MJSA names 2002 American Vision Award winners.  Innovative mechanics, revitalized techniques, and unusual materials caught the judges’ attention at MJSA’s 2002 American Vision Awards (AVA) competition. Five jewelry designers – three in the professional category and two in the student category – earned top honors from a field of more than 100 entries.

First place in the professional division went to Mark Schneider of Schneider Design Studio in Long Beach, California, for a platinum, diamond, and black pearl ring that hinges to open (right). The ring features a 12.3 mm pearl with black and white pave-set diamond accents. “It was beautifully executed,” describes AVA judge Cindy Edelstein of the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau in Pelham Manor, New York. “[Schneider’s] work is repetitively, prolifically excellent. He has a way of coming up with avant-garde ideas and making them wearable.”

Cornelia Goldsmith of Sausalito, California took second place in the professional category with a granulated crown ring in 18k gold with diamonds, tsavorite, rubies, and sapphires (bottom). Edelstein hails Goldsmith as a superior granulationist. “She’s using this ancient technique in a modern way. She had granules in different sizes bubbling all over the place. It’s very atypical, very exciting, and very wearable.”

For the second consecutive year, Francesco Teresi of Philadelphia took an honorable mention in the professional category. His winning “Mediterranean” ring (left) made from olive wood featured a 24k gold inside ring and an 18k gold rotation arm that holds a lapis lazuli set with a small diamond. Innovative designs likewise captured the student prizes. First place winner Jan Houston of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City envisioned an 18k gold pendant necklace with clack onyx, rock crystal, diamond brilliant, and citrine (above). And, in keeping with the current interest in Americana, Dilek Sezen of GIA took second place for a patriotic platinum necklace with invisible-set ruby, sapphire, and diamond baguettes in a stars-and-stripes pattern (below).

First and second place winners received a Swarovski crystal trophy. Winners in the professional division also received $1,500 for first place and $750 for second place. Student winners were awarded a $500 scholarship for the first place and a $250 scholarship for the second place, as well as a subscription to AJM Magazine. All winning pieces will be displayed at MJSA’s Expo New York, March 10-12.