I was absolutely delighted that my necklace 'Precious' won the Grand Prix Award in the Silver Accessories Contest 2015 in Japan!!! I feel very honoured and proud, and it is certainly a great confidence boost!
The full title of my award is
Award of Minister's encouragement at the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Grand Prix)
How wonderful is that!!! :)
I was so surprised and really was speechless when I was told I had won...not least because the piece so nearly didn't even get entered! It took me longer to create than any other piece I've made before and I encountered an assortment of problems in the process and very nearly gave up on it.
But I have a song that I love with very special wording...
'When you're doing what you love
And loving what you do
You won't start nothing
That you don't see through.
You've gotta have patience
And a whole lot of faith...'
...and I am so glad I did have patience and faith, and got there. I learnt new skills and overcame the problems and in the end I managed to get it posted on the very last day for the deadline! Phew!!
The necklace is made using Art Clay Silver and the textures are my own designs. The idea was to make two very contrasting sides to the necklace. For the centre piece I pierced out areas on one side and all around the edges of the piece.
On the side for enamelling I carved textures into the cells. On the other side I added 2mm lab rubies.
Then I added 3mm lab garnets on the reverse of the side to be enamelled.
Here is the piece nearly ready to go into the kiln.
The entry forms asked for a description of the piece. These were my thoughts and the concept of it...
A reversible pendant showing two different sides of human characteristics.
A joyful, happy front faces outwards. The rigid lines are softened by the muted warm colours and the brighter crisper cool colours. The gold highlights sparkle and are partially worn away as if aged with time. A relaxed and comfortable feeling.
Facing inwards is a steely grey semi-organic cage surrounding a heart of gold. Bright gemstones show passion. A strong will with kindness and determination.
Life changes daily. Sometimes the joyfulness is hidden inwards and then the heart of gold shines out brightly to the world.
Once the piece was fired and polished I enamelled it, added 24k gold by the Keum Boo method and patinated it to make the textures really stand out.
To finish the necklace I made some twisted links using silver wire. I wanted to extend the design of the centre piece around the necklace so I made some chain links which were made using a combination of Art Clay Silver and fine silver wire. I enamelled them and interspersed them with the other links, and then made a matching enamelled toggle clasp to finish the piece off.
Making this piece did turn into a labour of determination mixed with a passion to finish it! :)
At the end of October this year there is an exhibition of all the competition entries in Tokyo and an Awards Ceremony, and I'm very excited that I'm going to be there!!!