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Goldsmiths' Crafts and Design Council Awards 2021 - BA Winners

Mingjie Yang, Year 3 BA Fashion Jewellery Design Proposal
  • Written byN Brathwaite
  • Published date01 July 2021
Mingjie Yang, Year 3 BA Fashion Jewellery Design Proposal
Mingjie Yang, Year 3 BA Fashion Jewellery Design Proposal Corset

Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards, is a competition open to anyone in the UK engaged in designing or working with precious metals, gemstones and other allied materials. The awards took place in May this year with LCF BA Fashion Jewellery students taking home 3 of the awards. We spoke to the winners, as well as their Lecturers to find out more about their winning pieces.

Sister Emerson, Year 1 - Gold Award Winner in the Conceptual Jewellery Category

Our course leaders strongly encouraged us to get involved in the competition, and when reading the various briefs, I felt most drawn to the 2D Conceptual Design brief - which asked entrants to create a piece of jewellery, or body adornment for a fictional character. When developing my design, one of my course leaders, Carol Wiseman-Watts, gave me feedback, helping to give me insight into how my piece may be perceived. This also helped me develop my work and make sure that my intended message came across clearly.

This headpiece is designed for the first female President of the United States of America. I did not want the design to be based on current fashion trends, as I wanted it to reflect the breaking of barriers that would result from this election. To some, the election of a female president would be awe-inspiring and hopeful, but this drastic change could make others feel uncomfortable. I wanted my headpiece to reflect all of these feelings. The shattered glass is meant to portray the ‘glass ceiling’ being broken. The metaphor of the glass ceiling describes the barrier that prevents women or minorities from obtaining upper-level positions. I wanted to make the ‘President’ a headpiece so it could be visible, even from behind her podium. The shattered glass would act almost as a mirror, allowing the audience to see their own reflection in the headpiece, symbolising their role in making the election possible.

Sister Emerson, Year 1 BA Fashion Jewellery Design Proposal

Teresa Liu, Year 1 - Bronze Award Winner in the Conceptual Jewellery Category

This award-winning project of mine explores an imagination of human adaptation to future technology. In the prognosis of technological singularity, I predict that humankind will develop a mechanization of the human body within one hundred years and implement technology that will allow us to ‘upload’ the mind. Consequently, there will be great changes in the appearance and structure of the human body.

Soft skin and muscle may be replaced by cold and hard high-tech machine. Countless of external neurons are will grow externally on the head, backing up thinking and memory which belong to each individual, in real time. My design is a piece of jewellery that will be an integrated part of humans of the future, rather than simply being worn - which also represents the indivisible connection between technology and the fate of human beings in the future.

The inspiration came from an ordinary daily detail. When I play mobile games or swipe my phone for couple of hours, my fingers will become numb and can't stretch flexibly. Based on the fact that technology is already affecting the human body, the timeline has been set one hundred years from now. Since I'm personally a big fan of cyberpunk, ideas came to me one after another, especially after watching countless movies and looking at biological artworks in this style. The process of creation is exciting and to the point where I forget myself. That's why I chose this project for the competition.

Teresa Liu, Year 1 BA Fashion Jewellery Design Proposal


Mingjie (Selina) Yang, Year 3 - Bronze Award Winner in the Diversity and Inclusion Category

My final project is called “My Body, My right”. As women, when growing up, it is common to have anxiety about our appearance; am I beautiful enough?

Under the influence of our social environments, women feel pressure to change themselves in order to meet the expectations of others and to meet certain standards. We gradually lose the right to make decisions about our appearance. I hope to encourage women to be the masters of how they look through this project - ‘My body, My right’.

By chance, I recently saw a report by the Chinese about the supermodel, Winnie Harlow. Her appearance is very unique, I was attracted to the patterns created on her body by her vitiligo and I wanted to better understand her background.  When starting out, she participated in a TV programme which was a contest to crown the ‘National Supermodel’ - which is where her success began. Her bravery on the show and her spirit, not feeling inferior for her appearance, affected me deeply and she became my muse, encouraging me to research more about the human body’s structure and appearance.

I find the pattern of lighter skin on darker skin very interesting and started by making a collage of various materials that explored these patterns. I believe that damaged vintage jewellery has more diverse shapes and an intrinsic value. Just like Winnie, I am using the patterns brought about by her vitiligo, to reshape and use the jewellery and transform them in a way that reflect how it has become her own highly recognizable style. Another reason for using damaged vintage jewellery, is that it gives a longer life to the beautiful pieces that otherwise may not be used again. My reshaping of broken vintage jewellery, encourages people to enjoy the beauty in damaged jewellery, rather than destroying and discarding it.

You can shine like a queen. Your original appearance is the most beautiful. Be yourself!

Mingjie Yang, Year 1 BA Fashion Jewellery Design Proposal

Associate Lecturer for BA Fashion Jewellery, Carol Wiseman-Watts 

This year, we encouraged our students on BA Fashion Jewellery to take part and submit an entry to one of the categories. The enthusiasm from our students was admirable, particularly since this was an extra-curricular activity.  We had a number of students from years 1 and 3 who entered the competition and they all worked extremely hard on their entries.

Course Leader for BA Fashion Jewellery, Bernadette Deddens 

We are beyond proud of our 3 winners in the annual Goldsmiths' Crafts and Design Council Awards. This is a prestigious UK wide competition for young talents and established practitioners alike. We used the opportunity this year to welcome Y1 into our wider course community by running a peer review session teaming students from Y1 and Y3 to support each other with their presentations for the competition. During a challenging year as this past one, we feel it made everyone feel part of a community.

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