Joost During of Yoast Silver, Warwick, R.I., was honored as the grand prize winner of the fifth annual Saul Bell Design Award competition during a ceremony held at Las Vegas’s Venetian Resort Hotel Casino on Saturday.
During won for his fabricated and hand-formed teapot constructed of sterling and highlighted with a rosewood handle and feet. The handle is assembled with a pin and the feet are threaded into place. For his work, During received a limited-edition sculpture created by New Mexico glass artist John Healey and a $10,000 gift certificate from Rio Grande, the competition’s founder and major sponsor.
Rio Grande established the award in 2000 in honor of its founder, Saul Bell. The 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.
Andrea Hill, CEO of Rio Grande, presented the award during a ceremony at Postrio Restaurant inside the Venetian. She also presented awards to nine other finalists in five categories: Hollowware, Silver, Precious Metal Clay, Beads, and Gold/Platinum. During was a competitor in the Hollowware category.
In addition to Yoost, first place winners in their respected categories are:
Silver – Chihiro Makio of 314 Studio, Cambridge, Mass., for her “Orange Necklace,” made of hand-cut, three-dimensional sterling pieces that are either oxidized, 24K plated, or rhodium coated, with glass beads hand-sewn onto leaf edges.
Precious Metal Clay – Kate McKinnon, St. Louis, for her “Spiky” Series necklace consisting of PMC3 shapes, fired, patinaed, and tumbled.
Beads – Marilyn Bailey of M.E. Bailey Designs, Hendersonville, N.C., for her “Funky Gold Necklace” constructed of spiraled 14-gauge, 14K gold wire.
Gold/Platinum – Ruben Zhitnik of Ruben’s Jewelry, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, for his yellow and white gold coast ring comprised of one single-ct. round diamond, 24 three-point diamonds and ten two-point diamonds.
All first-place winners received a $2,500 gift certificate.
Five second-place winners in their respected categories received a $1,000 gift certificate. They are as follows:
Hollowware – Craig Bremer, Doraville, Ga., for his “Queen of Hearts” teapot constructed completely of sterling.
Silver _ Hazel Studstill of Hj Designs, Atlanta, for her “Vertebrae Necklace” cast from a hand-cut 18-gauge sterling original.
Precious Metal Clay – Gordon Uyehara of HonuDream, Honolulu, for his “Ancient Life” necklace constructed of PMC3 formed over cork clay and fired.
Beads – Todd Reed of Todd Reed, Boulder, Colo., for his necklace comprised of black beads hand fabricated from silver sheet, 18k gold beads set with 27 raw diamond cubes and aquamarine beads.
Gold/Platinum – Paula Crevoshay of Paula Crevoshay, Albuquerque, for her “Spring Rain” necklace featuring eight quartz “clouds” and 26 blue zircon “raindrops carried by rolling puffs of 18k “wind.”