Winterson Prize 2018: Meet the Designers Part I

Each year we work with the student jewellery designers at Central Saint Martins in London, giving them an opportunity to experience designing with pearls for their final year collections.

We will be awarding the Winterson Prize 2018 to one of the students for ‘The Best Use of Pearls’ at the CSM Jewellery Awards Evening on 21st June. The BA Jewellery graduate collections are exhibited at CSM and open to the public from June 20th - 24th.

Here we feature the first part in a series of short interviews with designers from the CSM Jewellery 2018 show, including in this article - Aidan Madden, Bam Jansanjai, Beichen Guan, Biying Chen and Gabriella Goldsmith.

Read Part II of this series and about Aidan Madden, the winner of this year's prize.

 

Aidan-Madden

Aidan Madden

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I sit somewhere between contempory and fine jewelry. I appreciate tradition, but like to turn it on its head.

What was the inspiration for the 'Pearl Culture' collection?
Initially, I had no interest in pearls. This was a good starting point, as I hadn't any preconceptions of how they should be represented. This pushed me to change them significantly through unconventional methods.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
I find there is much more potential as a material rather an embelishment. Once you begin to cut and join them they have infinite potential.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
Exposing the pearls' nucleus is what drew my attention, prompting the series of ‘pearl faces’ and pearl tubes.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
Taffin and Hemmerle; they do things differently and have an experimental way of working with materials.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
My collection is playful and diverse so I feel it will reach out to a broad spectrum of people.

What is it that makes a piece of jewellery a design classic?
A design that transcends the current trends.

What’s next for you after CSM?
I would like to continue working with pearls and expanding on my collection.

 

Bam-Jansanjai

Bam Jansanjai

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I like working in positive, playful and unique designs with different materials creating jewellery with stories. So my jewellery is the way that I express myself to other people.

What was the inspiration for the 'How to Wear Good Luck' collection?
I think it is very interesting how people give objects the meaning and value that represent something spiritual and how one object can mean something to someone. So I wanted to explore a context of jewellery that is more than just an adornment, a jewellery that brings luck to the wearers or at least brings a positive energy to them. This collection is inspired by 13 old good luck superstitions that are converted into a wearable jewellery in modern context.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
One of the pieces in my collection is called “Magic Mole”. People believe that moles indicate luck so I made pearl moles that ones can stick on their faces in the position where they want to enhance the luck. So I want to add value to the mole and to emphasize their specialness with pearl.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
Pearls are very fragile. Working with them required a lot of patience but it somehow gave me calmness.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
Alessandro Michele.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
Everyone. Basically, anyone who wants to brighten up their day with a little help from good luck jewellery.

What is it that makes a piece of jewellery a design classic?
The concept and a good design that capture everyone’s attention.

What’s next for you after CSM?
For me, being successful in competitive world of design requires a lot more than just design skills. So I have decided to do MA in Luxury Brand Management.

View more of Bam's work here.

 

Beichen-Guan

Beichen Guan (Esther)

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
I am a Chinese student who has studied in Central Saints Martin BA Jewelry Design for 3 years. I am super interested about Architectural design and Installation art, it also can be a skill in several artistic mediums.

What was the inspiration for the 'Ultra Sparking Smiles' collection?
For this collection, inspired from the star pattern of “emoji ” that people easily can understand, into those teeth whitening products and tools. In a entertaining way to show people just like me who try so hard to whiten their teeth because of the aesthetic feeling pressures from society.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
Lots of people adore the pearly whitened teeth that those Hollywood stars have after 2000. I am trying to find the way to showing my feeling of teeth whitening industry as jewelry designer. The variety of a pearl’s shape and color make a really good figure of human teeth.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
I try to used mother of pearl carving skills to cut out a rhombus shinning pattern that describes the message of dental teeth whitening.  Also I using graduated color to represent the different aesthetic varieties of subcultures related to the teeth whitening.

Which designer or artist do you most admire? 
I find such designers brand as Ambush, Dubellier and Schield to be highly inspiring and contemporary.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
This collection is quite personal as it's my point of view. It's talking about the people who like me, wish to whiten their teeth to have the pearly shining teeth like those stars have.

What is it that makes a piece of jewellery a design classic?
Probably just like Melvyn Kirtley, Tiffany chief gemologist said, “ always pushing the boundaries of innovation, and doing things that we’ve never done before.”

What’s next for you after CSM?
I will try to do some internship jobs after I graduate, to learn more things outside of college.

View more of Beichen's work here.

 

Biying-Chen

Biying Chen

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Biying and I am from China. My jewellery always has a strong interaction with the wearer.

What was the inspiration for the 'Jewellery Shop' collection?
I found customers’ and salesperson’s attitude to display items were entirely different during my work experience in 2016, which led me think about the value of display props.The comparison of the shop window in the day and night was my direct inspiration. At night, jewellery pieces are often removed and stored for safety. It seems that the display props become the protagonist in the showcase.In this collection, I used the preciousness of pearls to question and highlight the value of display props.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
Pearls are not as aggressive as other gemstones. With their natural, random lustre and general relatively smooth edges, for me, pearls can reflect the softness of femininity.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
Although not all the pearls are exactly the same size when I ask a specific size in the shop, I find it even more natural which gives a contrast to the precise machine work.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
Otto Künzli and Giorgio Morandi.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
Energetic and playful people.

What is it that makes a piece of jewellery a design classic?
The particular concept behind a piece is the most crucial factor.

What’s next for you after CSM?
I woud like to learn more about the jewellery industry and start to set up my own business.

 

Gabriella-Goldsmith

Gabriella Mika Goldsmith

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Denmark. With an American dad and a Danish mom, I always felt the need of travelling which eventually led me to move to London to continue my further education. I have found that studying jewellery and living in London has given me the insight to a world of wonderful odd eccentrics and charismas.

What was the inspiration for this collection?
The collection reflects on my inner sub-conscious that allows to dream away by presenting identity’s different from the one you see in real life thus the facial features presented throughout the work. I was inspired by the thoughts behind surrealism and therefor the bubbles have become an instrument to allow one to sooth away by recapturing childhood moments disturbing the rational.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
Each cultured pearl is unique, and I find it fascinating how we can use these water-made species in our jewellery. They are subtle but have a beautiful glaze with their skin like colours.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
That they are extremely fragile, that there are so many different types of “real” pearls, and that they shouldn’t be regarded as a conservative jewel!

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
Tone Vigeland and Alexander McQueen – and so many others!

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
Anyone who are willing to challenge conventional jewellery and has an appreciation for the craft.

What is it that makes a piece of jewellery a design classic?
A design that everyone can appreciate, is timeless with the highest level of craftsmanship.

What’s next for you after CSM?
I have just been accepted for an MA at Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

View more of Gabriella's work here.