Announcing the Winners of Interweave’s Jewelry, Bead and Gem Arts Awards

Detail of Fancy Guppy, pendant, by Jill Tower, Grand Prize Winner; stone carving by Jonathan Numer; photo: Cole Rodger jewelry bead and gem arts awards

They certainly made a splash. Interweave’s new Jewelry, Bead and Gem Arts Awards were launched to inspire jewelry artists of all kinds to dig deep, have fun, and show off their best efforts. It appears many of you did just that.

ABOVE: Detail of Fancy Guppy, pendant, by Jill Tower, Grand Prize Winner; stone carving by Jonathan Numer; photo: Cole Rodger

Presented by Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and Beadwork magazines, the competition was open to any maker/designer working in traditional and other materials using any techniques. In addition to one Grand Prize, prizes were also awarded in four divisions: Jewelry, Bead; Jewelry, Non-Bead; Gems; and Other Non-Jewelry Objects.

We’ve already given you a sneak peek of our Notables: work we just had to share even though these pieces didn’t make the final cut. And we announced the winners of an Honorable Mention a couple of weeks ago. Now we’re ready to pull back the curtain and show you the division and grand prize winners.

Congratulations to the Jewelry, Bead and Gem Arts Awards Winners!

Jill Tower, Grand Prize

Fancy Guppy, pendant, 3" x 1", enamel, fine silver, sterling silver, blue chalcedony, cloisonné, fabrication. Stone carving by Jonathan Numer; photo: Cole Rodger
Fancy Guppy, pendant, 3″ x 1″, enamel, fine silver, sterling silver, blue chalcedony, cloisonné, fabrication. Stone carving by Jonathan Numer; photo: Cole Rodger

Debbie Benninger, Jewelry, Non-bead

Dragon of Mordiford, set, 6" x 3" dragon and wings; 6"x 10" with chain, copper, fine silver, brass, gold-filled and Argentium Sterling wire, silver and copper beads, labradorite, rainbow moonstone, Swarovski crystal, wire weaving, coiling, chain making. Head attached to wings with latch system and can be worn separately; earrings and tail on extension chain; photo: Debbie Benninger
Dragon of Mordiford, set, 6″ x 3″ dragon and wings; 6″x 10″ with chain, copper, fine silver, brass, gold-filled and Argentium Sterling wire, silver and copper beads, labradorite, rainbow moonstone, Swarovski crystal, wire weaving, coiling, chain making. Head attached to wings with latch system and can be worn separately; earrings and tail on extension chain; photo: Debbie Benninger

John Dyer, Gems

John Dyer Gems, Twirling Trillion cut, 18.2mm, lime citrine, flat and concave faceting; photo: Lydia Dyer jewelry bead and gem arts awards
John Dyer Gems, Twirling Trillion cut, 18.2mm, lime citrine, flat and concave faceting; photo: Lydia Dyer

Edgar Lopez, Jewelry, Bead

Edgar Lopez Designs, Caona, necklace, 43.5 x 16.5, Miyuki round seed beads and Delicas, 6mm round Swarovski, 4mm Swarovski bicones, Swarovski fancy round, oval, and drops, cubic right angle weave, peyote stitch, right, angle weave, square stitch, netting variation. Caona means gold flower in the Taino language; design inspired by a native princess from the Caribbean; photo: Edgar Nuñez jewelry bead and gem arts awards
Edgar Lopez Designs, Caona, necklace, 43.5 x 16.5, Miyuki round seed beads and Delicas, 6mm round Swarovski, 4mm Swarovski bicones, Swarovski fancy round, oval, and drops, cubic right angle weave, peyote stitch, right, angle weave, square stitch, netting variation. Caona means gold flower in the Taino language; design inspired by a native princess from the Caribbean; photo: Edgar Nuñez

Cairn Aran, Non-Jewelry Object

Young Widow, self portrait, 64-1/2” x 31-1/2”, beads, found objects, thread, canvas, velvet ribbon, bead embroidery. Before my husband died, he made me promise to keep making art. This is the first piece I didn’t get to show him. At sundown, I still listen for his work boots; photo: Aldo Rominger
Young Widow, self portrait, 64-1/2” x 31-1/2”, beads, found objects, thread, canvas, velvet ribbon, bead embroidery. “Before my husband died, he made me promise to keep making art. This is the first piece I didn’t get to show him. At sundown, I still listen for his work boots.” Photo: Aldo Rominger

Take Another Look

You’ll find more about these winners in the upcoming Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist November/December 2020 and Beadwork December 2020/January 2021.

Thank you to everyone who answered our challenge and joined in. We hope to see even more of you enter next year — details coming soon!

Merle White is Editor-in-Chief of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.