BAJ announces Pins of Praise winners | BAJ

BAJ announces Pins of Praise winners

BAJ announces Pins of Praise winners

The British Academy of Jewellery is delighted to announce the winners of its Pins of Praise design competition, launched in support of NHS staff and volunteers working to save lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Images; Elisabeth Barton | Caitlin Rawe | Kristina Lindsay | Jacqueline Chisholm

Open to both BAJ students and the general public, the competition challenged participants to use their CAD skills to design a brooch pin that will be sold to raise money for NHS Charities Together, a membership organisation representing and supporting over 250 NHS charities.

Designs were judged by a panel of professional jewellers and NHS workers, who selected one winner from the external entries and three from the BAJ community. The winning external design came from Elisabeth Barton, while Caitlin Rawe, Jacqueline Chisholm and Kristina Lindsay were selected as the student winners.

BAJ was thrilled to receive such a wide range of imaginative entries and would like to thank everyone who took part in Pins of Praise. The competition’s exacting judging criteria were a reflection of the extremely high quality of all the designs that were submitted.

Elisabeth’s winning design, which features two hands holding each other in the outline of a heart, was inspired by the experiences of members of her own family working on the frontline of the NHS during the pandemic.

Illustration by Caitlin Rawe

“After talking to my NHS family members about how they felt working through this time, the main words that they used were unity, community and togetherness,” explained the designer. “I felt the holding of hands was the best way to symbolise these words. Putting them in an outline of a heart shows the love and pride that we have for the NHS in the UK.”

Elisabeth, who has 10 years’ experience in the jewellery industry and has run her own CAD design business since 2019, also added that she “was pleased to see a jewellery competition that showcased CAD and 3D printing skills.”

“Although this new technology is widely used within the trade they don’t necessarily get recognised as a discipline within their own right,” she said, highlighting BAJ’s commitment to industry-relevant education.

Lindsay’s brooch also focuses on the image of holding hands, symbolising the care offered by NHS workers. Rawe’s design, on the other hand, features a beetle holding a heart aloft in its pincers, while Chilsholm’s combines a folded facemask with botanical elements.

“The entries were all amazing, with such a high standard of creativity – I loved that there was such a variety and range of ideas. They all had outstanding features so it was so hard to choose just three,” said Pins of Praise competition judge Tim Haddon, an NHS paramedic working with the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

The winning Pins of Praise designs will be produced and sold through the BAJ website, with all profits going to NHS Charities Together. BAJ is pleased to be able to support the medical community at a time when the invaluable contribution of health workers is more important than ever.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but the tireless efforts of frontline NHS workers and volunteers during this time are deserving of our utmost gratitude and respect,” commented Kate Rieppel, Head of Academy at BAJ. “The Pins of Praise competition is BAJ’s way of thanking the members of the healthcare community for their hard work and sacrifice during the pandemic.”

Elisabeth Barton

“I saw the Pins of Praise competition on Instagram and wanted to enter straight away. I have family in the NHS working on the front line so meant a lot to design something with them in mind. At the beginning of lockdown I was involved with distributing 3D printed ear defenders and some visors to our local health care centres and hospital.

I enjoyed working on a competition that utilised CAD and 3D printing as these are the mediums I work in day to day.

As a new business, the timing of lockdown was unfortunate, so it was great having this competition to focus on. I was pleased to see a jewellery competition that showcased CAD and 3D printing skills.”

 – Elisabeth

“Caitlin’s design really appeals to nature-loving people and it’s so striking. It conveys love but also the fragility of life. I also loved Jacqueline’s design that was based around a face mask. This is a significant symbol for the pandemic. Originally the masks were mainly for NHS/ Care staff but now they’re widely worn by everyone and becoming a part of everyday life – I think has made people aware of how uncomfortable PPE can be. A REALLY tough decision as they were all brilliant!”

 – Tim Haddon, NHS paramedic and Pins of Praise competition judge


See the winning entries below 

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