(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA – The Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award of Excellence for Jewelry Design is typically announced early in the year amid the glorious colors of Tucson’s gemstone displays. This year, the fourth annual award was announced virtually during the GIA’s Rocks of Knowledge Week: Spring Into Color. Students and alumni came together virtually for the celebration and announcement of the winner, Belle Sin Ting Wong, who received her jewelry design certificate from GIA School in Hong Kong. Tune in for this year’s winner’s full interview.
Over 100 students competed to be finalists for the 2020 Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewelry Design. The students’ drawings were presented in their original, hand-rendered format, along with statements identifying the materials used and the inspiration for each piece. The designs of nine finalists from seven GIA campuses were peer-reviewed, faculty, and ultimately a panel of eminent judges – including Shelly Sargent, curator of the Somewhere in the Rainbow collection; Victoria Gomelsky, editor-in-chief of JCK Magazine; Alishan Halebian, owner and designer of Alishan jewelry; Alan Revere, award-winning jewelry designer, author and educator; and Remy Rotenier, owner and designer of jewelry from Remy Rotenier.
“It is incredible that so many students have successfully completed their jewelry design studies in 2020, despite the challenges of the global pandemic. Many of the beautiful original designs created by the students this year were inspired by the themes of connection and community, ”said Laurie Bailyn, senior director of arts, research and development of jewelry making.
Belle Sin Ting Wong’s winning design was a brooch inspired by the Siamese Fighting Fish. “I wanted to draw attention to environmental awareness with this piece… If we continue our toxic lifestyles and don’t use sustainable products, we might be on the verge of losing these beautiful creatures and speeding up the pace of global warming, ”she said.
Many of Belle Sin Ting Wong’s pieces are about storytelling, she strives to create objects that represent connections to others. Her “The Moment” costume jewelry collection uses children’s toys as a metaphor to build relationships between different groups of people through play.
“I never imagined receiving this award, so it’s a plus and a surprise. I was very honored and overwhelmed with joy when I watched the live video with my family. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the GIA and the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation for offering the award. Knowing that there was such a chance to win this award gave me extra motivation to do my best on the projects, ”said Sin Ting Wong.
The award was created with the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation in 2018 to recognize outstanding design talents among GIA students. The 2021 Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Competition for Excellence in Jewelry Design is ongoing and open to students of GIA jewelry design courses who meet the eligibility criteria. For more information, visit GIA.edu/buccellati-foundation-award-jewelry-design.
GIA’s Jewelry Design Course teaches drawing, shading, design theory, and illustration using multiple mediums. At the end of the course, students are provided with a hand-developed portfolio of their work and a digital copy. In some locations, GIA also offers courses in Jewelry Design and Technology and Comprehensive Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD / CAM).