2021 Jewelry-Making Contest Winners and Finalists

Design Idea MH44 Necklace

Inspired by the Japanese art of netsuke, or miniature sculpture, Christy Sherman put her love of art to the test with her stunning Red Crowned Crane. The small bird nestled inside a handmade bezel wowed the contest judges. The jewelry designers couldn't help but comment on the level of skill and technique required to create such a small, lifelike creature, which Chris found to be very impressive. Again and again, judges and designers returned to the table to "ooh" and "ahh" over the minute detail of the polymer clay necklace.

Design Idea MH47 Necklace

Contest judges couldn't help but marvel at the gorgeous amethyst cabochon at the center of Deborah Glasser's Frost on the Vines. Matching amethyst beads and points complement the delectable shades of purple used throughout the piece. Inspired by frost creeping up the vines of beloved vineyards, many elements of this necklace spoke to this theme. Several judges took note of the delicate twists in the beaded fringe, complimenting the sheer amount of patience and level of detail that went into this jaw-dropping design.

Design Idea MH4F Necklace

When judges came to this category, they were immediately drawn to Francesca Lobbe's Kaleidoscope. Jewelry designers adored the different shapes, textures and colors within each butterfly wing. Stuart loved this necklace for its mastery in replicating the delicate butterfly forms, while Chris marveled at the high amount of detail. There was no question in anyone's mind that this necklace would receive high honors.

Design Idea MH5F Necklace

Heads were turned when Empress of the Fog Dragons took its place at the judging table. "It's so unique," said Chris. Judges remarked on the individually beaded scales and lifelike dragon faces, impressed by the amount of time each piece took to make. Each dragon looked as though it was ready to take flight, calling to mind a time of mythical mysteries and long-forgotten fantasies.

Design Idea MH5K Necklace

Judges were wowed by the beauty of the watermelon tourmaline in Natasha Downs' necklace. Using the traditional technique of keum-boo, Downs added a thin layer of gold along the textured metal surfaces and created bezels to fit the uniquely shaped tourmaline. Cleo's Watermelon Tourmaline brought an air of regality to the 2021 competition that the judges simply could not ignore.

Design Idea MH5Z Necklace

The flawless curves and spirals of Stacy Farnsworth's Be Still My Heart brought the judges back for more several times. Jewelry designers fawned over the intricate wirework, loving the way that the beads and gemstones were "flawlessly incorporated" into the wire shapes. "Even the clasp alone could be worn as a necklace," commented LauraLynn. The decadent silhouettes and attention to details made this necklace an easy choice for gold placement.

Design Idea MH4D Necklace

Inspired by creatures from Slavic mythology, Firebird captures the fierce essence of success and happiness. Its lively colors and intricate beadwork immediately caught the judges' eyes. One noted that the wings looked as though they were about to take flight, while another commented on the versatility of the piece as a necklace and a brooch. In true Phoenix form, this design rose from an assortment of beading materials to become the Employee Choice favorite.

Design Idea MH3P Necklace

Anna Rita Fabiani's necklace truly brings the mysticism of the forest to life. Inspired by the hope and promise of spring, this piece boasts lovely, beaded blooms and berries. The lifelike fairy pendant caught the judges' attention, as did the inspired two-strand design. Stuart loved the butterfly clasp detailing made from beautiful shibori silk, sealing the deal for this top honor.

Design Idea MH66 Necklace

The bright colors and unique shapes in Suzanne Neve's seed-beaded design were born to stand out. Contest judges marveled over the trojan beads, curious to know if they were 3-D printed. Jewelry designer Rose noted the flexibility of the piece, calling it "cool and unique" and Chris agreed, stating it is "pretty amazing." The futuristic shapes, neon colors and innovative details made this piece an obvious choice for the Trendsetter award.

Design Idea MH3J Necklace

Inspired by the cover of one of Dr. Seuss' beloved books, Oh, the Places You'll Go! is a composition of brightly beaded swirls, stunning spirals and a world of color. The tilted focal piece disguises a detachable pendant that judges couldn't help but to rustle with their fingers, evoking the same pure delight that the piece is based on. Jewelry designers especially appreciated the twisted tubular peyote stitch, with Rose stating, "I have to learn how to do that." Jama Watts' necklace is the pure embodiment of whimsy, making it the perfect candidate for this award.

View All Winning Designs Here

Category Name View Winning Design
Crystal and Glass Francesca Lobbe Necklace
Gemstones Deborah Glasser Necklace
Metal Clay Natasha Downs Necklace
Polymer and Air-Dry Clays Christy A. Sherman Necklace
Seed Beads Melanie Chouinard Necklace
Wirework and Chainmaille Stacy A. Farnsworth Necklace
Category Name View Winning Design
Crystal and Glass Diana Rose Chua Earrings
Gemstones Christopher Davis Bracelet
Polymer and Air-Dry Clay Clay Create Earrings
Seed Beads Ezartesa Bracelet
Wirework and Chainmaille Jodi Zulueta Earrings
Category Name View Winning Design
Crystal and Glass Marina Garbo Bracelet
Seed Beads Svetlana Dubinsky Earrings

Category Name View Winning Design
Crystal and Glass Sharon Demaris Necklace
Crystal and Glass Sharon Demaris Earrings
Gemstones Cheryl Wester Necklace
Metal Clay Karen Suarez Necklace
Polymer and Air-Dry Clays Atsumi Necklace
Polymer and Air-Dry Clays Clay Create Earrings
Seed Beads Congying Song Bracelet
Seed Beads Svetlana Dubinsky Necklace
Wirework and Chainmaille Merilou Jenkins Necklace

Category Name View Winning Design
Crystal and Glass Laura Embrey Necklace
Gemstones Deborah Glasser Necklace
Metal Clay Helen Sang Necklace
Polymer and Air-Dry Clays Marilynn Ordonez Necklace
Polymer and Air-Dry Clays Susan Opie Earrings
Seed Beads Bobbie C. Yoakum Necklace
Seed Beads Lisa Martinez Bracelet

  Name View Winning Design
  Elena Landzberg Necklace

  Name View Winning Design
  Anna Rita Fabiani Necklace

  Name View Winning Design
  Suzanne Neve Necklace

  Name View Winning Design
  Jama Watts Necklace

AnGeGi Soutache Jess Balazovich Patricia Parker
AnGeGi Soutache and Krystyna Latosik Jodi Zulueta Polly Lent
Barbara A. Briggs Karen Suarez Rangashrii Santhanam
Belinda K. Belisle Kathleen Aldi Renata El
Betty Cox Kit Skeoch Sergiy Nagorny
Carolyn Cave Krafty Max Shoko Kimura
Chelsey Fry Laura Burlis Skylar Mou
Christy A. Sherman Laura Silverman Stephanie J. Eddy
Clay Create Leah Southerland Susan Opie
Ekaterina Uskova Lia Dipaola Tina Ilickovic
Elaine Kolodziej Marina Garbo Vera Babich and Sergiy Nagorny
Jade Sergi Martha Kirchhoff Viktoriia Liu
Jama Watts Natasha Downs Yoke Lai Chee