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A Kiss of the Sunbeam

17 july 2009

Against the backdrop of a fairy tale, the 2009 HRD Awards diamond jewellery design contest organised by Antwerp World Diamond Centre reached its climax, with the announcement of a winner and four finalists. As Roudh&Polished was told by the AWDC, taking the top prize in the competition was Isabelle Geeroms of Belgium. Her entry “Mirror Mirror on my hand” is a ring made out of white gold and ceramics. Her inspiration comes from the fairy tale ‘Snow white and the seven dwarfs’. With a handful of frailness, she disposed dazzling diamonds in the mirror, symbolising the yearning for passion and tenderness. The 114 diamonds with a total weight of 10,28 carats, are provided by  Luc Vets Diamant. The jewel itself is sponsored by Gemsset.

Finalist Thitiwan Thubtimthong, Thailand, created the jewel “Beyond Imagination” out of a 30 meter chain, using an amazing technique to design many small objects, the fruit of her own imagination. Based upon the definition of a fairy tale - we don’t know exactly when the story begins and ends - this very long necklace contains many far fetched stories and is set with 595 brilliant-cut diamonds, 38 champagne coloured diamonds, 2 pink diamonds and one gold coloured diamond with a total weight of 9,11 carats. The diamonds are provided by Om Diamond Co Ltd, the jewel is sponsored by Ariha Diamond Jewellery Co, Ltd.

Finalist Cari-Mari Wilsenach, South Africa, turned to the story of Hans Christian Andersen “The Ugly Duckling”. Her “Hidden Beauty” bracelet refers to this story in both the use of its medium, the stark contrast between black and white feathers and the concept, as it explores the process of becoming in the technical element of opening and closing. As the piece unfolds, it changes in shape and colour, revealing an inner beauty of sparkling diamonds, set amongst pure white feathers. It is set with 700 brilliant-cut diamonds, with a total weight of 7 carats. The diamonds are provided by Casa Gi.

South Korean finalist Guerina Yoo is fascinated by the history of jewellery design and its cultural aspects. She created a head jewel based upon the Korean fairy tale “The Woodsman and the Fairy”. In Korea the hair accessories for brides on their wedding day are made of yellow gold. But instead, the artist chose dark bamboo to depict a sad bride forced to marry. The veil attached to the bamboo stick symbolizes the robe of feathers, set with 506 brilliant-cut diamonds, with a total weight of 15,62 carats, provided by Gembel European Sales NV. The jewel is sponsored by Soon-Young Lee.

35 year old Lithuanian Viktoras Sitalo crafted a ring “A Kiss of the Sunbeam’ inspired by the fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen “The Conceited Apple –Branch”. The ring interprets the story of Andersen. “See, she exclaimed, how wonderfully God has made this little flower. I will paint it with the apple branch together. (…). Then the sunbeam kissed the lovely flower and he kissed the blooming apple branch upon whose leaves appeared a rosy blush”.

The jewel, in white gold, encloses 181 brilliant cut diamonds with a total weight of 5, 43 carats. The diamonds are provided by Vets Alphi Diamond Manufacturing NV.

The five finalist designers, in the opinion of the jurors, presented pieces that demonstrated the artist’s excellence, and scored high in terms of innovation, enthusiasm and craftsmanship. First and foremost, they reflected the spirit of the 2009 competition’s theme “Once upon a time…my favourite fairy tale”.

The HRD Awards contest is considered by many insiders to be the premiere diamond jewellery design competition in the world, with focus on extravagance and avant-garde. Launched in 1984 as the “Antwerp Diamond High Council Awards,” with the aim of enhancing creativity and design excellence in contemporary diamond jewellery in Belgium, in 2003 it went international. The designs reaching the final round in this 13th edition were submitted by artists from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, South Korea, Thailand and USA. The 39 designs that reached the final round were themselves selected from 1089 designs prepared by 654 artists from 40 countries.

The competition jury, which met in Antwerp on May 29, to reach its final decision, reflected the cosmopolitan and multi-cultural spirit of the contest. The artistic world was represented in the jury by professors Max De Cock, professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and Zou Ningxin from the Beijing University for Clothing technology in China. The jewellery sector was in attendance through the presence of Georges Cuyvers, and Katrin Wouters and Karen Hendrix from Antwerp. The auction houses designated Jo Hardy from Sotheby’s London and Raymond Sancroft-Baker, London. Ann De Meulemeester, Kaat Tilley and Johanne Riss provided a perspective from the field of fashion and jewellery design. Rounding out the list were Didier Brodbeck and Peter Thijs, Editors in Chief of the trade publication Diamond Dreams, Paris, France and Label. Jewels & Watches, Antwerp.

“Today we once again proved that the HRD Awards is the world’s most exciting and innovative diamond jewellery design contest,” said Freddy J. Hanard, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. “In the jewellery business, all roads lead to Antwerp, and this clearly was demonstrated by many cutting-edge designs that flowed into our offices over the past year. As the HRD Awards Collection 2009 begins its global tour at the beginning in September – it will be exposed at the Antwerp diamond museum until then - people from all over the world will be able to appreciate what we already know here in Antwerp.”

Rough&Polished