The Women’s Jewelry Association commemorated its 25th anniversary this year by awarding $25,000 in scholarships to 14 students from 11 different schools across the nation. The 2008 scholarship program marks the 24th year that the organization has provided scholarship funds to deserving students preparing for careers in the fine jewelry and watch industries.
“We had two significant changes this year,” said Lisa Slovis Mandel, the WJA National Scholarship chair. “For the first time, we offered two different scholarships: the traditional Designer scholarship that is based on slide entries of finished pieces, and the new Non-Designer category, which was essay based. The latter category was targeted towards students training to become bench jewelers, appraisers, gemologists, retailers and more. The second change was that the application and the jury processes were done online.”
Designer Category Scholarship Recipients:
$6,000 June Herman Scholarship
Christine Alaniz – Tyler School of Art, Temple University
Alaniz’s designs explore themes of wrapping, nesting and encaging in order to represent how she sees others and herself in relationships. Members of the jury were impressed with her clean crisp lines and fluid design sense. Alaniz’s “Pod Linkage” necklace (pictured) was created by casting multiple links in sterling silver. The tail of each pod hooks through the next pod to create a movable linkage.
Evelyn Huang – Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (Los Angeles).
Huang is one of the first winners of a WJA Student Scholarship who is a student in the Fashion Design Industry. She has recently fallen in love with jewelry and jumped in full force starting her own company, and now attending FIDM. Her designs are mature and enticing, according to the jury. Huang is also a 2007 WJA DIVA award winner and 2008 MJSA Vision award winner. Huang’s “Cometes” cuff (pictured) features a 16.7 mm silver Tahitian pearl set in 18K white gold with sapphires and black and white diamonds.
Amy Hamai – Long Beach City College. The jury felt that Hamai demonstrated great technical skills in her clean jewelry designs. She incorporates small surprises and moving elements in each of her pieces. Hamai’s “Clasp” bracelet (pictured) is made of sterling silver and freshwater pearls. It is hydraulically pressed and the texture on it is created by using the spray etcher.
Rebekah Frank – Texas State University, San Marcos. Frank’s “Raphide” box (pictured)is based on a type of crystal that occurs by the hundreds in the cells of young grape leaves. Made from steel, each “needle” was hand forged and tapered, then buffed with steel wool to bring out the highlights. The lining is copper, held in place with rivets. “Raphide” is currently on display at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, an affiliate of the Houston Museum of Fine Art.
Clara Cho – Rhode Island School of Design
Carrie Metheny – Radford University, Radford, Va.
Aliyah Gold – State University of New York at New Paltz
1. Molly Gabbard – Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
2. Ryu-Hee Kim – Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
3. Lindsey Eisentraut – Academy of Art University, San Francisco
Sophia Connie Shen – GIA
1. Marlyn Martinez Marrero – Fashion Institute of Technology
2. Eriko Kojo – GIA
Louisa Green – The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
2008 scholarship funds were raised from the proceeds of WJA’s Silent Auction held during its annual Awards for Excellence gala in 2007, as well as from the generous contributions of companies and individuals, including but not limited to the generous support of the Marilyn DaSilva Fund and the WJA San Diego Chapter.
The scholarship committee, which made up the jury, included Lisa Slovis Mandel, Chair, Jane Goodman Baum, Jayne Schultz, Barbara Wasserstrom, Karen Janowski, Carole Diamond, and Anne Blumer.