyst, South Sea pearl, diamond, Ceylon pink and blue sapphire, 18-carat yellow and white gold

STEVE RICE

Item: Ring
Name of piece: Billy “T” the Bee
Inspiration: I was watching bees and talking about them with my partner. I looked at this pearl and it looked like a good start for a bee-themed ring!
Materials: 9-carat rose and white gold, 18-carat yellow gold, blue diamond, black diamond, coral, amber

GEORGINA STALEY

Item: Pendant
Name of piece: Ostralis
Inspiration: I wanted to bring together the beauty of Paspaley Australian South Sea pearls, natural pink diamonds and Akoya cultured pearls. I am always on the look out for pearls that are not the normal shape and then I like the challenge of creating a piece of jewellery that will enhance them as they are.
Materials: 18-carat rose gold, Australian South Sea pearl, Akoya cultured pearl, Australian pink diamond

 

PAUL AMEY

Item: Pen
Name of piece: Pink Mist
Inspiration: The Pink Mist pen was inspired after seeing some enhanced Montblanc pens a friend had, and by a desire to see if I could manufacture a sophisticated and elegant writing implement for discerning women, as most pens are aimed at the male market. I’ve always loved challenging myself to make new and innovative items and the pen is my latest art piece in discovering the unexpected! With a love of skeleton clocks forming the structural basis, the idea for the colours and name came one morning watching an amazing sunrise that held pink mist.
Materials: 18-carat yellow gold, platinum, natural Keshi pearl, diamond, pink diamond

SOFIA PEACOCK

Item: Bangle
Name of piece: Rainbow Serpent Cuff Bangle
Inspiration: The Rainbow Serpent Cuff Bangle is a commissioned piece and the result of inspiration received from a combination of sources. The idea to use the Aboriginal symbol of creation – the Rainbow Serpent – came during the consultation with my customer when I intuitively sensed his very strong connection with the spirits of the land. The delicious colour combination of pink and white is serendipitous: the pink represents the ochre hues of the earth, while the white gold hints of our cosmic connections.
Materials: 9-carat pink gold, 18-carat white gold

SONJA SCHARMANN

Item: Necklace
Name of piece: My Hidden Treasures
Inspiration: The aim was to create a contemporary and bold locket that is made of precious materials and unique gemstones that invites dialogue through its unusual design and gemstone choices. It offers the wearer two optional chains: one a more industrial wire chain, and one a more esoteric tourmalinated quartz chain, with its properties combining black and white, dark and light. The latter is also believed to protect its wearer from aggression and negative vibes. The locket can contain a large volume of keepsakes and the contents are hidden from the outside. They can only be accessed by lifting the centre stone and releasing the spring to open the locket. This necklace is designed for women who know who they are, know their strengths and protect their weaknesses.
Materials: Platinum, 18-carat yellow gold, stainless steel wire, tourmalinated quartz

MATT SIME

Item: Ring
Name of piece: The Cathedral of Vasily The Blessed
Inspiration: My design has been inspired by the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, a masterpiece that has stood tall in the Red Square in Moscow for more than 450 years. The eccentric architecture showcases nine domed towers that point up to the heavens, finished with an abundance of detail and texture. The unexpected patterning and unique use of symmetry inspired my piece, and I was captivated by the playful façade of this exceptional building. The interior of my design showcases a gallery of windows and pillars that join at the centrepoint of the domed ceiling, creating a central hierarchy. The use of gold has been intentional to reference the colour of the heavens and the windows corresponds to the Neo-Platonist idea of light as a symbol of wisdom.
Materials: Blackened 9-carat yellow gold

KRISTIE VERMANDE

Item: Earrings
Name of piece: Lumière
Inspiration: The Lumière earrings are inspired by the illumination cast by a chandelier and the luminous radiating reflections it disperses. Graduated colours of yellow, peach, and rose gold stack upon one another to create rich lustre, multiple dimensions, and movement. The use of both new and old techniques creates a modern but timeless piece of wearable art.
Materials: 18-carat yellow, peach, white and rose gold, diamond

 





















(c) 2019 Gunnamatta Media