Excellence In Pearl Design

Judges chose among pieces ranging from the fantastic to the fabulous to come up with 47 winners in the 23rd International Pearl Design Contest held in Tokyo this summer. The contest, sponsored by the Japan Pearl Promotion Society, attracted 730 entries from 19 countries. Six runner-up awards went to U.S. residents. Entries in three categories &endash; freestyle design, thematic design (this year's theme was aquatic animals) and paper renderings &endash; had to feature cultured or natural pearls as the central design element. They were judged on originality, innovative use of materials and design excellence. Shizuko Hirobe of Japan won the Grand Prix for her "Message of Spring Breeze" brooch. Other winners: · Freestyle category - Emiko Nishida of Japan placed first. Of the 18 runner-up awards, 14 went to Japanese, two to Germans and two to Americans (James Barker of Ancient

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