Designer T Lee may not have industry longevity, but according to her peers, she’s got talent: Lee was presented with the Mort Abelson New Designer of the Year award during the Jewelers of America show in July.
The Minneapolis-based designer is best known for woven designs whose textures rival the finest textiles. Her Woven Collection is making national news for its application of classic basket-weaving techniques to metal. She uses state-of-the-art metals, heat treatable alloys, and microalloys of 24k and platinum.
“It’s overwhelming to be recognized by peers whom I idolize and try to model my work after,” Lee told JCK following the award presentation. “There’s nothing like it. It proves that working your fingers to the bone pays.”
The New Designer of the Year Award has been the launching pad for some of today’s most prominent jewelry designers. Past winners include Stephen Kretchmer, Alex Sepkus, Susan Sadler, Mark Schneider, Sakamoto, and Whitney Boin, all of whom served on this year’s jury.