As Champagne’s oldest wine house, Gosset might be expected to be entrenched in the traditional. However, despite being able to trace its history back to 1584, Champagne Gosset is resolutely contemporary, whilst never losing sight of its heritage. Its approach to producing its champagnes mixes traditional, artisanal techniques with the cutting edge and bespoke.
So, it seems natural for Champagne Gosset to turn its attention to the fine crafts. Both industries appreciate the importance of long practiced techniques, while taking advantage of the most modern technology. As part of this relationship, in 2019, Champagne Gosset became the first Patron from outside the Jewellery/Silversmithing trade, to sponsor a section brief at the annual Goldsmith’s Craft and Design Council Awards, known within the trade as the Jewellery Oscars. Both the GC&DC and Gosset value fine craftsmanship using traditional and modern techniques to make something truly unique of excellence and value.
In 2019, Gosset’s challenge invited entrants to design a trophy for the Gosset Trophée CELEBRIS, a French award that has recognised leading chefs for their commitment to social enterprise for over 20 years. The design brief included criteria to be considered including the unique ‘antique’ bottle shape used for all Gosset’s champagnes, the house’s founding date of 1584 and the Gosset logo.
The winning design would actually be manufactured, in silver as a ‘one-off’, to be displayed at Champagne Gosset’s headquarters in Epernay in the heart of the Champagne region. It is intended that each annual Gosset Trophée CELEBRIS award winner will receive an engraved replica reproduced in pewter.
David Stonehouse, a designer/maker based in Cambridge, was announced the winner of the Champagne Gosset Award & Gold Award in Silversmithing Design at the awards ceremony in February 2019 staged at the magnificent Goldsmiths’ Hall. His entry also won the overall 2D design award on the evening, out of 298 design entries, giving him an amazing double success for his first ever entry into the awards.
David said ‘I am greatly honoured to have been awarded by my peers within the trade, along with the owner of Champagne Gosset, Jean-Pierre Cointreau. I was attracted by the brief as it gave the option to work on a large, sculptural scale. It’s great to work with large forms and shapes in this way. Incorporating the constraints of the brief got the creative juices flowing too.’
David’s prize also included a trip to visit the oldest wine house in Champagne. Last February David was taken on a tour of the vineyards in the region and then participated in a masterclass in blending the base wines that make champagne with Gosset’s cellar master Odilon de Varine.
David commented of his trip, “The whole thing was fascinating – it was illuminating to be able to dip into a completely different industry from our own and see how quality and craftsmanship are equally pursued and valued. Winning the Gosset GC&DC award last year was a real boost, and confirmation that stepping out of design and innovation consultancy and back into the craft of jewellery and silversmithing was the correct decision, but the award trip and meeting such a nice group of people has been equally special.”
Gosset’s partnership with GC&DC is the perfect fusion of great heritage, constant pursuit of perfection and a relentless desire to innovate. Both rely on supreme craftmanship but simultaneously have always looked to the future, and the future is now.
Gosset x GC&DC – A conversation with 2D Silversmiths Winners
GC&DC & Champagne Gosset hosted a first virtual event as we talked design, champagne and announced the winner of the Silversmithing Creative Lockdown Challenge! We went behind the scenes with our sponsors and judges to discuss design briefs and decision-making processes and heard from the winners on their journeys through the competition. David Stonehouse & Scott Smith, 2019 and 2020 winners of the 2D Silversmiths Prize, spoke with judge, trustee & silversmith Andy Putland and Jean Pierre Cointreau & Julien Cointreau from Gosset as they shared the inspiration behind their winning entries and experience in entering the Awards.