Rio Grande has announced the 2019 winners of its annual Saul Bell Design Award Competition, now in its 19th year.
Finalists were selected from hundreds of entries submitted by designers from around the world, and their work was judged in two rounds within nine competitive categories. Prizes and awards were presented to each winning designer at a May 19 gala dinner in Albuquerque, N.M.
Judges for the first round were: Munya Avigail-Upin, a jeweler, educator, and co-owner of Alchemy 9.2.5. fine jewelry gallery; Ann Cahoon, a jeweler, educator, writer, and 2010 Saul Bell Design Award finalist; Jim Dailing, an educator, metalsmith, and custom bridal jeweler; Gloria Stewart, custom jeweler and designer; and Shane Hendren, an award-winning jeweler, designer, and Rio Grande Jewelry tech team member.
Judges for the final round were: Victoria Adams, award-winning jeweler and designer; Jason Marchiafava, master jeweler, engraver, and educator/mentor at New Approach School for Jewelers; Claudio Pino, lapidary artist, jeweler, designer, and Metal Arts Guild of Canada Master of all Metal; Emily Benoist Ruffin, 2002 Saul Bell Design Award–winning jeweler and designer; and Marc Williams, goldsmith, production and custom jeweler, and designer.
See all the 2019 winning designs—and runners-up—here.
Below is the Best of Show design and the first-place winner in every category.
Best in Show: Lineal Alchemy necklace by Debbie Sheezel
First Place, Enamel: Spirit & Flame necklace by Sandra McEwen
First Place, Gold/Platinum: Moebius No. 1 by Pierre-Yves Paquette
First Place, Silver/Argentium: Prospect Palace necklace by Mehrnoosh Ganji
First Place, Alternative Metals/Materials: Eclipsim brooches by Kirk Lang
First Place, Holloware/Art Objects: Luminous Relic #1628 by David Huang
First Place, Jewelry Collection Fashion/Bridge: Kirigami Pearl collection by Karin Jacobson
First Place, Jewelry Collection Couture/Fine: Helices collection by Sophia Hu
First Place, Emerging Jewelry Designer, Age 18 or Younger: Midnight necklace by Christopher Liu
First Place, Emerging Jewelry Designer, Age 22 or Younger: Open Spiculum Cuff with Black Diamond by Timo Krapf
Top: Best of Show winner of the 2019 Saul Bell Design Award Competition, Lineal Alchemy necklace by Debbie Sheezel (all images courtesy of Rio Grande)