The Brief - A Brighter Future

We all recognise, applaud and admire the countless heroes and heroines who have assisted us throughout the lockdown and beyond but equally, reflect on the tragedy of losing many loved ones. Central to fighting Covid-19 is our National Health Service (NHS), an appreciation of which has been identified by the rainbow motif in the windows of many homes and businesses as an abiding symbol of hope, strength and determination to fight and overcome the pandemic.

Therefore, we invite you to examine colour, in all its glory and diversity, as the starting point for the design of a piece of smallwork. Your proposal should seek to reflect and celebrate the NHS as well as the other key workers working selflessly for a recovery and a bright future. Your design doesn’t have to have a practical purpose or use, it could be something ornamental that serves as a commemoration of this period in history through the lens described above.

To help you focus on colour please feel free to use whatever materials you would like in conjunction with precious metals. The object you design should give off a fun, colourful and optimistic vibe.

Please remember the origins of smallworking as you seek to incorporate elements of fun, colour and a bright future in your design. GC&DC’s short definition of smallwork is: typically, smaller scale work made in precious metals. These can include intricate mechanisms, hidden features and elaborate surface decoration.

This brief was written in liaison with GC&DC Ambassador Brett Payne. You are invited to submit 2D ideas to the design brief above, these can be in any form but good communication and presentation will, as ever, be important in your proposal. 

Entry form requirements

As per the brief criteria, there will be placeholders on the entry form for you to explain the concept behind your designs and the tools or techniques that you have used if you wish to separate text from your images. You may explain these on your designs or using the placeholders provided on the entry form, or both. 

The placeholders are: 

  • Design Concept: Please explain the idea and concept behind your design in meeting the brief requirements (Max 150 words)
  • Techniques & Technology used: It is important that you explain the techniques you have used to make your piece i.e. gouache, CAD, Illustrator, watercolours, Procreate etc. This will be used in the judging process and you may be at a disadvantage if it is unclear how the entry was designed. (Max 150 words)

Judges Comments 2019/20

Last year’s design brief, written in liaison with Katie O Connor of Asprey, was very popular, with the highest number of entries for this section in its recent history. This triggered a great reaction from entrants having fun in responding to products for the breakfast table. We aim to build on this momentum and this time we have collaborated with silversmith and GC&DC Ambassador Brett Payne.


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