Young Talent Honored at Basel

Several major annual design contests culminated at the Basel fair and recognized top designers from around the world.

The Basel Award for international jewelry students introduces promising young talent to some of the world’s best-known jewelry design companies. The winners of this year’s award, announced at the Basel show’s welcome party, were Alexandra Schönenberger, Simone Stenger, and Keiko Shitaya. Schönenberger is from l’École Superieure des Arts Appliques, La Chaux-de-Fonds; Stenger is from Instituto Europeo di Design, Milan; and Shitaya is from Mettallo Nobile, Italy. Their winning pieces will be sold for charity.

Each student was paired with a leading international design firm, which crafted the pieces rendered by the students. The partners were Carrera y Carrera, Chimento, Feeling, Golay, Leo Pizzo, La Nouvelle Bague, Picchiotti, Roberto Coin, Schoeffel, and Torrini.

Perle Utopia sponsored a similar contest—their International Award for Jewelry Design—which was open to both students and professionals and drew 300 entries from 25 countries. Ten finalists and one winner were chosen. This year’s winner was Husun Park, a native South Korean who lives in New York and works for Jose Hess. The winning piece—a choker in white gold with diamonds and a

17-mm Perle Utopia pearl—was crafted by Crivelli, Valenza.

Finally, the Prix Golay, a contest for young goldsmiths in Switzerland, was won by Linda Pieri, a student at l’École d’Art des Montagnes Neuchateloises, La Chaux-de-Fonds. This year’s contest challenged designers to create an ornament with a strand of pearls one meter long. Pieri’s piece resembled an archer’s bow worn across the body.

The technical prize went to Cedric Chevalley, of l’École Technique de la Vallee de Joux, Le Sentier, who created a silver bracelet with each pearl set in its own cove, movable on a shaft to show each pearl’s shape, color, and luster. The conceptual prize went to Camille Locher, also of the l’École d’Art des Montagnes Neuchateloises, La Chaux-de-Fonds. Locher’s piece resembled an oriental yoke connecting without locks to the string of pearls.

The special prize of the jury went to the designer of a piece that featured a daring disclosure of the colors and luster from the inside of the pearls, which had been crushed and set in a synthetic resin on a classic bangle. The piece was created by Karin Hueber, Atelier Bijoux à la carte Franziska Schadelin/Anna-Regula Wiesmann, Bern.