Rio Grande has issued the call for entries for the 2017 Saul Bell Design Award competition. Now in its 17th year, the international competition encourages designers to push the limits of their skills and imaginations as they create original jewelry art.
“These are people who care deeply and passionately about our craft; most of them have dedicated a lifetime to honing their skills,” says Alan Bell, President of Rio Grande, which hosts the annual competition. “Everyone in the industry benefits from their design leadership and the excitement they bring to the jewelry and metal arts—the new directions and possibilities that emanate from them, and spread to the wider jewelry world.”
There are now eight categories in the 2017 competition: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium® Silver, Metal Clay, Enamel, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials and two Emerging Jewelry Artist categories. The two Emerging Jewelry Artist categories are open to designers who are 18 years of age and younger and 22 years of age and younger as of Oct. 27, 2016.
One of the jewelry industry’s foremost design events, this competition is judged by jewelers and industry leaders who are masters of their craft. They look for originality of design, successful incorporation of materials, wear ability (except in the Hollowware category) and quality of workmanship as they examine each finalist piece both by hand and on model.
“I consider the Saul Bell competition a breath of fresh air, you never know what to expect, other than it will be authentic and something you have never seen before, often born of genius.” Says Zoltan David, who took first place for 2016 in Alternative Metals/Materials. “It is a celebration of the jewelry arts, unconstrained by tradition or conventionality. It is the ‘Tip of the Spear’ as a jewelry competition.”
Winning the award helps propel jewelers to new heights in their careers and to global levels of recognition and acclaim within the industry. The winning pieces will be promoted throughout the industry and displayed in the exclusive Plumb Club during the 2017 JCK Las Vegas show.
“I have been fortunate enough to win many of the jewelry industry’s top design awards, and I can say that the Saul Bell Award is the most important to me,” says Ryan Roberts, multi-year winner. “No other competition covers so many aspects of what it takes to make a great piece of jewelry. Winning a Saul Bell truly means that you’ve had your work scrutinized by the industry’s top designers, jewelers, and jewelry media professionals. I feel it is the most important design competition in the business.”
Entries are being accepted July 18–October 27, 2016. Finalist pieces will be due by January 26, 2017. The entry form and detailed information about the competition, including submission guidelines and information about each of the categories, are available at saulbellaward.com.