MJSA. Professional excellence in jewelry making and design.

2020 Vision Award Winners

Below are the winners in all categories of the 2020 competition. The September 2020 issue of MJSA Journal will profile all of the first-place honorees.


Sophia Hu

"Blooming Cage" Pendant/Brooch

Sophia Hu
6SHADOWS, Las Vegas

Hu created this piece by interweaving thin (24-26 gauge) 18k and Argentium wires, deftly using a laser to weld them together and achieve a sophisticated "blooming" pattern. She added diamonds and rubies for accent and depth. This piece won First Place in the Professional Excellence, 4 Years in Business and the Laser Distinction categories.


Karin Jacobson Chrysanthemum Fold Black Pear Earrings 

"Chrysanthemum Fold" Black Pearl Earrings

Karin Jacobson
Karin Jacobson Jewelry Design, Minneapolis

Featuring the designer’s signature "origami" style of folded metalwork, these earrings feature recycled metals (gold and oxidized sterling), Harmony recycled GI–SI diamonds (0.10 ctw), and 9 mm Tahitian black pearl drops. It won Second Place in the Professional Excellence, 4 Years in Business category.


Larissa Moraes Van Gogh’s Sunflower Earrings 

"Van Gogh’s Gladioli Necklace"

Larissa Moraes
Brasilia, Brazil

Inspired by the Dutch artist’s "Vase with Gladioli and Chinese Asters," this necklace uses light citrine, ruby, and morganite gems to mimic the flowers in the painting. Moraes chose an articulated collar to aid in movement and fit. The necklace won First Place in the Professional Excellence, 1-3 Years in Business category.


Larissa Moraes Van Gogh’s Sunflower Earrings

"Van Gogh’s Sunflower Earrings"

Larissa Moraes
Brasilia, Brazil

Another Van Gogh homage, this time featuring citrines (in various shades) and yellow diamonds to represent the sunflowers. These earrings earned Second Place in the Professional Excellence, 1-3 Years in Business category as well as an Honorable Mention for Colored Stone Distinction.


Frieder Lauer Floating Ametrine Solitaire Ring 

51 ct. "Floating" Ametrine Solitaire Ring

Frieder Lauer

This custom piece features a massive ametrine, to which renowned carver John Dyer applied his trademarked "Starbrite" cut. Lauer’s client instructed that the "stone . . . really needs to just ’float.’" Through a combination of CAD/CAM, laser work, and ingenuity (the setting capitalizes on a unique pattern of grooves in the ametrine’s pavilion), the designer achieved that effect. This ring won First Place in both the Custom Design Distinction and the Colored Stone Distinction categories.


Karin Jacobson Rough Montana Sapphire and Diamond Dangle Earrings 

Rough Montana Sapphire and Diamond Dangle Earrings

Karin Jacobson
Karin Jacobson Jewelry Design, Minneapolis

These earrings were made entirely of responsibly sourced materials: recycled 18k gold, 22k gold, and oxidized sterling, recycled GI-SI diamonds (0.15 ctw) and rough Montana-sourced sapphire (10.09 ctw) that haven’t been cut. Jacobson’s responsible practices extend throughout her operation: She uses food-grade citric acid for pickle, recycles packaging for both jewelry boxes and shipping containers, and ensures her caster uses recycled casting shot. Her efforts won First Place for Responsible Practices Distinction.


Kyra Martin Befitting Ring 

"Befitting" Ring

Kyra Martin
graduating student at George Brown College, Toronto. Martin designed this ring as part of her thesis collection, the pieces in which aim to accentuate the natural lines and curves of the body—in this case, those of the hand and fingers. Made of 18k gold wire, it features a red zircon and a Padparadscha sapphire as accents. The ring won First Place in the Future of the Industry category for student work.


Ashley Pollack Reverie Bracelet 

"Reverie" Bracelet

Ashley Pollack, student at SUNY New Paltz and the Gemological Institute of America

Pollack cut each link of this hinged bracelet from a sheet of sterling, then added decoration through keum-boo, the ancient Korean technique that fuses 24k foil to another surface (usually silver). After scoring, bending, and soldering the links, she attached them with Argentium posts. This flexible bracelet won Second Place in the Future of the Industry category.


Sophia Hu Wreath Brooch/Pendant 

"Wreath" Brooch/Pendant

Sophia Hu
6SHADOWS, Las Vegas

This brooch/pendant, made of interwoven 18k and Argentium wires, won Honorable Mention for Laser Distinction.


Adam Neeley Moon Glow cuff 

"Moon Glow" Cuff

Adam Neeley
Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry, Laguna Beach, California

Featuring a 29.5 ctw suite of rainbow moonstones, this design won Honorable Mention for Laser Distinction


David Dorian Art Deco Ring 

Art Deco Ring

David Dorian
Dorian Jewelers, Watertown, Massachusetts

This repurposed ring features a 2 ct. radiant-cut diamond center stone and two pear-shaped sapphires. It won Honorable Mention forCustom Design Distinction.


Brenda Smith Notre Dame Necklace 

"Ode to Notre Dame" Necklace

Brenda Smith
Brenda Smith Jewelry, Woodstock, Georgia

An 18k green gold necklace featuring a 41.28 ct. apatite center stone accented by green tsavorites (1.66 ctw) and natural diamonds (1.14 ctw), this piece won Honorable Mention for Custom Design Distinction


The Judges

• Nanz Aalund, a designer and author who is now certificate programs coordinator at the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN) on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

• Michael Coan, assistant professor of jewelry design and former department chair at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

• Susan Crow, principal of East Fourth Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a past Vision Award winner who specializes in crafting responsible jewelry (and is licensed by the Alliance for Responsible Mining).

• Andrea Hill, principal of the Hill Management Group, managing director of the Legor Group, and MJSA’s designer advocate.

• Michael David Sturlin, a jewelry artist, educator and industry consultant with a studio in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Thank You to the 2020 Sponsors


Century Casting




LaserStar Technologies


Richline Group


Rio Grande




Metalsmith Magazine


The Retail Jeweler


Ed Foundation


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