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THREE OF THE BEST (HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 01,2000)

Vol.1 2000



Design Competition

JEWELLERY designers throughout Hong Kong submitted unique and varied pieces for the 1st Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition, which was jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Assn Ltd, the Hong Kong Jewelry Mfrs' Assn and the Diamond Importers Assn Ltd.

The objectives of the competition were to enhance creativity and design quality of the Hong Kong jewellery industry and promote Hong Kong jewellery products among international buyers.

The design theme was Design of the Next Century. There were no restrictions on materials, but designs had to contain at least one precious metal or stone, including gold, platinum, silver, diamond, pearl or gemstone. A panel of six judges picked the winners from a total of nine price categories and they were announced at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2000.

The three Best of Show Award Winners are featured here.

THE concepts of motion and transparency were behind Wong Chui-lin's necklace, entitled Prancing, sponsored by Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co Ltd. She won Best of Show in the bracelet/necklace category for entries with a retail price of HK$50,001-100,000.

"I wanted to create a see-through necklace with parts that moved," Wong says. She encased a series of 5.5-8mm gold balls in coils of gold wire. Every time the wearer moves, the balls move and jump within the wire's confines. The 1mm wire rests lightly against the neck, and is attached to sturdier upper and lower gold supports set with 100 diamonds, which weigh a total of three carats. "The coils help give the piece a light, open feeling," Wong says.

The handmade necklace is constructed of 18K yellow and white gold. The balls are made of yellow gold, the wires and rest of the piece are white. The gold weighs 133 grams.

Wong, a designer at Chow Tai Fook for 12 years, has previously won four other jewellery design awards. Gold and diamonds are her favourite materials. She says the idea for coiled wires came from a telephone cord. "Coiling was the most difficult part because we wanted it to look natural, like a spring," she explains. The wire had to be melted onto the gold supports.

Suitable for day or evening wear, the European-style necklace was designed with a youthful wearer in mind.

Jewellery designer Lawrence Leung was riding on a bus one day and gazing at the night sky when he saw a shooting star go by. That image was converted into his prize-winning necklace, entitled Meteor Showers.

The necklace won Best of Show in the bracelet/necklace category (retail price range of HK$50,000 or below) and was sponsored by his employer KTL Jewellery Mfr Ltd.

Leung's diamond and 18K white gold necklace suggests a cosmic panorama of light and movement. "The diamonds represent stars and the white gold the tails of light left behind by meteor showers," he says.

The 358 diamonds used in the piece weigh a total of 8.68 carats, while the gold weighs 152.78 grams. It took Leung about two weeks and six drafts before he finished his design. The necklace took one month to produce.

He envisioned the piece as a dressy evening wear item. "I wanted to make it light and delicate," he says. The hardest production problem he faced was getting the clasp to close smoothly. "We needed to make a lot of adjustments," he says.

The designer has worked for KTL for five years, first as a full-time designer and more recently as a computer engineer and part-time designer.

Leung had entered three other jewellery competitions in the past. Encouraged by his win, he says he plans to enter more competitions in the future.

SUEN Sheung Kong's necklace, entitled Dance, suggests an image of splashing droplets of water. His entry was also in the bracelet/necklace category, for pieces priced from HK$50,001 to HK$100,000.

Sponsored by Luk Fook Holdings Co Ltd, where Suen works as a graphic designer and occasionally tries his hand at jewellery design, the piece is made of 18K white gold and Japanese akoya pearls.

The inspiration for his creation came from a trip to the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, one of Hong Kong's outlying islands. "I saw an ancient Chinese bronze basin there. When you rubbed the handles, water would splash down into the basin. The splashing made the water look like it was dancing," he explains.

The gold was crafted into a wide choker of gracefully jagged lines, with a pearl affixed to the top and bottom of each line. The pearl sizes range from 4-9mm, and the entire piece weighs about 75 grams.

Suen's choice of materials was instrumental to his vision. "The whiteness of pearls and white gold reminded me of the colourlessness of water," he says.

He came up with his winning idea a couple of years ago, but did not act on it until he heard about the competition from co-workers. "I entered just for fun," he says. He produced the design on his computer. The company liked what it saw and decided to enter it. The handmade piece took one month to complete.


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