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Bright Young Gems highlight design talent at IJL
By Amanda Grateley

LONDON, September 6, 2009 – Five talented young designers, selected as Bright Young Gems for their ingenuity and flair by an elite panel of judges, are showcasing their latest creations at International Jewellery London.
Anthony Roussel's Creation

IJL, one of the world’s leading jewellery trade shows which kicks off on September 6 and runs until September 9 at Earls Court in central London, is showing off the work of Kity Hefang Sun, Daisy Knights, Haruko Horikawa, Andy Farrow and Anthony Roussel on Stand M990.

Kity Hefang Sun achieved the further distinction of winning the Astley Clarke IJL Bright Young Gems Gold Award for outstanding craftsmanship.

“We felt the jewellery of Kity Hefang Sun would have a breadth of appeal that we felt could translate into a commercially viable line,” said Astley Clarke’s Bec Clarke.

“I thought the finalists were absolutely superb. There were some really imaginative and creative designs – bold and pretty and feminine.”

The five Bright Young Gems selected this year were nominated by a prestigious panel of leading editors and industry gurus.

The panel for 2009 featured Hilary Alexander of the Daily Telegraph, Vivienne Becker of the FT’s How To Spend It, Claudia Mahoney of Glamour and Jessica Walsh of Tatler.

Haruko Horikawa's Egg Ring
“The jewellery show at Earls Court is an extraordinary platform for the young designers,” said Hilary Alexander.

“There’s a chance of being spotted by a retailer. And the young designers can see what they’re up against. Jewellery from all over the world is on display.”


Vivienne Becker said that she valued young designers who challenged boundaries and at the same time revealed supreme skills of artisanship.

“I was looking for originality of concept totally integrated into the design through superb craftsmanship,” she told Jewellery Outlook.

“And I was looking for a designer-maker who understands enough about the jewellery rules to be able to break them and push some more boundaries.”

Vivienne added, “I think the opportunities for young designers are greater than ever in the fine jewellery industry. Our jewellery world, entrenched in tradition, needs to be more design driven. The big brands are looking outwards, more open to ideas from young designers.”

She said it used to be the case that young, inventive designers only worked with inexpensive materials and in a “crafts” ethic, but this had now changed.
Anthony Roussel's Design

“What is special now is the level of professionalism, and a new and intense glamour mixed with an innovative edge,” she said.

Syreeta Tranfield, appointed as the new Event Manager at IJL this year, said IJL was determined to back the jewellery stars of the future.

“It’s one of our objectives to support up-and-coming design talent,” Syreeta said.

“We have an obligation to do this in the UK market.”

IJL provides the stand and the infrastructure for the BYGs to showcase their work and make the best impression by meeting retailers and the press, Syreeta said.

“It’s a media opportunity not to be missed,” she said.

“To get in the media eye is one of the aims of up-and-coming designers. Many don’t have showrooms or even workshops,” she added.

“IJL enables them to make retail contacts. Perhaps they have to learn what the retailers are after.”

BYGs are now in their fifth year at IJL.

Andy Farrow's Creation
Former BYGs who have launched successful careers include Tomasz Donocik, who has worked with celebrated luxury jeweller and retailer Stephen Webster, and Pippa Small, whose products are sold by online retailer Astley Clarke, Syreeta said.


The five present BYGs have created jewellery thanks to varied sources of inspiration.

Kity Hefang Sun’s collection for her graduate show at Central Saint Martins in London, was inspired by the ancient craft of origami. Stylish and unique, she is set for an exciting career in jewellery design and will undoubtedly make her mark when she retails on www.astleyclarke.com from 2010.

“The perfect combination of precious metal and paper origami is the biggest achievement of this collection,” Kity Hefang Sun told Jewellery Outlook.

When Daisy Knights first learned to make a piece of jewellery in her father’s workshop in the Cotwolds in southern England at the age of 11, she knew she wanted to be a jewellery designer.

These days, Daisy can be found gathering inspiration from the ocean and surfing.
Daisy Knights

“I feel most inspired while waiting for a wave out in the sea, just thinking about designs,” she said.

Daisy’s jewellery has a very personal feel: each collection is inspired by a friend.

“Each collection is named after the friend who inspired me for that collection,” she said.

“I try to capture something about their personality and create something that reflects them.”

Daisy uses silver, gold-plated silver and 14-carat gold, and makes every single piece herself by hand.

She also emphasised her commitment to ethical jewellery.

“Being ethical is very important to me, from recycling in the studio to using ethically sourced materials,” she said.

“All the silver is 100 percent recycled and the gold is ethically sourced from reliable mines. I also only use ethical diamonds which are not blood diamonds.”

Haruko Horikawa said the chief inspiration for her designs was nature.

Haruko Horikawa
Haruko Horikawa
“Much of the inspiration for my collection comes from plants, especially tree buds,” Haruko said.

“I feel a strong energy of life from buds,” she added.

“Nature and animals have been an important source of inspiration when I draw or design.”

Haruko creates sculptural fluid forms, and strives to express the essence of the natural world through abstraction.

She studied jewellery for two years at Yamanashi Institute of Gemmology and Jewellery Arts in Japan, and then moved to London to continue her education with a BA Jewellery Design course at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

Andy Farrow designs and manufactures bold yet intricate jewellery, combining textured metal and detailed crystal work.

“I believe that in my current field, I have a very unique style, especially in the use of crystal,” he said.

Andy has started to work with fashion, advertising and theatre.
Andy Farrow

He gained a degree in graphic design at Cumbria College of Art and Design in northern England in 1997, and then left the UK to explore Western Australia.

He found his travelling experience inspiring, notably the diversity and richness of the landscape.

He took up basketry during this time, which marked a significant turning point in his creative direction – from 2D to 3D handmade sculptural forms.

Hilary Alexander was a strong backer of Farrow.

“I tend to go for young jewellers who are using unusual materials,” she said.

Anthony Roussel, rapidly gaining a reputation for his skilful use of wood, creates beautiful, intricate sculptural jewellery inspired by the epic sweep of the British coastline and a passion for modern architecture.

“I aim to encourage a greater appreciation of wood as a luxurious material,” he said.

Roussel applies delicate flowing lines and sweeping curves, meticulously layering sheets of wood into sinuous forms.

Anthony Roussel
Anthony Roussel
His fascination with the repetitive linear patterns found within geological rock formations is echoed in this technique, and essentially he builds flat elements into fluid structures.

Although formally trained in traditional metalwork, he discovered his real love for materials in wood after being introduced to working with various species by a violin maker.

Roussel told Jewellery Outlook that the British coastline was his primary source of inspiration.

“We have such a beautiful, rugged coastline,” he said. “It is central to British culture and history. There is a revival of traditional British cuisine that has taken off with great success in recent years. I would like to celebrate Britain’s coastline in the same way.”

Roussel said his immediate priority was to continue to innovate by experimenting with cutting-edge technologies.

Vivienne Becker said she had nominated Roussel, taking into consideration the superb craftsmanship he uses to express his ideas.

“His approach to new concepts of ‘preciousness’ is fascinating,” she said.

“The jewels, big and bold, show a very contemporary sensual minimalism, underlined with meaning, organic, earthy yet sophisticated.”


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