MIJF honours jewellery design contest winners

One for the album: Winners and finalists of the MIJF jewellery design contest pose for a group photo with contest judges Ric Taylor (front row, fourth from left) an instructor at GIA The Robert Mouawad campus, USA and Amee Philips Jewellery founder Amee Philips (front row, fourth from right); and Elite PR and Comm. Manager Evon Young (front row, third from left).

The winners of the first MIJF Jewellery Design Awards 2011 in the four categories: ring, necklace, earrings and bangle received their awards in a grand ceremony held at the seminar room of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre last Sunday 10th July, the last day of the four-day Malaysia International Jewellery Fair 2011.

The event attended by the winners, finalists, their parents, family members, lecturers, contest judges and visitors to MIJF also featured a mini fashion show in which models presented the winning pieces.

Low Sue Mei (centre) receiving her awards from Amee Philips Jewellery founder Amee Philips (left) for winning the best jewellery design in the necklace and bangle categories. On the right is a model wearing the award winning necklace. Low Sue Mei also wins the Most Outstanding Award.

Low Sue Mei, 21, a student at Chin Jewellery Art Centre in Kuala Lumpur, was the winner in both necklace and bangle categories while Lee Ye Jia, 20, also a student at Chin Jewellery Art Centre and Chen Lin Lin, 25, from China, an industrial design student of Fine Arts Institute at South Normal University won in the earrings and ring category respectively.

The winner of the Most Outstanding Award selected by visitors to the trade fair from out of the four category winners in the MIJF Jewellery Design Awards 2011 was also announced when voting closed at 2 pm and when the votes counted, the eventual winner went to Low Sue Mei who received the highest votes of 880.

Visitors to the trade fair were entitled to vote for their preferred winner of the Most Outstanding Award from the four winning design on display during the four-day MIJF.

“I am so excited to be rewarded with such a great honor,” said a jubilant Low Sue Mei who received a scholarship from Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Thailand campus, worth approximately RM12,000, a trophy and certificate.

Total prizes worth RM24,000 were given out to all the winners that were judged among others, by the creativity and innovation of their designs.

The award winning phoenix inspired necklace sets with aquamarines, blue sapphires, diamonds and tsavarites on display at the MIJF 2011 with a price tag of RM109,000

The judges comprised a panel of industry experts that included Mark B. Mann who is director of Global Jewellery Manufacturing Arts in GIA; Amee Phillips, co-founder of Amee Philips Jewellery; Ng Yih Pyng, president of Federation of Goldsmiths and Jewellers Association of Malaysia; and Johnson Lim, founder of MIJF and CEO of Elite Expo, the event organizer.

The competition received tremendous response as it attracted more than 300 entries from nine countries with the winners’ design from each of the four categories made into real collections worth a total of RM258,000 and put on sale during MIJF 2011. Part of the proceeds from the sale will be contributed to support Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (BCWA).

MIJF founder Johnson Lim said: “The competition was open to students from Asian countries with the objective of discovering jewellery design talents and promoting Malaysia as the next jewellery trendsetter.”

“The awards is themed “New Life” to symbolize the involvement of young, passion and talented designers in bringing new life, astonishing inspirations and glowing hope to the jewellery industry.”

Lee Ye Jia (centre) receiving her award from Amee Philips (left) for winning the best jewellery design in the earrings category. A model displays the winning piece.

Low Sue Mei said: “It took me a month to come out with both the concept and design. Her innovative creation of the necklace was inspired by the mythical bird phoenix that lived a  thousand years which captured her imagination from ancient times.

One of the four finalists in the bangle category, Mohd Izwan B. Mohamad Zaini, 23, final year student of Fine Metal Design Jewellery in Arts and Design Faculty, UITM Shah Alam said it took him two days to conceptualize and design a beautiful bangle inspired by coral reef featuring blue sapphire and white diamond.

According to Mohd Izwan, about 200 UITM students took part in all the four categories of the jewellery design competition.

“I considered myself very lucky to be the only one from my university to make it to the last four in the bangle category. I have always loved bangles and I hope one day to set up my own successful jewellery business,“ said Izwan.

Ric Taylor, an instructor in gemology at GIA, The Robert Mouawad campur in California, USA, who flew in to attend the award ceremony said: “All of the unique creations meet a very high standard of design which I am very proud of and I congratulate them on their success.”