With a high number of entries from jewellery design students across four provinces in South Africa, the Thuthuka Jewellery Awards is established as the industry benchmark for innovation and excellence in the design of contemporary handmade jewellery. Aptly captured ‘Sho! Shoe Jewellery?’ the 2014 competition focused on the shoe-design within the fashion industry. Students were challenged to construct multifunctional contemporary pieces inspired by the South African insects. Entrants were judged on how they interpreted the natural shapes, textures and unique patterning of insects and translated these into multifunctional jewellery pieces that can double up as shoe trimming, beautiful jewellery or hair accessories.
Founder of the Thuthuka Development Programme, Carola Ross, says, “With the fashion industry as the focal point for this year’s competition, entrants have had to raise the level excellence in both design innovation and manufacturing to create sturdy, wearable and beautiful multifunctional handmade pieces. The standard of entries we have received this year is testament to the critical insight students have gained into the principles of contemporary design and public preference.”
According to Ross, the competition is aimed at providing a platform for student jewellers to have their work professionally showcased. The competition theme in the past has been aligned to practical design-related industry sectors such as homeware, tableware, lighting and now, fashion. The intention is that this additional experience could ultimately broaden their employment opportunities. The exposure through the annual Thuthuka Awards exhibition also benefits entrants in building an industry profile and public interest in their work.
For more information, visit: www.thuthukajewellery.com.