2013 AGTA Spectrum Awards: Canadian designers make a big splash
February 1, 2013
By Jacquie De Almeida
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Gregore Morin was hoping one of his designs might catch the attention of the Spectrum Awards judges, but he didn’t expect all three would—in the same category.
The Vancouver-born designer couldn’t believe his eyes when he realized he had swept the Business/Day Wear category at the American Gem Trade Association’s (AGTA’s) annual competition. A peek at the group’s Facebook page revealed he had taken first place, but it wasn’t until later in the day he knew second and third place honours were also his.
It was a first for Morin—a 16-time winner at Spectrum—and a first for the AGTA. His reaction? “I was pretty shocked because I certainly didn’t expect it,” he tells Jewellery Business. Morin—whose studio Gregore Joailliers is based in Santa Barbara, Calif.—also won first place in Objects of Art for a Japanese ‘Kokeshi’ sculpture.
Morin points to a fascination with Japanese culture as inspiration for several of his designs, including the plum blossom earrings that captured first place. He says bringing his sketch to life didn’t happen overnight.
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“It took nine years to find the right material and develop the ability to cut the pink opal to the thinness the design required. I knew it was a pretty exciting piece, but I also thought the jade and opal ladybug earrings were more interesting,” he says, referring to the piece that garnered him third place.
Vancouver designer Andrew Costen wasn’t sure his idea for incorporating meteorite into a ring design would work, but after testing the material, he knew he could forge and anneal it. The result is a men’s ring featuring a 34.50-carat Gibeon meteorite lasered to a platinum band that wraps around a 4.03-carat trillion blue sapphire. The design took platinum honours in the Men’s category.
Coupled with the sapphire’s angles, the combination of pure white platinum against the rugged meteorite creates both a masculine and unique look, says Costen, co-owner of Costen Catbalue.
“The men’s category can be quite boring, and I thought this was something that was very different. I’ve never seen anyone use meteorite like this before and I wanted to enter a piece that had impact,” he says.
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A four-time winner at the Spectrum Awards, Costen says a client already has his eye on the ring. Overall, he says winning design contests like this one are good for business and helps push the design envelope.
“Competitions should be forums for new ideas and not promoting the status quo,” he adds.
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Now in its 29th year, the Spectrum Awards celebrate the use of gemstones in categories such as Bridal, Evening Wear, and Classical. Here’s a look at the winning pieces.
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spbestofshowandclassical1st.jpg
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- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013speditorschoiceandevening2nd.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spfashionforward.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spbridal1st.jpg
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- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spbridal3rdandmanufacturinghonors.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spbridalplatinumhonors.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spbridalentryplatinuminnovation.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spbridalpalladiumprestigeawardandhonorablemention.jpg
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- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spbusdayplatinumhonors.jpg
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- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spbusdayhonorablemention.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spclassical2nd.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spclassical3rd.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spclassicalplatinumhonors1.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spclassicalentryplatinuminnovation.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spclassicalpalladiumprestigeaward.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spclassicalmanufacturinghonorsandhonorablemention.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spclassicalhonorablementionbach.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spevening3rd.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013speveningplatinumhonors.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013speveningpalladiumprestigeaward.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013speveninggemdivaaward.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013speveningmanufacturinghonors.jpg
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- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spmenswear1st.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spmenswear2nd.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spmenswear3rdandpalladiumprestigeaward.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spmenswearmanufacturinghonors.jpg
- [Image]: http://www.jewellerybusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013spmenswearplatinumhonors.jpg
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