Lyons Receives Saul Bell Design Award Grand Prize

Amy Roper Lyons of Summit, N.J., was the grand-prize winner of the fifth annual Saul Bell Design Award competition. She and nine other winners were honored at a ceremony held Saturday at Postrio restaurant in the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino during The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas.

Roper won for her Madagascar Jellyfish, made of transparent enamels fired over fine silver with 24k cloisonné wires outlining the design. The piece uses 24k and 18k gold with 15 layers of enamel to produce the desired color intensity. Seven tentacles are made of hollow speculums formed from 32-gauge sheet. It includes three bezel set brilliant-cut diamonds.

The artist received $10,000 as the grand prize winner and a glass and stone trophy.

The awards were established in 2000 in honor of Rio Grande’s founder, Saul Bell, the annual Saul Bell Design Award competition challenges designers from all over the world to create innovative and original jewelry designs. Rio Grande serves as host and catalyst to this competition that rewards nearly $30,000 in prize awards. Designers are encouraged to unleash their imagination and push the boundaries of jewelry design.

Rio Grande chief executive officer Andrea Hill presented the awards to winners and finalists in five categories: Hollowware, Silver, Precious Metal Clay, Beads, and Gold/Platinum. Roper was a competitor in the Gold/Platinum category. In addition to her, first-place winners were:

* Silver: Beth McElhiney of Beth McElhiney Fine Jeweler, Vineyard Haven, Mass., for “The Juliet Bracelet,” made of six different design panels, each based on antique design patterns. Each panel slides onto 3 mm rubber cord and is glued and crimped. Silver tube clasp has a garnet on each end.

* PMC: Patrik Kusek of Patrik’s Studio, San Francisco, for the “Botanical Bracelet.” Photopolymer plates were created to make an impression on PMC3. Liver of sulfur was used to blacken the plate and then removed to leave the letters and other elements a darker color. Each leaf was hand painted to get the watercolor effect. Jump rings and toggle were made of sterling silver.

* Beads: Mary Smith of Beaded Jewelry by Design, St. Charles, Mo., for her “Fall Fish Eye Necklace,” made of molten glass wrapped around steel mandrels to form round beads that were strung between metal beads and finished with a clasp.

* Hollowware: Heather Bayless of Seoul, South Korea, for her silver vessel, created through stretching and raising a hammer as well as fabrication. A gill structure was created through fabrication. A stem was formed through a combination of fabrication and hammering.

All first-place winners received a $2,500 Rio Grande gift certificate. Five second-place winners received a $1,000 Rio Grande gift certificate. They are:

* Gold/Platinum: Geoffrey Giles of Candler, N.C. for “Circles = Squares.”

* Silver: Satya Linak of Satya Linak Zealandia Designs, Boise, Idaho, for “Egret Locket.”

* PMC: Barbara Simon of Barbara Becker Simon, Cape Coral, Fla., for “Big Links.”

* Beads: Patricia Tschetter of Tschetter Studio Inc., Dallas, for “Millefiore in Metal.”

* Hollowware: Daniel Randall of Carbondale, Ill., for “Formal Transgressions #1.”