(CHICAGO) - Jewelry designers across the country are invited to put their skills to the “ultimate” test in a unique jewelry design competition from Instore and The Smart Jewelry Show. The competition will take jewelry designs from rendering to finished pieces pitting CAD (Computer Aided Design) against traditional hand rendered designs. Expert judges will select five finalists from each category to produce their designs for display and a final round of voting will be held at Instore’s The Smart Jewelry Show being held April 2-4, 2011 at the Chicago Navy Pier.The Ultimate Design Contest is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that gives artists and designers of all levels a place to shine. What sets the contest apart from most jewelry design competitions is that entrants must complete at least fifty percent of the work going into their piece. Reflecting what can typically happen at a retail store when a customer comes in for a customized piece of jewelry, The Ultimate Design Contest truly challenges a jeweler’s artisanship.
Those entering will be given a choice to show off their talents. Competitors are asked to design a ladies size seven ring using oval chrome tourmaline or an antique square rhodolite garnet, both provided by Stuller.
“The expertise of bench jewelers is the cornerstone of crafting beautiful jewelry,” says Darrell Warren, Stuller’s vice president of tools and supplies. “And requiring them to create an actual finished piece for this competition is truly a characteristic of ultimate design skill.”
Accent gems, design, metals and manufacturing techniques are at the discretion of the designer.
The competition will take place in three phases. Phase one will require contestants to produce a rendering by hand or CAD of the woman’s ring and will be placed into their respective category. Five finalists will then be selected from each of the two categories and a total of ten finalists will then move on to Phase 2. Judging for Phase 1 will be passed on three key components: professionalism and skill of presentation, creativity and design and wear-ability.
Phase 2, Fabrication of Design, will have the ten chosen finalists create their design at their own expense using the gemstone provided by Stuller. Within the two categories, hand-rendered designs and CAD designs, two finalists will be chosen from each, narrowing Ultimate Design Contest contestants down to four where they will receive an all-expense paid trip to The Smart Jewelry Show.
The contest will conclude with Phase 3 at the show where show attendees will be asked to vote for an overall winner. As some of our favorite reality shows, the combination of the judges’ pre-show selections and show attendee votes will ultimately determine the Ultimate Winner. There will be a first and second place winner in each category, and an overall Ultimate Champion who will be featured on the cover of Instore magazine.
“Design and craftsmanship is what really makes jewelry special. This is a real world competition where we give the designer the kind of limitations they would have in their own store. However, there is no limit placed on their creativity and ability,” says competition manager Joel McFadden, owner of Joel McFadden Designs.
All renderings and entree fees must be received in the New York City office by January 18, 2011.
For more information on the Ultimate Design Contest and a timeline for submissions and deadlines or show info, please visit www.instoremag.com/ultimate.