Craft

3D Finished Pieces (11 categories)

The following information applies to ALL craft sections, please read this carefully. 

  • Each Craft section is split into JUNIOR and SENIOR.

  • Entries in this section must be physical pieces. 3D renders will not be accepted. 

  • Entries will be judged on technical ability and excellence of craft skills. However, and where appropriate, originality, creative interpretation and presentation will be taken into consideration.

  • Materials and methods of manufacture used must be specified i.e. hand, production, technological processes, CAD, RP, CNC, Laser sintering etc.

  • If several specialist craftspeople for different sections enter an item, these details need to be submitted on the entry form where indicated. 

  • Where relevant, articles entered must be in a finished condition. Entrants are encouraged to submit in precious metals wherever possible and such entries must conform to hallmarking legislation if applicable.

    Work entered in these sections can also be entered in any of the relevant Design sections & we strongly encourage entrants to do so. 

Silversmiths (Craft) 

Sponsored by Grant Macdonald Silversmiths

The silversmiths craft section welcomes entries of larger-scale work, functional and/or decorative objects. 

Tableware, vessels, bowls, and centrepieces are examples of finished objects that can be entered into this section, to be appraised on their craftsmanship. 

Image: Martin Keane - Gin No Nagare (Flowing Silver) Carafe, No.3 (1); Gold Award (Seniors) & The Birmingham Assay Office Award

Requirements

Judges will be looking for:

  • Technical achievement

  • Degree of skills demonstrated

  • Balance and consistency of form

  • A consistent finish of exterior and interior surfaces  

Work Experience

Subject to Grant Macdonald’s consideration, the winning entrant/s could be offered a period of workshop experience.

Polishers

The craft of polishing, by hand and/or mechanical means, is to achieve a highly reflective and smooth surface/s. 

The polishers section seeks to identify and reward high-quality finishing in any item of 3D jewellery, silverware or smallwork created in metal.  

Image: Ben Filip - Gentleman’s Box (Silversmithing by Lewis Towens), Gold Award (Seniors)

Requirements

Judges will be looking for:

  • Appropriate surface finishing to enhance the final piece

  • Quality and effectiveness of different surface finishes and contrasts, where appropriate  

  • Quality of finishing on exterior and interior surfaces  

Chasers

Sponsored by The Birmingham Assay Office 

Chasing is a traditional embossing technique used to create form, relief and decoration by pushing metal back and making a design protrude forward. This is also in conjunction with repoussé (‘push up’) by hammering on the reverse side of the metal to bring it forward to produce three dimensional patterns and effects on metal surfaces.     

This section identifies and rewards high-quality chasing in any item of 3D silverware, objet d’art, smallwork or jewellery created in metal.

Any chased article may be submitted using hand chasing and/or repoussé techniques from sheet metal.

Everyone who enters work into either the engraving or chasing sections will be able to apply for the Special GC&DC Bursary (see below), which offers a marvellous opportunity to learn alongside a master craftsperson.

Image: Caiyang Yin- Rumourfly Brooch , Silver Award (Juniors) & The Special Council Bursary Award 

Requirements

Judges will be looking for:

  • Technical achievement

  • Degree of skills demonstrated

  • Quality and effectiveness of chasing

  • 3D creative interpretation 

  • Work that demonstrates exploration and experimentation.

Smallworkers & Modelmakers 

Sponsored by Ottewill Silversmiths & Jewellers

Smallwork and Modelmaking covers the production and manufacture of pieces of objet d’art made in metals and often have precision, detail and scale.

We are delighted to be partnering with Ottewill Silversmiths and Jewellers who are sponsoring this section. Smallwork incorporates boxes, containers, accessories, objet d’art, and timepieces, and scale models.  They can include an intricate mechanism, hidden features, or a highly decorative surfaces.

Pieces can also be more functional and composed of several parts that make up the final article. However, they can have no function at all and be purely decorative.

Image: Jordan Kippax - The Heart of Gold, Gold Award (Juniors) 

Requirements

Judges will be looking for:

  • Accurate fitting of parts with fine tolerances, complexity of the piece and working to scale

  • Quality of construction and soldering

  • Where appropriate the inclusion of chenier, flush and book joints

  • Control of flat surfaces and parts that are attached by soldering

  • Where appropriate the use of non-permanent joining of parts by screw threads or bolts and nuts

Work experience

Subject to Ottewill’s consideration, the winning entrant could be offered a period of workshop experience.

Modellers

Sponsored by Cookson Precious Metals

Modelling is the art of sculpting objects, figures, animals, flora etc. from a variety of materials. 

We are delighted to be partnering with Cookson Precious Metals who are sponsoring this section. Any sculpted subject, including medals, may be submitted in any media e.g. wax, plastics, wood, plaster etc. Entries can be created using hand and/or technological techniques. 

Entries in this section should be castable or be possible to take a mould from the entry for reproduction using casting techniques. 

With any finished work, you must list all processes undertaken following the modelling stage up to completion i.e. chasing, filing, carving, polishing etc.

Image: Mark Hampson - Opal Hummingbird, Gold Award 

Requirements

Judges will be looking for:

  • Quality of modelling skills 

  • Scale, proportion and artistry 

  • Creative interpretation

  • Work that demonstrates exploration and experimentation

Jewellers

Sponsored by Brown & Newirth

The jewellers section, sponsored by Principal Patron Brown & Newirth, is designed to identify and reward high quality skills demonstrated in fine jewellery. 

Entries normally include precious metals in any colour or combination but can be in base metals. 

Jewellery can contain semi and/or precious gemstones and/or decorative techniques such as enamelling and engraving. 

Image: Harrison Siggers - Spectrum Bracelet, Gold Award (Juniors) &
The Brown & Newirth Award

Requirements

Judges will be looking for: 

  • Complexity of the piece of work

  • Quality of construction and soldering

  • Degree of skills demonstrated

  • Creative interpretation


If CAD/CAM, rapid prototyping, and/or 3D printing are used, you must state which processes you have used and extent to which this has been utilised.

  • Materials and methods of manufacture must be specified, e.g. hand, production, any technological processes, etc.

Diamond Mounters

Diamond mounting is the framework/mount in which diamonds or gemstones can be set.

Entries will be judged on hand-skills, and not CAD produced pieces or parts thereof. 

Pieces should preferably be unset and where possible, unpolished (areas that require pre-polishing prior to construction is acceptable).

Image: Harvey James-Park - Butterfly Brooch, Gold Award (Juniors) 

Requirements

Judges are looking for:

  • Complexity of the piece 

  • The demonstration of hand piercing, particularly back holes (A jour) pierced motifs, and fretwork

  • Quality of construction and soldering

  • The inclusion of edging, gallery work, symmetry, devices i.e. Clasps, catches, articulation and En tremblant

  • A consistent finish of all surfaces to a pre-polished stage (minimum 1000 grit) or pumice grade.

Setters

Setting is the process of securing precious and semi-precious gemstones into various items of jewellery, smallwork, silverware and accessories, using a range of setting and carving techniques.  

The Judges welcome all setting entries, they prefer is to see a good variety of different setting techniques (e.g.3) but this isn’t a mandatory requirement.

The Creative Setting Award, sponsored by Louisa Guinness Gallery, will be judged within this section. Please see below for further details on how to apply for this award.  

Image: Alysha Strong - Circle of Life Pendant, Gold Award (Juniors) 

Requirements

Judges will be looking for: 

  • Rub-over edges that are uniformly in contact with the stone without gaps, and inside edges cut-back with a clean bright cut

  • Stone spacing to be even with the tables level with each other, grooves on the inside of claw settings to match the stone girdle

  •  Micro setting with uniform spacing, level tables and bright cutting is symmetrical, and any decorative cuts or threads are also aligned and symmetrical.

  • Innovative experimental settings 

Enamellers & Enamel Painters 

This section encourages and promotes the craft skills of traditional enamelling (powdered glass fused to metal at high heat) in any or a combination of the disciplined techniques e.g.  champlevé, cloisonné, plique a jour. 

This section is open to any enamelled or enamel painted item of jewellery or related article of silversmithing, smallwork or objet d’art that uses traditional enamelling techniques on metal.

Where applicable, if entries contain elements of engraved work, they are also encouraged also enter their work in the craft section Engravers

Entrants to the enamelling sections — both craft and design — are also encouraged to consider applying for the Phil Barnes Enamelling Bursary as a part of their entry. Please see below for further details. 

Image: Daniel Munn - Silver Enamelled Venetian Mask, Gold Award (Juniors) 

Requirements

Judges will be looking for: 

  • Technical ability and excellence of enamelling craft skills

  • Degree of difficulty/complexity 

  • Quality and effectiveness of finishing 

  • Originality of the design / motifs

  • Creativity in the application of enamel

Lapidary & Carving

Sponsored by C W Sellors

Lapidary is the art of cutting, carving and polishing gem material in shaping stone, minerals or gemstones into decorative items.

We are delighted to be partnering with Named Award Patrons C W Sellors again to promote the art and potential of Lapidary and gemstone carving. 

The brief encourages you to submit individual pieces of lapidary in your chosen gem material. Any style of cutting, carving and finishing may be used including precious or non-precious gem material. This is an opportunity to demonstrate technical excellence, creativity and an innovative approach to lapidary. 

The material, method and style of cutting used must be specified within your online application. If CNC milling was used then the entrant must have milled and finished the material by themselves with minimal technical assistance. 

C. W. Sellors are offering any entrant an authentic piece of Whitby Jet to cut or carve for submitting into the competition, please contact: martynw@cwsellors.com

Image: Yeena Yoon - Solar Brooch, Gold Award (Seniors) & 
The C.W.Sellors Award

Requirements

Judges will be looking for: 

  • Technical excellence 

  • Innovative use of gem material 

  • Creativity which enhances the inherent qualities of chosen material and process 

Engravers, Die Sinkers & Seal Engravers

Engraving and seal engraving is the art and craft of cutting and carving onto any metal surfaces to create decorative imagery such as lettering, pictures, textures etc. Seal engraving involves reverse deep cutting to produce a positive 3D impression. 

This section is open to any article of jewellery, silversmithing, objet d’art or smallwork that features decorative hand engraving, as well as seal engraving or dies.  

Copper-plate engraving should be accompanied with a sample of the print. All dies and seals should be accompanied with an impression.

Everyone who enters work into either the engraving or chasing sections will be able to apply for the Special GC&DC Bursary (see below), which offers a marvellous opportunity to learn alongside a master craftsperson.

Image: Karen Wallace - Carved Steel Scroll Rifle Cover, Gold Award (Seniors) & The Jacques Cartier Memorial Award

Requirements

Judges will be looking for: 

  • Quality and effectiveness of hand cutting on lettering and pictorial work

  • Technical and artistic excellence of engraving, seal engraving or die sinking skills

  • Understanding of cutting to give true representation i.e. light, fabric, depth, breadth, relief. Fine shading & cross hatching

  •  Design originality and creativity 

  • At least 2 styles of lettering and to be threaded out

14 Jan

Online entry form deadline - CLOSED FOR ENTRIES

16-18 Jan

Entry submission days @ The Goldsmiths' Centre, London

04 Mar

Awards Ceremony @ The Goldsmiths' Hall

5 - 8 Mar

Awards Exhibition @ The Goldsmiths' Hall

13 -14 Mar

Entry return & post-back days

 

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