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The craft&design Selected Awards 2015 - Specialist Judges

craft&design Selected Awards
 

Kath Libbert
Kath Libbert
Jewellery & Precious Metal Category

Kath Libbert
Leading Contemporary Jewellery and Silversmithing Gallery owner
www.kathlibbertjewellery.co.uk

I am delighted to have been asked to be a judge for the Jewellery and Precious Metals Category – a very exciting challenge! Before I say something about how I plan to approach the difficult task of deciding who to choose as the winners, I want to give you a bit of background on the contemporary jewellery and silversmithing gallery that I set up in 1996 and have run with great pleasure ever since.

The gallery is set within Salts Mill, a magnificent Victorian textile mill now a World Heritage Site and home to the world’s largest collection of works by the artist David Hockney – who was born in nearby Bradford. www.saltsmill.org.uk. We specialise solely in contemporary jewellery, silver and metal smithing selecting work from UK and Europe and occasionally from further a field. The aim is to showcase the best in new talent and also to offer collecting opportunities of work by renowned jewellers. Much of the work on show crosses the boundaries between fine art, sculpture and fashion and jewellery.

I am often asked how I go about selecting what to show in the gallery from the myriad talented jewellers and silversmiths who regularly present their work to me. The honest answer is that it has always been very much based on a clear personal aesthetic and this is extremely hard to put into words! If I have to try then I would say that firstly, work has to be extremely well crafted. Next, if it is jewellery, it has to be wearable, so it should have a strong relationship to the body and look great, even if this is not in a conventional way.

After these two conditions are met it’s about surprising me, provoking me, presenting me with something intriguingly beautiful that I think visitors to the gallery will love. Sometimes it is jewellery made from traditional materials but working with them in unconventional novel ways, or new materials that would not normally be considered for jewellery, transformed into wonderful creations. At other times it is an exquisite gemstone set in a striking way in a ring or necklace that floats my boat.

For me the most exciting part of my job is having new work presented to me, discovering talents – so I can’t wait to see who is chosen in the public vote and then to play my part in making the final selection of the winners for this year’s prestigious craft&design Awards. Good luck!

Judge’s Statement

Naomi Nevill Gold Award Jewellery & Precious Metals
"What a treat to be introduced to Naomi Nevill’s wonderfully vibrant world of lustrous enamel jewellery all executed with supreme skill.
I love her confident use of colour, the range of ways she makes use of enamelling, for instance her intricate shimmering cloisonné work, the variety of compositions she creates, from the detailed geometric patterns in her Microscopic Series of brooches, which I particularly like and would personally choose to wear, to the organic flow of her Rock Pool neckpiece which shows off her mastery not only of enamelling but of repoussé techniques too. However, her piece de resistance is the awe inspiring Lizard necklace, the detailing is superb, the colours are perfect and the composition works well as a wearable stand out piece.
Naomi is a new young talent with great flair, talent and confidence and I feel sure she will go from strength to strength!"

Mark Nuell Silver Award Jewellery & Precious Metals
"If I had two gold awards Mark would have had one too! He is a supremely accomplished goldsmith crafting the most exquisite jewellery set with stunning precious gems as the focal point to each of his unique pieces. His interesting background as the son of a sapphire miner, his training and experience as a gemstone cutter and as a jeweller, and his eye for what makes a truly beautiful composition is why for me his work is so very special. I have known Mark for many years and his pieces have a timeless elegance whilst also being extremely contemporary, a true mark! of great design."

Lydia Niziblian Silver Award Jewellery & Precious Metals
"Lydia Niziblian’s work has a raw energy that is engaging both visually and emotionally – silver rings and chains roughly hewn, darkly oxidised with highlights of gold Keum-boo and the occasional flash of a gemstone – artefacts that span time. Jewellery is always a personal affair but this seems to be at the very heart of how Lydia develops her work both when commissioned by a client to create a piece that connects deeply to them and in her wider collections which take inspiration from the challenges within her own family life. A very interesting talent to watch and a great one to wear!"

Anna K Baldwin, Claire Troughton & Cathy Timbrell, Finalists Jewellery & Precious Metals
"Three Highly Commended! How hard it is to choose winners when all six finalists are creating such fantastic work. I love the oh so wearable perfectly proportioned coiled, hammered silver and gold rings and bangles crafted by Anna Baldwin. Clare Troughton’s sensitive nature inspired collections show her great skill as both a maker and a designer – even her production ranges retain many detailed hand made elements. Cathy Timbrell’s accomplished pieces arise from her tireless experimenting with all sorts of techniques and take inspiration from hidden beauty found for instance in beach detritus and decaying walls. I very much look forward to seeing more work from all these three very talented makers."

 
2015 Judges »
 
Ian W. Wallace Craft Insurance

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Congratulations to Charlotte Wilkinson! We'll tell you more about Charlotte and her spectacular glass in our May issue of craft&design Online!

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