Twenty-eight-year old Rhys Turner has been named Jeweller of the Year at the JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards. Turner, who has worked for MDT Design in Melbourne for the past three years, said his winning platinum and parti sapphire ‘Facets of Morality’ ring was inspired by his love of architecture and design.
“I wanted the metal to look a bit like a scrunched a piece of paper,” he said. “It took a lot of experimenting to achieve the final result – first I made a few paper models and then three silver models before starting to work with the platinum.”
Turner said the ring took about 60 hours to make but was worth it as he liked to “push the boundaries” of jewellery design.
“I believe there is much more potential to making jewellery than the traditional designs you see everywhere.”
The full list of winners at the 2014 JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards are:
• 1st & 2nd year Apprentice/Student Design and Craftsmanship Award – Jason Cheetham
• 3rd & 4th year Apprentice/Student Design and Craftsmanship Award – Samantha Kelly
• Precious Metal Award – Benjamin Hart
• Pearl Award – Peter Atkinson
• Coloured Gemstone Award – Rhys Turner
• Diamond Award – Ben Preston-Black
• CAD/CAM Award – Martin Linning
• Men’s Accessories and Jewellery Award – Steve Pallas
• Bridal Award – Tradition with Twist – Shiree Hobson and Jo Saxelby-Balisky
• Bride to Be Reader’s Choice Award – Michelle Kennedy
• Apprentice/Student of the Year – Samantha Kelly
• Jeweller of the Year/Roy Worfold Perpetual Trophy, runner up – Martin Linning
• Jeweller of the Year/Roy Worfold Perpetual Trophy, winner – Rhys Turner
JAA executive director Amanda Hunter said the Awards’ judging panel (Gina Kougias, Sarah Ross, Peter Minturn, and Grace and George Andolfi) had a rigorous task to select 36 finalists from the 85 pieces entered. She said each designer successfully incorporated artistry and creativity to create absolutely stunning pieces of jewellery.
“The judges had a difficult task to select the finalists with almost all pieces meeting the judging criteria.”