The Goldsmiths’ Company, founded in 1327, is one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London, and today not only operates the London Assay Office, but continues to play an increasingly important role in supporting the jewellery and silversmithing industry, assisting with the technical training of aspiring craftsmen and promoting excellence in design and craftsmanship.
The Goldsmiths’ Company has supported New Designers for more than nine years and provides the Precious Metalwork Zone as a hub for new design talent emerging from education each year.
It also provides a launchpad for careers by presenting two awards at the New Designers event to specifically recognise outstanding graduates in this field. The awards for jewellery and silversmithing consider pieces or collections which demonstrate excellence in craft skills and technical ability. Independent industry experts brought in to make the selection were unanimous in their choice of winners, Hannah Livingston and Lee Simmons, who demonstrated what was considered originality in design and the use of traditional and new technologies with commercial potential.
This year has produced a cohort of talented designers who have explored a variety of genres from innovative jewellery design and exciting catwalk and fashion jewellery, to lighting design solutions, contemporary silverware design and modern homewares. There has been an emergence of designers using an array of different hand processes and materials, where rapid prototyping and Cad/Cam techniques have been used. It is evident that technology is impacting upon the way in which precious materials are being used to realise innovative ideas.
The Goldsmiths’ Company’s role as a technical and training resource for the UK jewellery andallied industries means that it is committed to encouraging recent graduates to take an active role in the development of the craft and industry. New Designers, as the foremost graduate design event, continues to provide an excellent platform for this work to continue and to provide a touchpoint between industry and aspiring jobseekers.