The first JCK Rock Star competition is nearly complete, and judges have narrowed down contestants to Alex Woo of Alex Woo New York and Walter Adler Chefitz of Walt Adler. In Episode 12, viewers revisit their designs—Woo’s hinged lantern pendant inspired by those seen in Moroccan markets, complete with a tiny scroll that can be personalized, and Chefitz’s Möbius-theme bracelet with undulating streams of blue-green Swarovski gemstones—and hear the judges’ take on all pieces.
Nina Basharova’s ring/pendant from Episode 7 is “fluid and organic,” according to Daniel Cohen, fifth generation member of the Swarovski family, and president of Swarovski North America. “It was a ring but also a pendant, a surprise I find intriguing.”
Victoria Gomelsky, editor in chief of JCK, “loved that it was palladium,” as well as its sculptural qualities. And Randi Udell-Alper, vice president of London Jewelers, thought that it was great as pendant, but not so much as a ring: “It’s really uncomfortable,” she observes. “I think it’s hard to see a lot of the color, you sort of just see the palladium.”
“It’s a good concept but it needs more refinement,” adds Cohen.
Final decision: “I loved the heart behind it,” says Gomelsky.
Next up for discussion is Michael Bruder’s long pendant necklace from Episode 8. His concept focused on all the colors of the Swarovski gemstones. “I wanted it to be like candy,” says the creative force behind Corrupt Design. His piece, a long necklace set with different shapes in metal and colors in stone (more than 40 gems were used), was appreciated by judges, but they found it be unfocused overall.
“I definitely understand Michael’s goals—a broader range of stones,” notes Cohen.
“I don’t think it flows so well,” adds Alper.
Ultimate decision: too much going on and no fluidity.
“The stones were highlighted beautifully in a fine geometric approach,” says Cohen.
“I love that she used gold,” adds Alper. “It stands out. I don’t think that would lie correctly, though. The edges are a little sharp.”
“These little bits that move detract from the cleanliness of the design,” says Gomelsky. “It’s got a lot of bits to it.”
Ultimately, both Woo and Chefitz wowed the judges, and I agree with the decision to bring the competition down to their two pieces.
With Chefitz’s bracelet—a style no one else made—Cohen “loved it and didn’t want to put it down.”
“He captured poetry and precision in a synergistic way,” he explains. “The inside of the piece blends with the outside of the piece.”
Both Alper and Gomelsky agreed. “Personally, I loved this piece,” said Alper. Adds Gomelsky: “I was struck by this one.”
Meanwhile, Woo’s “level of engagement,” according to Cohen, was much appreciated. “She touched on two really important themes, cultural diversity and personalization,” he says.
“I loved her ‘message in a bottle’,” says Alper of the tiny paper scroll tucked inside that buyers can personalize.
“A lantern is something we’ve all seen, but oddly enough you don’t see a lot of them in jewelry,” says Gomelsky. “And it’s a great journey to Morocco, with the lanterns and the hammered finish. It translates really well to jewelry.”
Woo’s piece is pretty and tells a story; the judges like it!
“I guess in my mind we’re down to two,” Gomelsky says.
“I agree,” says Alper.
“So it’s Walt and Alex, where do you come out on that?” Gomelsky inquires of her two fellow judges.
We’ll find out next month in the last installment of JCK Rock Star, when the winner is revealed.Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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