(ATTLEBORO, Mass.) – MJSA, the U.S. trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has announced the winners of its 2015 Vision Awards Competition. Created to recognize outstanding achievements in the design, manufacture, and sale of jewelry, this year’s awards go to eight designers in seven categories.
The winners will also be displayed at the 2016 MJSA Expo, which will take place March 13-15 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Professional Division – (4+ Years in Business)
1st Place: Adam Neeley, Adam Neely Fine Art Jewelry, Laguna Beach, CA, for his Oceana pendant. The pendant features a 32.86 carat aquamarine (cut by Stephen Avery) and “Spectra” gold that transforms seamlessly through seven shades, from yellow to white. Neeley was awarded a $500 gift certificate from industry supplier Rio Grande, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
2nd Place: Annie Koenig, Annie K Jewelry in Louisville, KY, for her Diamond Wave earrings, which feature curved strips of 14k yellow and white gold that naturally rotate as they are worn. Koenig received a full library of MJSA Press publications.
Professional Division (1-3 Years in Business)
1st Place: Baiyang Qiu, BQ Jewelry, Milpitas, CA, for a pair of hand-fabricated earrings featuring 4 mm rubies bezel-set in 18k yellow wire constructions. Qiu received a $500 gift certificate from Rio Grande.
2nd Place: Hisano Shepherd, little h, Los Angeles, for earrings made from a freshwater soufflé pearl cut in half and affixed with yellow and pink sapphires. Shepherd received a full library of MJSA Press publications.
Laser Distinction (sponsored by LaserStar Technologies)
Adam Neeley, Adam Neely Fine Art Jewelry, Laguna Beach, CA, for his Oceana pendant. The laser, Neeley said, proved “absolutely necessary” in protecting the gold’s hardness and finish. Neeley received a $750 cash award courtesy of LaserStar Technologies, Riverside, Rhode Island.
CAD/CAM Distinction (sponsored by EnvisionTEC)
Annie Koenig, Annie K Jewelry in Louisville, KY, for her Diamond Wave earrings. CAD/CAM proved a definite advantage with this project: Among other benefits, it allowed the designer to create the earrings’ latticework as a repeatable design, and to grow “test models” so she could better position registration pegs and align the curved pieces. Koenig received a $750 cash award courtesy of EnvisionTEC, Dearborn, Michigan.
Custom Design Distinction (sponsored by Century Casting Co. Inc.)
Krista Robertson, Green Lake Jewelry Works, Seattle, for a 950 platinum engagement ring that tastefully features an 18k cast grasshopper – one of the family symbols that the client asked to have incorporated into the ring. The sponsor, Century Casting Co. Inc. in New York City, provided Robertson with a $750 cash award and also waived labor and mold fees for up to five platinum or gold castings.
Digital Marketing Distinction (sponsored by Strategy-Werx)
Llyn Strong, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry, Greenville, SC, for a program that effectively engages customers with new designs and allows them to share images. Grounded by a strong website that explains the custom design process and emphasizes Strong’s community events, the company’s digital reach is expanded through a monthly e-newsletter, a blog, and presences on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Strong will receive up to $1,000 in free consulting from the sponsor, StrategyWerx.
“Future of the Industry” Student Awards (sponsored by the MJSA Education Foundation)
1st Place: Diana Telesheva, Moscow State University of Design & Technology, Moscow, Russia, for her Butterflies ring, which uses the plique-a-jour enameling technique to replicate a butterfly’s translucent wings. Telesheva will receive a $500 gift certificate from Rio Grande as well as a $1,000 scholarship from the MJSA Education Foundation for any jewelry-related degree program at a U.S. college, university, or technical school.
2nd Place: Eunhwa Son, University of Kansas, Belton, MO, for two neckpieces, Endless Growth, which features laser-cut acrylic remnants that were electroformed and silver plated and Illusions, primarily made of black and white paper. Son will receive a $500 scholarship from the MJSA Education Foundation for any jewelry-related degree program at a U.S. college, university, or technical school.
The design judges for the competition were Michael Coan, Fashion Institute of Technology; Jason Dow, Jason Dow Jewelry; Cindy Edelstein, the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau; Lee Krombholz, Krombholz Jewelers/Just Like You Designs; Joel McFadden, Joel McFadden Designs; and Eva Martin, Eva Martin Jewelry. Eugene Brill of Jewelry.com and Andrea Hill of StrategyWerx judged the Digital Marketing Distinction entries.
Founded in 1903, MJSA is the U.S. trade association for jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. Its mission is to supply the information and resources needed to achieve professional excellence and maintain a competitive edge. For more information, go to MJSA.org or call 1-800-444-MJSA (6572).