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GJEPC unearths the hidden gems of the Indian jewellery industry through ‘The Artisan Awards 2022’

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GJEPC unearths the hidden gems of the Indian jewellery industry through ‘The Artisan Awards 2022’

Mumbai: The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) announced the winners of the 5th edition of The Artisan Awards, powered by GIA, at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai. The awards were given away by Chief Guest David Bennett, former Worldwide Chairman, International Jewellery Division, Sotheby’s, along with Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Vipul Shah, Vice Chairman, GJEPC; Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions, Marketing & Business Development, GJEPC; and Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director, GIA India.

GJEPC conceptualised The Artisan Awards in 2014 with the sole purpose of motivating designers and artisans who are the backbone of this industry. The Awards provide a platform for jewellery designers to push their creativity and design aesthetics to showcase world-class pieces. Over the years, the Artisan Awards has been attracting a lot of entries not just from India, but all parts of the world – thus establishing its prestigious leadership position in the jewellery industry.

At the Artisan Awards 2022, in all 9 awards were given away, 3 in each category of the theme – The Collectors. The theme was based on 3 iconic and legendary women who were known for their incredible style; insatiable hunger for beautiful, one-of-a-kind, signature jewels – a) Elizabeth Taylor, b) Barbara Hutton, and c) Wallis Simpson. The competition received 570 entries from India and across the world including UK, UAE, Egypt, Turkey, and Russia. The entries were evaluated based on the versatility, technicality, and adaptability of classic curations in today’s time.

Eminent personalities from the world of fashion and jewellery were part of the jury for Artisan Awards which included former Journalist and Columnist Gayatri Rangachari, bespoke Jewellery Consultant Arundhati De, avant-garde Jewellery Designer heading VAK Jewels Vishal Kothari, and GIA India Managing Director Sriram Natarajan. The international jury members were award-winning jewellery designer and professor Reena Ahluwalia and former Worldwide Chairman, International Jewellery Division, Sotheby’s David Bennett, who judged the pieces virtually. The technical jury for Artisan 2022 consisted of Vikram Singh, Creative Head of Walking Tree and Devinder Layal, Jewellery Artist and Educationist. Nisha Jhangiani was the curator and conceptuliser for the Artisan Awards 2022.

As a prelude to the Artisan Awards, a luxury roundtable #AllForArt, was organised by GJEPC which witnessed industry stalwarts like Gayatri Rangachari, Vishal Kothari, Milan Chokshi, and David Bennett as panellists, moderated by Jewellery Historian Deepti Sasidharan. The eminent personalities discussed the journey of jewels that has transcended since the royal era and how millennials have adapted these fine heirlooms to their urban lifestyle. Jewellery is no longer meant to be ‘locked’ and kept aside for special occasions but transformed into new and wearable heirlooms. In present times, youngsters are remaking old jewellery according to the current trends and designs. The talk also highlighted the importance of giving budding jewellery designers a premier platform like The Artisan Awards to give wings to their talent and curations.

Chief Guest David Bennett, former Worldwide Chairman, International Jewellery Division, Sotheby’s, and Co-founder of digital platform www.understanding-jewellery.com, said, “I was thrilled to see the finalists’ innovative creations brought to life in precious materials. I am extremely happy to have witnessed this edition of The Artisan Awards, having personally auctioned the jewellery of the Duchess of Windsor. It is exciting to see so much talent in the area of contemporary jewellery making, shot through with influences from Hollywood, royalty and high society. It’s been a privilege to have had the opportunity to experience the journey from the initial designs on paper to the stunning three-dimensional jewels.”

Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “This has been a year of revival and resilience. Today, our country is at the helm of the jewellery business, which is well known for our exceptional designing and manufacturing talent pool which has created renowned jewellery pieces cherished across the world. The Artisan Awards is one of the main initiatives to showcase India’s design prowess and position the country as one of the main design destinations for jewellery. Through Awards, the GJEPC has been encouraging designers to think fearlessly and shape the future of design with unbridled creativity. This year too, we received an overwhelming response despite the tough theme of styling the three famous style icons of yesteryear whose jewellery collections were unparalleled. The Council has also been nurturing previous winning designers by providing them international exposure and opportunities to intern with leading brands in the industry.”

Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions, Marketing & Business Development, GJEPC commented, “The Artisan Awards is the only platform in the country which allows young talent to unleash their creative ambitions in their chosen field. Year after year, we have witnessed extraordinary designs that are relevant to the challenging themes that we put up. And each time, we have been surprised by the entries that surpass our expectations, thus underscoring the level of talent this industry possesses. The Collectors is a theme that dares designers to think uniquely. Styling the three icons was not an easy task, especially since the women were jewellery collectors with an exceptional eye for design and detail. To conceptualise sophisticated creations, one requires the ability to have design empathy to visualise concepts that were in alignment with the aesthetics of these divas. With many more seasons still to come, The Artisan organised by GJEPC is well on its way to becoming a benchmark for ground-breaking thinking in the jewellery space.”

Gayatri Rangachari Shah said, “I’m extremely impressed. All the pieces were innovative, and it was wonderful to see the designs come to life from the sketches to actual pieces. The quality, workmanship, design, and execution were impressive. All the participants have done a spectacular job. It was heartening to see the amount of talent we have in the country and across the world. I’d like to convey to the participants to keep going, even if you may win or not win.”

Arundhati De, commented, “I am happy to see the transformation from sketch to reality of each piece. Overall, the execution has been quite in line with the sketches, despite the constraints that the participants may have had. For all the young designers, I’d like to advise them to find their own voice, their own design sensibility and stick to it. Only those designers who use qualitative material, quality workmanship and a look and vibe that is distinctly their own, will eventually stand out.”

Sriram Natarajan said, “The final designer pieces showcased in The Collectors theme are exquisite, and one can observe the immense amount of work that has gone into making them. The designs are impressive. The pieces in the Wallis Simpson section were interesting and had more variety and uniqueness. By far, it was the toughest segment to judge. The quality of manufacturing was very good, and so was the detailing and precision. It is encouraging to know that India has enormous talent. With the rapidly changing consumer demand, talent, too, is evolving, and we are certainly observing this in the entries this year.”

Vishal Kothari said, “It’s been a challenging competition for the participants. They had to stay true to the theme and get into the mindset of what these famous personalities would’ve worn. And the designers did a great job. The Wallis Simpson segment excited me – every piece was well made, conceptualised, and finished. For me, it was a challenge to select the best three. I’m happy to note that India has a lot of talent, enthusiasm, and one can tell from the way they have conceptualised the jewels, the gems they have used, and incorporated 3D effects that have brought to life every piece. Indian manufacturing has improved swiftly in the last decade. The finish is of the international level. It’s exciting to see India raising the bar to the same level as Italy and France.”

Nisha Jhangiani said, “Since the last few years, we are seeing a lot of innovation and creativity in the entries from India and various countries. After much deliberation, we thought it helps to make the theme more challenging but keeping in mind that referencing should be easily available. This time, we wanted to push the boundaries a little more. As for the final round, we definitely saw some entries that met the brief. For me, that’s a great thing, as we are trying to discover the best in the business.”

Reena Ahluwalia said, “I could see the vision, passion, and hard work that designers poured into their final designs. Congratulations winners on your incredible success. The GJEPC has done a terrific job in creating an active platform that will keep encouraging and celebrating design talent.”

Apart from attractive cash prizes, the winners of the Artisan Awards will be offered internship with top brands in the industry. Moreover, the winning pieces will be showcased at international trade shows under the India Gallery organised by GJEPC.

ELIZABETH TAYLOR             

Winner

Pendant designed by Pratiksha Gandle; manufactured by Reliance Retail Ltd.(Reliance Jewels)

First runner-up Brooch+Pendant designed by Jayaprabu B; manufactured by Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers

Second runner-up Necklace+Bracelet designed by Divya Banjare; manufactured by Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers.

WALLIS SIMPSON

Winner

Brooch designed by Dip Sit; manufactured by KGK Creations India Pvt. Ltd

First runner-up Ring designed by Vishnupada Das; manufactured by Popley Eternal

Second runner-up Earring designed by Suryadeb Ghosh; manufactured by Gehna Jewellers Pvt. Ltd.

BARBARA HUTTON

Winner

Necklace designed by Shrutika Shinde; manufactured by Walking Tree Ventures

First runner-up Ring designed by Pooja Mohnani; manufactured by International Institute of Gemology

Second runner-up Brooch designed by Ruchira Singh; manufactured by Walking Tree India Pvt. Ltd.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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