It may have been founded over 100 years ago but the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council (GC&DC) still proudly pursues its original purpose; to encourage, stimulate and promote the pursuit of excellence in craftsmanship and design amongst all those in the United Kingdom who work within silversmithing, goldsmithing, jewellery and the allied crafts.
Once a year, the world of jewellery and silversmithing enjoys a real red-carpet moment. Goldsmiths’ Hall in the city of London with its marble and gilded interior provides a glamorous setting for an evening celebrating excellence in precious metalworking and related professions. Affectionately known within the trade as ‘the Jewellery Oscars’, the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards are unrivalled in status, covering a comprehensive breadth of subject areas and attracting a diverse range of designers and makers to submit 2D designs and 3D work.
Its annual nationwide competition embraces every aspect of craft and design activity currently being practiced in the UK industry, representing 32 individual categories, covering the newest advances in technology as well as traditional hand skills.
Over 600 individual entries are submitted every year, judges are drawn from a wide spectrum of expertise in the profession to scrutinise work and, where standards are met, award Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes.
This unique competition encourages self-employed designer makers, students, companies and self-taught individuals to pitch their talent and extend their skills in design and making. It attracts support and sponsorship from companies, individuals and organisations, none more so than The Goldsmiths’ Company, GC&DC’s founding and leading Patron, Cartier and more recently, Graff. It is free to enter and anyone is encouraged to do so. The awards have launched and supported many careers and continue to be the backbone of the industry’s calendar of events.
“We ask the best in the game to join our panels of judges,” says Consultant Secretary and long-serving Council Member, Brian Hill, “And that is one of the reasons why we are highly respected in the profession across the board.”
“The first award I ever won as a jeweller was a Silver Award in the Designer Jeweller Finished Pieces Juniors category,” recalls prominent jewellery designer and Ambassador for the GC&DC, Stephen Webster, “I was seventeen and already hooked! I never missed a year after that, always preparing a piece for what was going to be my next big win and maybe even the elusive Goldsmiths’ Company Award.”
Of course, no award ceremony can be nicknamed ‘the Oscars’ without the odd acceptance speech. This year’s winner of the highly acclaimed Goldsmiths’ Company Award, jeweller and Goldsmiths North exhibitor, John Moore, said of his achievement, “It’s a real honour to win this and to be amongst such amazing artists and makers who I’ve admired for many years.”