GJEPC’s ‘The Artisan Awards 2021’ showcase cutting-edge jewellery design and innovation

• Overwhelming global response to the ‘Reinventing Vintage’ theme
• 3 winners, 8 runners up from Indian and foreign designers

July 2021, Mumbai: The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) concluded the 4th edition of The Artisan Awards, India’s premier jewellery design competition, on July 20 at Hotel Four Seasons in Mumbai. Designers from India and overseas participated in the competition to showcase excellence and innovation in jewellery design.

The Artisan Awards celebrates the highest levels of artistry through world-class pieces exhibited by designers. The theme for the latest edition was Reinventing Vintage. The GJEPC received an overwhelming response from all over the world, including Japan, the US, Taiwan, Russia, Egypt, Abu Dhabi and Australia.
In all, 11 awards were given away as there was a tie in two of the three sub-categories.

The theme of competition, Reinventing Vintage showcased a spread of three jewellery eras from diverse cultures – Indian heritage was celebrated through the sub-theme Temple Jewellery; Japanesque was a nod to Asian inspiration; and Victorian referenced the colonial past to create timeless yet modern silhouettes.

Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, commented, “India is at the helm of jewellery business, that boasts of an exceptional designing and manufacturing talent pool that has created jewellery pieces adored and cherished across the world. The Artisan Awards celebrated the revival of the eternal design eras and may possibly chronicle the new design epoch thrust upon us by the pandemic.

The Artisan Awards are instituted to honour jewellery artistes, the hidden champions, who have the courage to think differently and break the mould. The thematic competitions put forth by the Council each year aims to make the Artisan a globally recognised award in the field of jewellery design as the ultimate benchmark for creativity, innovation and design excellence.

Despite the lockdowns the world over, a total of 586 entries were received from national and international participants from Japan, USA, Taiwan, Russia, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, and Australia.

Vipul Shah, Vice Chairman, GJEPC, said, “The Artisan Awards has come to be recognised as the most prestigious jewellery design competition, attracting participants from India as well as abroad. The Awards honour not just creative aesthetic based on a theme, but also technical expertise required to bring a piece of jewellery to life.

“The competition has been getting better and tougher with each passing year. In keeping with the times, the three rounds of judging were held virtually by some master juries from the fields of art, fashion and other related industries. The aim is to make The Artisan Awards a global platform that recognises and honours excellence in jewellery design.”

Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions & Marketing, GJEPC, stated, “Setting a new benchmark for design excellence has been GJEPC’s long-standing endeavour. The Artisan Awards is a testimony to the quality and high-design quotient showcased by the emerging talent in India as well as the rest of the world.

“This past year we have witnessed a global trend of consumers returning to classic designs that are a nod to the past while retaining a present-day flavour. This resonates with The Artisan’s theme of Reinventing Vintage this year. We picked three diverse jewellery eras – Japanesque, Victorian and Temple – that are all endowed with strong traditional narratives. Giving them a modern spin, we agreed, would be a huge challenge indeed!

“The final results only reaffirm our faith that India’s headed in the right direction – towards becoming the global leader in jewellery design, engineering and innovation. The 30 outstanding pieces from the three categories were selected after three intense rounds of judging – all done virtually, of course. The unanimous verdict was that the final pieces were reinterpreted with ingenuity.”

The first judging round was a technical assessment of all the entries, which was followed by a second jury meet to shortlist 30 final sketches, 10 in each of the three sub-categories.

The eminent jury for the final round included Fashion Designer James Ferreira, Jewellery Influencer Katerina Perez, Christian Louboutin Country Head – India Anjali Gaekwar, The Rose Group of Companies Managing Director Biren Vaidya, The Adventurine Founder Marion Fasel, and Ensemble Owner and CEO Tina Tahiliani Parikh.

Tina Tahiliani, Executive Director, Ensemble, said, “It was interesting to see some participants really stretch themselves to accommodate the theme and come up with something original. In every category, there were a few renditions that truly stood out.”
James Ferreira, Fashion Designer and founder of the eponymous designer label commented, “I was impressed with the amount of entries, the intricacy of designs, and the technical knowledge of the participants. I’d say, technically, the entrants were more aware of jewellery designing than most fashion designers are in their field; and that is a good thing. Some entries really stood out as the designers played with the theme and took it out of context in interesting ways, which is what, I guess, the Artisan Awards is looking for. Overall, I feel that to push new talent further, we must teach design development in our country, as we require a 360-degree view of the world to make one a better designer.”
Marion Fasel, Founder and Editorial Director, The Adventurine said, “There were many outstanding entries in the Japanesque category. I enjoyed the way various classical Japanese motifs were worked into new jewelry silhouettes. All the hair ornaments and asymmetrical earrings were delightful. The entries for the Victorian theme had so many nice design flourishes and inventive ideas.”
Katerina Perez, Founder & Editor in Chief, Katerinaperez.com said, “I liked it how the participating designers explored their creativity and didn’t limit themselves to only traditional jewellery materials. Pretty much every sketch in the competition stood out and exemplified how one can still push the boundaries of jewellery design.
Anjali Gaekwar, Country Head – India, Christian Louboutin, stated, “In terms of new talent, there is a lot of potential in India. The Artisan by GJEPC is a great initiative because it discovers new talent and gives them a chance to shine. Overall, I was happy to see that most of the entries were aligned with the three genres of Japanesque, Temple and Victorian. Being a jewellery addict, I’m keen to see the final creations of the sketches that we have selected.
Nisha Jhangiani, curator of Artisan Awards said, “This was one of the tougher themes I had conceptualised for Artisan 2021. Given the lockdown enforcements, we were all concerned with the feasibility of adapting the entire process to a digital model; putting together a versatile group of jurors; the logistics of manufacturing the jewels; and how best we could present them digitally for the final round. The strong line-up of shortlisted pieces just goes to show how we all can come together digitally to make miracles happen!”

Here are the winners of The Artisan Awards 2021:
Navin Jashnani, Educationist, Visionary, Couture Jewellery Manufacturer, and one of the main architects of IIJS Premiere and IIJS Signature, received The Artisan Award for “Excellence in Jewellery Design” amidst thunderous applause.

Mismatched earrings designed by Namrata Bhardwaj; Manufactured by A’Star Jewels Pvt. Ltd.
Floral Fantasy

First Runner-up
Brooch designed by Koushik Mondal; Manufactured by Tanvirkumar & Company
Object of Desire