For 2020/21, the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office and Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council teams came together to create the Make Your Mark 2D Design Award in the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council Competition.
Our brief asked you to design an item of jewellery, smallwork or silverware that promotes, enhances and celebrates the London Hallmark.
Gold, silver and bronze awards were announced at the ceremony last night.
Two Gold Award-winning entries were chosen which judges felt showed professionalism of presentation, accuracy to the brief, full consideration of the design and functionality, and a captivating concept.
The First Gold Award & Winner of the The Goldsmiths' Company Assay Office Award was awarded to Isabella Kelley for the Celebration Whiskey & Olive Set.
The Second Gold was awarded to Caitlin Murphy for her Punch Drunk design.
Silver Award was presented to Yijia He for the Look for the Leopard brooch design.
Bronze Award was presented to Genevieve Schwartz, for Golden Future ring.
Isabella said: "To celebrate the London hallmark, I researched the process of hallmarking. The shapes of the tools used and the marks the tools make led me to design this celebratory collection.
Using the shape of the punch itself, I’ve developed the design of two whiskey tumblers (80x80x80mm) and two olive platers (20x80x120mm) (20x60x150mm) all with one of the four main elements of the hallmark sunk into the bottom.
To accompany this I’ve designed a oak board (20x520x100mm) to display the pieces on whilst not in use that have the corresponding hallmarks inlayed into the surface.
A complementary element that could be a separate element if you choose are the four olive pics that I have places in a tray in the side of the display board these range from 75mm to 90mm in length dependant on which hallmark they have as a “head piece”."
Caitlin wrote about her design concept:
"The hallmark prides itself on commemorating events and highlighting heritage. This set is designed to do exactly that. It is a series of five silver shots, where each shot represents the five different components of the hallmark itself.
Whilst being functional, the set also promotes and celebrates the hallmark. I used the hallmark on each shot as a contributory and complimentary feature, displaying it proportionately around the cylinder. The hallmark components are represented by the gold plated scored and folded hollow sleeves that mimic each 2D component in a 3D way.
On the reverse, each base is hand engraved with a mirror image of each hallmark element. This is designed to mimic the base style of a punch whilst nodding to ‘Making Your Own Mark’. Once the shots have been drunk, they lie on their side, hence the name, ‘Punch Drunk’."
Yijia wrote: My source of inspiration is a Chinese word "look at a leopard through a tube——to see only one spot", which means that you can infer that the animal is a leopard by seeing the spots of the leopard.
I designed my work to have two sides. Each side has a different pattern, one is leopard print, and the other is London hallmark. (Leopard head), when you turn the leopard print than you can find the London hallmark (leopard head) behind the leopard print.
I took the London hallmark as the main body of the work, I think the longstanding London hallmark itself is beautiful and worthy of pride and respect. I want to use this celebratory and interesting movable brooch to tell everyone that look for the leopard not only means finding the London hallmark, but also the guarantee of metal quality by the London assay office over the years, It also represents the staff's time and energy devoted to inheriting traditions over the years. The most important point, London hallmark represents London.
Each mark has a unique and important meaning, so all the marks are engraved with a laser on the surface of the brooch. Every mark is important.
My work is functional. When you remove the brooch, you can use it as a stamp because the patterns are all raised."
Genevieve said: "I was honoured to be awarded with a bronze award in the Make Your Mark category, hosted by the Assay Office. And to have been considered for the Gemmological Association of Great Britain gemstone award as well!
The purpose of the brief was to highlight the beauty of the hallmarks themselves and to make them central to the design.
For those who don't know, hallmarks are the symbols applied to jewellery to verify the types of metals used. They are your guarantee that your piece is made of what you have been told it is made of.
In my piece I used the transparency of my selected gemstones to have the hallmarks be visible beneath. The shape and design of the ring was intended to play on the popularity of signet style rings nowadays, and because the symbolism of a signet ring lent itself well to the symbolism of the London Assay Office hallmarks.
I can't wait to enter again next year, I'm already buzzing with ideas and was so inspired by seeing the works of so many talented jewellers across the country!"