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The craft&design Selected Awards 2016 - Specialist Judges

craft&design Selected Awards

Rebecca Skeels
Rebecca Skeels
Jewellery & Precious Metal Category

Rebecca Skeels
Post Graduate Subject Leader for the School of Craft and Design, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham
www.skeels.co.uk

I have been running my own business since 1994, with a roller coaster of challenges, fun, learning and changes. I continuously expand my collections with research and experimentation, taking opportunity of new, developing and different materials producing ranges and one-off pieces to complement my existing work as well as working to commission.

After completing a residency and solo show at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Berkshire, my work has developed into a 'portfolio career' with a multitude of aspects within craft and design. I am now based in Farnham, Surrey, where I am the Post Graduate Subject Leader for the School of Craft and Design at the University for the Creative Arts, managing the Masters programmes in Ceramics, Glass, Jewellery, Metalwork, Product Design and Textiles. Alongside this I am a Senior Tutor for the undergraduate Glass, Ceramics, Jewellery, Metalwork BA honours and The Jewellery and Metalwork Specialist Tutor at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. I have a real passion for teaching and learning as well as sharing knowledge and information.

My passion for teaching and sharing also led me to become one of the founding members of the Jewellers and Silversmiths Network (JSN), which in turn led to managing and running a symposium/exchange with the JSN members and the Critique Collective Network in San Francisco in 2010. The JSN is a group run by its members for its members with the aim of sharing knowledge and information within the group as well as with the pubic.

I am a member of various organisations, including the Board of Directors for the Association for Contemporary Jewellery. The ACJ is devoted to the promotion, representation, understanding and development of contemporary jewellery. As a Trustee for the New Ashgate Gallery Trust in Farnham. I get involved in a variety of activities for example the Rising Stars annual symposium and exhibition. The trust is a non-profit educational charity, which promotes contemporary visual arts and crafts to as wide a public as possible. More recently I joined the Executive Committee for the Hand Engravers Association, whose aim is to reignite an interest and understanding of this rich and diverse skill. In 2015 I led the 'Engraving for All' event that included workshops, exhibition and lectures.


I am thrilled to have been asked to judge the Jewellery and Precious Metal Category and I am really looking forward to seeing all of the applicants' ideas and work. I hope to see evidence that the ideas, research and development has been pushed and explored to show resolution and originality within the design, as well as putting making skills, techniques and processes into practice to produce a high quality and well finished work.

Judge’s Statement

Gold Award: Phil Barnes

Judge's statement:  

"Phil Barnes uses traditional skills of hand engraving and enamelling to produce outstanding pieces of jewellery and silversmithing. The craftsmanship of every single piece puts him well into the Gold category of this award, with clever use of colour and carved silver to create reflective patterns that decorate the surface of the pieces. The colours and patterns highlight the forms and shapes of the overall works, flowing around and over the surfaces with ease, highlighted with accents of gold and semi precious stones.

Each piece is made to the highest standard with every detail showing real care and attention, the range of colours in some is no mean feat and shows a high level of skill in the process that Phil Barnes selects from to achieve his designs and ideas. Phil Barnes’s work is heavily process led, however recent works show how his own style and interests are being bought into his work by pushing his ideas and imagination. 

Phil Barnes’s business includes enamelling and hand engraving for the trade as well as making work to commission, this variety of work allows the time to develop designs and ideas for personal work. Valuing time to design and make work from own inspirations show enthusiasm, dedication and focus, continually learning from each experience to push new ideas. Seeing how Phil Barnes’s work develops and how more of his passions and inspirations feed into his work will be a treat." Rebecca Skeels, April 2016.

 

Silver Award: Katy Luxton

 
Judge's statement:

"Katy Luxon has developed her work from images drawn and developed through the old toy and drawing machine Spirograph, creating a nostalgic, but elegant feel to the work. The pieces are a clever mix of digitally made components and handmade structures to take advantage of the colours in nylon and the reflective use of silver. The original drawings are brought into three dimensions through sculptural use of the wire and the play with the software drawings, allowing the work to change at every angle it is viewed from.

The efforts of drawing in three dimensions is a challenge and the time that is required should never be underestimated, requiring a good eye and a good handle on what the final work will look like. More skill emerges when the hand and digital processes are combined. Katy Luxon has a real continuity to all of her work that has definite potential to develop into even more new and exciting ranges. As her skills and confidence grow it will be fabulous to see new work emerge really pushing this combination of processes to achieve her ideas and designs.

Katy Luxon is continually taking opportunities to help her develop her business ideas and plans and clearly enjoys collaborative work as well as assisting others through various projects and schemes. It would be wonderful to see how the other interests begin to feed into and influence the personal collections of jewellery and design work in the future."
Rebecca Skeels, April 2016. 

 

Silver Award: A Wolf and I

 Judge's statement:

"Jesa and Al Marshall design and make a large range of work that includes commissions as well as their own collections, showing a huge variety of skills and processes. Their personally designed pieces have a strong narrative and sense of storytelling, creating jewellery that combines silver and semi precious stones to achieve their aims of their design idea into lockets and charms. 

Literal imagery of plant and animal life is used to achieve their fairy tale narratives giving a more rustic style to their own collections, bringing in their personalities and inspirations into their pieces. Many processes are combined in each piece to achieve the design aims rather than to be process led. 

Jesa and Al Marshall have developed a business model that allows them to take advantage of different aspects of the jewellery world, from teaching, running workshops, making to commission and sharing ideas with customers as well as designing and making their own pieces. This busy lifestyle shows their passions for jewellery and allows them to develop their work and ideas for a long time to come. It will be intriguing to see how their work develops as their inspirations change and their skills and eye for detail matures," Rebecca Skeels, April 2016.

 

Additional comment:

"As well as the great work the three winners have developed their knowledge and skills in various ways, finding a journey that has suited and worked for them to aid a path of continuous development. These methods and accomplishments are inspirational to other makers, encouraging us all to find and take our own personal journeys to develop sustainable business models as well as develop a personal style and create innovatively designed and well made work.  

Each winner allows time to constantly push designs and skills as well as maintain a business year on year; this is a huge challenge and something we can all aspire to do. The winners are clearly embracing everything that comes with being a maker, enjoying the creativity and allowing it to become the main part o their lives. It is an incredible privilege to look through everything they do and create and it is exciting wonder what their next creations will be." Rebecca Skeels, April 2016.

 

Finalists:

Robyn Cove

Kerry Newth

Cathy Timbrell

 

Judge's general statement: 

"The shortlisted makers should feel extremely proud to be selected by the public and take the opportunity to show off their work as well as push and develop their ideas to keep us excited. It will be great to see how each maker continues their journey from here with their businesses, own development and creativity.

Selecting three makers to win awards was a big challenge with a broad range of styles and inspirations to choose from. Craftsmanship, innovation, design development, as well as business and future plans were taken into consideration. Makers were selected on the basis that they are developing their own style and innovative designs with good skills, as well as creating a sustainable business model. 

Each of them deserves congratulations, all are at various stages of their career, but are developing a unique personality through their work and creativity. The economic climate is challenging and developing a solid business model is essential, allowing time to develop and create new work is hard, but each maker here is achieving it and has set themselves up to continue to do so for some time to come. 

 

The chance to select work for this prize is an honour and hopefully encourages many more to enter this competition in future years." Rebecca Skeels, April 2016.

 
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