Usually unveiled early in the year during the Tucson gem shows, this year those involved gathered virtually during GIA’s “Knowledge Rocks Week: Spring Into Color” to celebrate the award given to Belle Sin Ting Wong.
More than 100 students competed in the fourth edition of the design competition, whose entries were presented in their original, hand-rendered format, accompanied by statements addressing the materials used and the inspiration behind each piece.
Nine finalists from seven GIA campuses were chosen, the works of which were then evaluated by peers, faculty, and a panel of judges.
Wong, who earned her Jewelry Design certificate at GIA Hong Kong, won with the brooch seen at the top of the article, inspired by Siamese fighting fish.
The piece features yellow and white gold, diamond, enamel, jadeite, pearl, and sapphire.
“I wanted to raise attention to environmental awareness with this piece… If we continue our toxic living habits and don’t use sustainable products, we might be very close to losing these beautiful creatures and quicken the pace of global warming,” she said.
Many of her pieces are about storytelling, GIA said, adding that she aims to make objects that represent connections with others. Her jewelry collection called “The Moment,” for example, uses children’s toys as a metaphor for building relationships through play.
The Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewelry Design was created in 2018 to recognize outstanding talent in design among GIA students.
A full interview with Wong can also be found on YouTube.
The 2021 competition is underway and open to students in GIA’s Jewelry Design courses who meet the eligibility requirements.
For more information, visit GIA.edu.