Notable Entries from Interweave’s Jewelry, Bead and Gem Arts Awards

Bruce McKay, cuff bracelet, 2.8″ wide, 2″ tall, 2.4″ deep, 14K white gold, 18K yellow gold, natural Kingman spiderweb turquoise; photo: Dylan Brody

The editorial staff of Beadwork and Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazines had a lot of fun judging this competition, and we want to give our heartfelt thanks to all of the entrants for participating! There were some tough calls to be made, and while we would love to show off every single entry, we had to limit ourselves. So, we’re sharing some notable pieces that we fell in love with but couldn’t offer a prize to. We encourage you to check out the work from all of these fabulously talented artists and support their work!

You Can’t Miss These

Gem designer and cutter John Dyer calls this cut the Super Trillion. I call this amethyst example Simply Delicious. If you’re looking for a gem that’s richly colored, bright, lively, and mesmerizing, here’s one. The design and execution take full advantage of what this piece of amethyst has to offer. Eye popping and breath stealing aren’t what everyone wants in a piece of jewelry or any of its components — it’s not what I want all the time, either. But if you can get a stone to sing like this, why do anything else?

John Dyer, Super Trillion, Brazilian amethyst, 105.01cts,, 31.4mm x 31.4mm x 31.4mm; photo: Lydia Dyer
John Dyer, Super Trillion, Brazilian amethyst, 105.01cts,, 31.4mm x 31.4mm x 31.4mm; photo: Lydia Dyer

At a gem show, I never fail to head toward a tray of cut stones with some interesting optical play. There’s something about how facets or gems like opal give us a true light show, but I also love intense color and vivid patterning in opaque stones. Not only does Bruce McKay’s cuff offer a great display of Kingman spiderweb turquoise, each inlaid piece has its own undulating surface. I can get lost in there meandering through its shifting terrain and hues.

Bruce McKay, cuff bracelet, 2.8″ wide, 2″ tall, 2.4″ deep, 14K white gold, 18K yellow gold, natural Kingman spiderweb turquoise; photo: Dylan Brody jewelry awards
Bruce McKay, cuff bracelet, 2.8″ wide, 2″ tall, 2.4″ deep, 14K white gold, 18K yellow gold, natural Kingman spiderweb turquoise; photo: Dylan Brody

I’m not always a magpie, but I never stray for too long!

–Merle White
Editor-in-Chief, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Great Art and Great Skill

With so many great entries, judging this contest was hard! But there were definitely some that caught my eye. One in particular was “The Mask,” a very cool and funky face that was entered in the Non-Jewelry Objects category. Not only was it something I could see displaying in my own home, it incorporated great metalwork, stone cutting, and stone setting. Since I was very diligent about doing “blind” judging without looking at the artists who submitted the pieces, I didn’t realize until judging was almost done that this piece was made by one of our favorite contributors to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, Jeff Fulkerson — although I should have! Well done, Jeff.

Jeff Fulkerson, non-jewelry object, 5.5" W x 5.5" L x 8" H, copper, sterling silver, brass, stainless steel, rhyolite, ocean jasper, Indian paint stone, jasper, Sonara sunrise; photo: Elizabeth Hale
Jeff Fulkerson, non-jewelry object, 5.5″ W x 5.5″ L x 8″ H, copper, sterling silver, brass, stainless steel, rhyolite, ocean jasper, Indian paint stone, jasper, Sonara sunrise; photo: Elizabeth Hale

I was also very taken with an entry in the Jewelry — Non-Bead category, “Synchronicity” by Rachel Morris. I’m a huge fan of hollow form work, and this is an excellent example. The sterling and fine silver definitely show off the sparkling London Blue topaz stones. It’s really awesome work!

Rachel Morris, necklace, 18" L x 1.5" W x 1/2" H, Sterling and fine silver, London Blue topaz and green tourmaline; photo: Ralph Gabriner
Rachel Morris, necklace, 18″ L x 1.5″ W x 1/2″ H, Sterling and fine silver, London Blue topaz and green tourmaline; photo: Ralph Gabriner

–Karla Rosenbusch
Managing Editor, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

A Fun Approach to Jewelry

One of the trends I noticed in this year’s contest entries was jewelry with a sense of humor. Pieces with a little something extra definitely caught my eye. Magic Charm Brooches (Series of Nine) in the Jewelry, Non-Bead Category, made me smile. I love the way whimsical found objects – a tiny rubber chicken! – are combined with traditional metalsmithing techniques. I didn’t realize until later that these magical pieces were made by Chelsea Stone www.EyeCandyJewelry.com. I subscribe to her newsletter and enjoy her colorful approach to making jewelry.

Chelsea Stone, brooches, Sizes vary, most approximately 1 inch in size, Silver, copper, brass, enamel, lamp worked glass, gemstones, found objects; photo: Larry Sanders
Chelsea Stone, brooches, Sizes vary, most approximately 1 inch in size, Silver, copper, brass, enamel, lamp worked glass, gemstones, found objects; photo: Larry Sanders

Game Puzzle #10 by Chapin Dimond in the Jewelry, Non-Bead Category, puts a playful spin on a pretty amulet. The smooth diamond sphere moves freely inside the pendant, with the goal of getting the diamond inside the gold “C.” I like the idea that anyone viewing the pendant would think it’s simply a design choice but the wearer knows that it’s more than that.

Chapin Dimond, necklace, 21mm diameter x 6mm thick, sterling silver, 18k yellow, polished diamond sphere 0.37ct, sapphire crystal; photo: Kathryn Hill jewelry awards
Chapin Dimond, necklace, 21mm diameter x 6mm thick, sterling silver, 18k yellow, polished diamond sphere 0.37ct, sapphire crystal; photo: Kathryn Hill

–Katie Hacker
Editor of Beadwork & Host of Jewelry Artist podcast

Awesome Causes and Intriguing Materials

I love the Ice Bridge pendant, which is part of Margaret Graine’s Polar Bear Collection. This collection was designed to support the World Wildlife Foundation’s effort to study the impact of global warming on natural habitats of polar bears. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of jewelry in this collection goes to the WWF. What a beautiful and generous tribute, Margaret, thank you!

Jennifer Inge’s Out of This World necklace stood out to me as a piece I would love to wear. The center stone, cut by Greg Genovese, was their first successful true black “Midnight Black” titanium vapor deposition on drusy quartz. Some of the other materials intrigue and mystify me: meteorites, black sapphire, and stingray skin. Well done, Jennifer!

Jennifer Inge, necklace, 13” H x 5.5” W, titanium coated druse, meteorites, black sapphire, mother of pearl, quartz crystal, turquoise, blue diamond, stingray skin, sterling silver; photo: Chris Genovese
Jennifer Inge, necklace, 13” H x 5.5” W, titanium coated druse, meteorites, black sapphire, mother of pearl, quartz crystal, turquoise, blue diamond, stingray skin, sterling silver; photo: Chris Genovese

–Meredith Steele
Technical Editor, Beadwork

Stay tuned to learn more about the honorable mentions, category winners, and grand prize winner in our competition. It was such a pleasure judging these amazing pieces, thank you to everybody who participated!

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