3 members of BAJ community win Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards

The British Academy of Jewellery is delighted to announce that three members of our community received awards at this year’s Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council (GC&DC) Craftsmanship and Design Awards, hosted from Goldsmiths’ Hall via a livestream on 17 May.

Founded in 1908, GC&DC is a London-based social non-profit that promotes craftsmanship and design in the jewellery industry. Through its awards and other initiatives, the organisation seeks to encourage the pursuit of excellence in craftsmanship and design among jewellers, goldsmiths and silversmiths working in the UK.

The virtual 2021 GC&DC Awards ceremony was presented by journalist and co-founder of The Jewellery Cut Rachael Taylor and featured messages from GC&DC Chairman Peter Crump, as well as the Council’s royal patron, HRH Princess Michael of Kent.

Among this year’s award winners was BAJ Apprenticeship student Megan Rigby received a Silver Award for her striking mythologically inspired engraving. Rigby, who also received a GC&DC Award for her work in 2020, is currently an apprentice at Rebus Signet Rings and can be found on Instagram at @meganrigby_engraver. 

Megan Rigby and her winning design

“I was inspired by the myth of Daphne the Nymph, who turned herself into a tree to avoid Apollo’s persistent advances,” explained Megan Rigby of her award-winning engraving. “I felt it’s a story that is still relevant in 2021 and is something that people can still relate to.”

Two BAJ graduates also achieved awards. Clio Saskia (@cliosaskia) won the Gem-A Award for her “Snake Knuckleduster” ring, while Genevieve Schwartz (@genevieveschwartzjewellery) won a Bronze Award in the “Make Your Mark” category for her Hallmark-inspired ring and was also considered for the Gem-A Award.

Clio Saskia and her winning design

“Being awarded the special Gem-A Award this year is an incredible vote of confidence for me,” said Clio Saskia. As it is my first year submitting to GC&DC I did not expect much, but I am overjoyed to have won this award. I am a designer and maker of animal-inspired fine jewellery, and bring weird and wonderful creatures to life using traditional goldsmithing and wax carving techniques. In 2015 I spent some time mining gemstones in the Gemfields in Australia, one of which is the central stone in the Snake Knuckleduster, and it really opened my eyes to the impact mining has on the environment. Whilst I use 100% recycled gold and ethical and Fairtrade gemstones in my work and have first-hand experience of gemstone mining, my scientific knowledge around gemstone identification and grading is comparatively lacking. That is the reason I value this award so highly. This will give me the perfect opportunity to improve my expertise and broaden my knowledge around the subject of ethical gemstones, which I am excited to share with peers and customers alike!”

Genevieve Schwartz and her winning design

“We are so proud of Megan, Clio and Genevieve,” said Kate Rieppel, Head of Academy at the British Academy of Jewellery. “It’s wonderful to see the work of members of our amazing community being recognised by an institution as prestigious as the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council.”

To see more fascinating work from BAJ’s talented student community, why not check out our student showcases?

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