Rio Grande Hosts Fifth Saul Bell Awards

Joost During of Yoast Silver, Warwick, R.I., was the grand-prize winner of the fifth annual Saul Bell Design Award competition. He and nine other winners were feted at a ceremony held at Postrio restaurant during The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas.

During won for his fabricated and hand-formed teapot, constructed of sterling silver and highlighted with a rosewood handle and feet. The handle is assembled with a pin, and the feet are threaded into place. 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 sponsor.

Rio Grande established the award in 2000 in honor of its founder, Saul Bell. The competition challenges designers to create innovative and original jewelry designs, and the prize pool totals $30,000.

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

  • 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-carat round diamond, 24 three-point diamonds and 10 two-point diamonds.

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

  • 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.”