We’re back again with more news from the the recent annual Goldsmiths Craft & Design Competition that saw two London College of Fashion jewellery designers Viktorija Agne and Andrea Tan, win Bronze prizes.
Known affectionately within the trade as the ‘Oscars of the Industry’, winning an award at the ceremony is a huge achievement for designers with years of experience, but for student designers to be acknowledged so early on in their careers is rare. The evening was hosted by jewellery expert, Joanna Hardy, and was attended by 300 world recognised trade companies and individuals, sponsors, industry associations and press were very impressed with their work.
After featuring Viktorija Agne last week here we speak to Australian BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery designer Andrea Tan, who was awarded Bronze in the awards in the Design Section: 3D Finished Pieces – Precious Jewellery category.
Andrea discusses conceptual styles, degree struggles and what winning the award means to her.
What did you study before applying to London College of Fashion?
I studied a Bachelor of Commerce at Sydney University majoring in Accounting. I hated it so I stopped and applied to go to London.
What made you want to study BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery?
I have always loved jewellery and wanted to learn how to design and make it. During my foundation year, I was so fixated on making jewellery I would buy beading kits and assemble jewellery but no one could ever wear it cause it kept falling apart. When I finally learnt how to solder and use metal, it was so exciting and I wanted to continue on and on.
You recently won Bronze at this years Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council. You were selected in the Design Section: 3D Finished Pieces – Precious Jewellery category. Congratulations! What did you produce to win, and how does it feel being recognised?
I made a set of rings and earrings, handmade in silver and set with semi-precious stones. It is a pleasant surprise and honour to be recognised for the work I produced in my second-year and have it exhibited at the event. It was an eye-opening experience and very motivational to see other people’s work, particularly that of modern day apprentices on the more traditional fine jewellery side of making. It has made me want to work harder, to make better pieces in the future and continue in the direction of fine jewellery.
How are you finding your degree, what have been the highlights and struggles so far?
The struggle is and probably always will be my horrendous time management. It really is awful. On the other hand, the highlight of the degree was completing an internship in my second year at my favourite jewellery designer Shaun Leane.
How would you describe your conceptual style?
I would describe my conceptual style as futuristic, built on a strong foundation of traditional jewellery techniques. Precious, elegant and fun. A running joke is that I like to have everything look shiny and expensive.
Do you prefer working with new technologies when designing jewellery or do you prefer traditional crafts methods?
I have always been obsessed with traditional jewellery making methods, particularly working with metal. Metal is such a weird material, it can be old fashioned and futuristic at the same time. Something well-made is always precious and seductive, particularly when made by hand.
What is your plan for the future, where do you see yourself in five years?
Upon graduation I plan to pursue a G.I.A accreditation. In the future, I wish to work somewhere on the Place Vendome in Paris, the motherland of fine jewellery. I’m from Australia, we always dream of working somewhere really “european”. It’s so exotic.