Imagination and creativity are funny things. As humans, we like to think that they’re traits we can control: With just the flip of a switch we can turn them on and steer them to the destinations we intend. In reality, they take us where they want. We’re just passengers along for the ride—and if we let them take us down unexplored paths, those rides can become memorable.
Jewelry designers are no different from other creators: Their imaginations often take control of their projects, as their hands and the skills they’ve mastered try to keep up. In the case of the designers featured in the following pages, that drive propelled them to top honors in the 2019 MJSA Vision Awards competition.
Since 1992, the MJSA Vision Awards have celebrated outstanding achievement in jewelry design. On the following pages, you’ll hear the backstories of this year’s first-place winners, including those in three of the special Distinction categories: Laser, Responsible Practices, Custom Design, and Enameling. All of these designers wanted to try something different, to take a chance—and the results were, indeed very memorable.
Before we share the stories behind the roads taken by this year’s winning designers, we’d like to take a moment to thank the MJSA Vision Award sponsors, without whose support these awards would not be possible. You can find the complete list here.
We’d also like to thank the judges of this year’s competition: Susan Wheeler of Susan Wheeler Design in Chicago; Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry in Laguna Beach, California; Jason Dow of Jason Dow Inc. in Honolulu; Gary Dawson of Gary Dawson Designs in Eugene, Oregon; and Michael Coan of Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
Now hang on tight, it’s time to take a drive by this year’s winning designs…