Recognizing Distinction in Jewelry Design
Design matters. Even when you don’t notice it, it surrounds you.
And design well done has the power to order the world.
To elevate common elements to a higher purpose.
The Saul Bell Design Award honors that moment
when a brilliant idea meets a keen set of skills.
The moment when exceptional design happens.
What is design to you? When you create a piece that tells your story, what will it say?
The Saul Bell Design Award competition is your opportunity to design for an audience of your peers, jewelers who know the effort that goes into crafting an exceptional design. After all, people who will never sit at a bench judge your work every day. This is your chance to have it judged by jewelers who understand design and the painstaking hours that go into ensuring it is seamless. Because every joint must be invisible. Every stone level. Every proportion flawless. You know this and so do the judges of the Saul Bell Design Award.
You design every day. Why not enter the design competition judged by jewelers who understand the nuance and power of your craft?
The Saul Bell Design Award—recognizing distinction in jewelry design
Design is every element relative to the next.
Choose a category from below. This will be your foundation and must compose the majority of your piece. Once you’ve decided on a category, build your design using any additional stones, materials and methods you choose. The only limitation we place on you is that the end result must be wearable jewelry (unless you are entering the hollowware/art objects category). After all, it’s your unique story as a designer we’re so excited to see.
We’re looking for an original vision, a fresh take on traditional methods and materials and a mastery of your craft. We want you to stretch the boundaries of your capabilities as a designer and as a jeweler.
The Saul Bell Design Award competition is open to jewelers and hollowware artists from across the globe. The only requirement is that you possess a mastery of your craft and an original point of view. You may enter as many pieces as you wish, though you can only be a finalist once per category. Employees of Rio Grande or of any affiliate company and their immediate family members may not participate. Entrants in the Emerging Artist category must be 21 years of age or younger at the entry deadline, November 28, 2014.
We cannot accept entries from countries the U.S. is prohibited from doing business with by the State Department. International entrants who reach the final round and need to send us a finished piece must fill out a commercial invoice. Send in three copies with your finished piece. Keep one copy for your records. You must also ship your finished piece from and back to the same country. If you cannot do this, you must arrange your own international return shipping and pay for all related expenses.
We cannot accept entries from the following countries: Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Burma, Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), North Korea, Syria, Balkan Countries (Serbia, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo), Belarus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Iraq and Zimbabwe.
Your final design must be wearable jewelry (unless you are entering the hollowware/art objects category) and it must be composed of a majority of the material specified in your chosen category. The piece must be your original design and cannot have won an award in any other competition prior to entry.
If you have already entered your piece in another competition, you may also enter it in the Saul Bell Design Award. You will need to let us know by the date of the first round of judging (October 16, 2014) if the piece won in another competition. If it did, we will remove it from the judging and refund your entry fee.
Entries will be judged on:
October 8, 2014: A digital file of your piece, which can be in the form of a drawing, rendering or photograph, is due (except the Emerging Artist category).
October 16, 2014: First round of judging is held.
October 28, 2014: The five finalists in each category are notified.
November 28, 2014: A digital file for the Emerging Artist category is due. This can be in the form of a drawing, rendering or photograph.
January 30, 2015: Finished finalist pieces are due for all categories.
February 26, 2015: Final round of judging is held for all categories.
March 2, 2015: Winners are notified.
May 17, 2015: The Saul Bell Design Award ceremony honoring winners and finalists takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
June 2015: Winning pieces go on display at the Plumb Club at JCK, Las Vegas.
July 2015: All winning pieces will be returned to finalists.
The Saul Bell Design Award is one of the industry's most respected international jewelry competitions. Winning it helps propel jewelers to new heights in their careers and new levels of recognition and acclaim for their work.
First and second place winning pieces will be promoted through a variety of media and industry events, including display in the exclusive Plumb Club during the 2015 JCK, Las Vegas show.
First place in each category (except Emerging Artist): $2,000 Rio Grande gift certificate
Second place in each category (except Emerging Artist): $1,000 Rio Grande Gift certificate
First place in the Emerging Artist category: $500 Rio Grande gift certificate (and a matching award for the winner’s instructor or school)
Second place in the Emerging Artist category: $250 Rio Grande gift certificate (and a matching award for the winner’s instructor or school)
Third place in the Emerging Artist category: $100 Rio Grande gift certificate (and a matching reward for the winner’s instructor or school)
First and second place winners (except for Emerging Artist winners) will receive free travel and lodging to attend the awards celebration in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Winners are encouraged to bring a guest to the awards celebration, though guests will have to pay their own travel and lodging expenses. All winners will also receive a gift certificate to attend any one Rio Grande class.
In an effort to facilitate networking among jewelry designers and jewelry manufacturers, all first and second place winners (except Emerging Artist winners) will be registered to attend the 2015 Santa Fe Symposium, the industry’s premier conference for jewelry manufacturing technology. The Symposium will be held May 17-20, 2015 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Rio Grande will take publication-quality photographs of all finalist and winning pieces. All images will remain the property of Rio Grande. Rio Grande reserves the right to use these images in any promotions or marketing materials. Designers will be given credit any time their piece is featured in any promotion by Rio Grande. We may retain winning and finalist pieces until the end of June, 2015, for photography and display purposes. Winners and their designs may be featured in publicity campaigns.
It is the responsibility of the designer or organization to insure their pieces during delivery to Rio Grande. Insurance of pieces while in our possession will be the responsibility of Rio Grande. We also assume responsibility for shipping and insuring pieces being returned, with the value of the piece limited to the replacement cost of materials. Any additional insurance beyond the replacement cost of materials will be the responsibility of the designer.
The predominant metal is gold or platinum group metals including palladium or a combination of these. Can be cast, fabricated, forged, assembled or created with any combination of techniques.
Includes vessels and non-wearable objects made of precious metal. Can be made using one or a combination of techniques, including spinning, drawing, forging, raising, repoussé, and forming, primarily from milled stock. Decorative cast components can be incorporated.
The predominant metal is silver, Argentium® Silver or a combination of both. Can be cast, fabricated, forged, assembled or created with any combination of techniques.
The predominant surface material must be glass-based enamel. Can be fired on any type of metal.
The predominant material can be any non-traditional metal (a metal not covered in another category, including base metals and reactive metals) or material (including resin, glass, wood, found objects and textiles).
The predominant material can be any form of metal clay.
There are no limitations on media, as long as the finished piece is wearable jewelry and is fabricated by the entrant. Designer must be 21 years of age or younger at the time of the entry deadline, November 28, 2014.
Design is the perfect extension of human creativity.
The judges of the Saul Bell Design Award competition bring a broad range of perspectives from across the jewelry industry. They are accomplished and respected bench jewelers and designers, editors at leading industry publications, and experts in their craft. They will examine each finalist piece by hand and on a model.
Todd Reed is a self-taught metalsmith and award-winning designer. In 1992, Todd launched a collection under his own name and set out to change the future of the fine jewelry industry by designing solely with raw, uncut diamonds and recycled metals. Twenty years later his raw diamonds are still considered to be among the most revolutionary design steps that the jewelry industry has taken. Todd's collection continues to grow and evolve, as does his interest in and relationship with the material. All of Todd's pieces are hand fabricated and finished in 18k gold, palladium, platinum, and silver in his studios in Boulder, CO and Venice, CA by a team of exceptional goldsmiths working under his guidance.
For over 25 years post-conceptual artist, educator, and author Victoria Lansford has created one-of-a-kind wearable sculpture and art objects that evoke the mystery and splendor of ancient masters yet are infused with her own provocative vision. Through her artwork, publications, workshops, and passion for creating, Victoria has generated an international revival of nearly lost metalsmithing techniques, including Russian filigree and Eastern repousse. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Rochester Institute of Technology, among many others, and has been included in numerous publications. She created the metals program at Spruill Center for the Arts in Atlanta and served as head of the school's Metalsmithing Department from 1997-2004. Victoria's internationally acclaimed instructional DVD and book series, Metal Techniques of Bronze Age Masters, and her iPhone app, iMakeJewelry, have sold internationally.
Blaine Lewis is widely recognized as the premier diamond-setting instructor in the U.S. today and is the founder and director of New Approach School for Jewelers in Nashville, Tennessee. Blaine began his career in metals as an industrial welder, and his passion for creating metal objects soon transitioned into making jewelry. Blaine has shared his innovative stone-setting techniques with thousands of students at workshops across the country. He pioneered the use of high-magnification cameras in the classroom to communicate even the most intricate details of the stone-setting process with students. In 2000, Blaine applied his use of high-magnification video technology and 3-D animated graphics to the ground-breaking video series, Classroom In A Box: Bezel and Flush Setting. Today Blaine teaches a variety of classes and workshops at New Approach School. He continues to produce instructional videos and is an active consultant to the jewelry industry.
Eileen McClelland is the managing editor of INSTORE Magazine, where she has worked since 2007. Before making the leap into jewelry journalism, Eileen worked as a features writer and copy editor for the Houston Chronicle. Eileen has won numerous awards for her work with INSTORE, including the 2013 Jesse H. Neal Award for best instructional content for her article 'The New Rules of Sales,' and six gold and silver writing awards from the Trade Association Business Publications International. Eileen has a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the Honors College of Kent State University in Kent, OH, has studied art history at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and lives in New Orleans, LA.
Fine jewelry designer Janet Deleuse began working in the family jewelry business following her marriage to gemologist Jeff Deleuse. She put a degree in molecular biology aside to embrace her passion for art and design, which she had cultivated since childhood. Her hand-fabricated pieces are widely recognized for their classic lines, quality gems, and monochromatic styling. Her work has been featured in WWD, Town and Country, The Robb Report and Lustre Magazines, among others. Janet recently expanded into couture outerwear and accessories with a collection of pearl evening bags, pearl belts, silk scarves and outerwear, all handcrafted and offered under the Janet Deleuse label. Janet and Jeff Deleuse opened Deleuse Jewelers in Tiburon, California in 1982. They continue the brand's mission to offer the most uniquely elegant jewelry, using the world's finest gems and employing the highest quality craftsmanship.
Design gives order to the universe.
The deadline for entries in the Emerging Artist category is November 28, 2014.
The deadline for entries for the 2015 Saul Bell Design Award competition is CLOSED.
You can start the registration process below. Simply follow the instructions to upload a 10MB rendering or photograph of your piece. The entry fee is $95 per piece ($25 per piece for the Emerging Artist category). Submissions that do not meet the entry criteria will be disqualified and the entry fee refunded.
Design is what drives you.
Have a question? Unsure about how to enter? Need a little guidance or moral support before submitting your entry?
Send us an email or give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.
7500 Bluewater Rd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87121
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