Guild News

Guild of Enamellers’ Bursary Award 2019

Etched, formed and enamelled sterling silver    


The Guild of Enamellers is delighted to announce Valentina Boneva as the 2019 winner of their annual Bursary Award. Valentina recently completed the HND Jewellery at Glasgow Kelvin College, Glasgow.

Valentina started working with enamels this year as a means to add colour to her work and to complement the use of gemstones in pieces. Valentina’s innovative selection pieces were complex and transformable pieces comprising an etched and enamelled boat “stand” that deconstructed into earrings, necklaces and a ring. Valentina is passionate about enamelling and wants to incorporate it into her future jewellery and silversmithing projects where it will complement traditional techniques such as etching, stone setting and fold forming. The Bursary Award package will allow Valentina, who is Edinburgh based, to experiment further with other techniques and to expand her enamelling knowledge. Sponsorship will allow Valentina to benefit from conference, workshop and masterclass attendance, printed and online resources, Guild teaching DVDs, enamel tools, equipment and supplies vouchers, enamel sample sets and one year’s membership of both the Guild of Enamellers and the British Society of Enamellers.

The Guild is extremely grateful to joint sponsors The British Society of Enamellers, W G Ball Ltd, Proops Brothers Ltd, Milton Bridge Ceramic Colours and Vitrum Signum for supporting the Bursary Award.  

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Sarah Christian, Estelle Burton, Signe Sternum and Debbie King were awarded runner-up prizes. The prize packages will encourage Valentina and the runners-up to further develop their enamelling skills and exploration of the medium within the supportive networks offered.

The selection panel was impressed by the quality and diversity of the submissions, and were heartened to see the use of traditional techniques such as cloisonné, pliqué-à-jour and champlevé along with more contemporary approaches to enamelling. It was clear that the applicants had a real enthusiasm, passion and flare for enamelling. Both the Guild of Enamellers and the British Society of Enamellers will offer support and networking opportunities to all the applicants as they pursue their enamelling journey.

Bursary application information for the 2020 Award will be available online ( from April 2019.

Julie Rattray

Bursary Secretary

Conference 2019 Advance Notice

Conference 2019 will be at  Reaseheath College, Nantwich from Fri 12th to Sun 14th April.

The Winter journal with full conference details and the application form will be arriving towards the end of December. If your post is unreliable, or you expect to be away from home then, details of the workshops will be available here on the Guild website from 27th December.

The deadline for going into the initial ballot for places is Monday 14th January (mid-day).



Call for Entries Opens for 2019 Saul Bell Design Award Competitio

— Rio Grande announces its call for entries for the 19th annual Saul Bell Design Award, an international design competition that challenges jewelers and metalsmiths to pick up their tools and seize their moment.

“The Saul Bell Design Award Competition offers designers a challenge unlike any other,” says Rio Grande Creative Director Jamie Gros, “to compete on an international level, to have their work judged by iconic names in the jewelry industry, and to be celebrated alongside a list of amazing winners and finalists.”

One of the jewelry industry’s foremost design events, the Saul Bell Design Award competition is unique for its intensive judging process. Two rounds are judged by a total of 10 jewelers and industry leaders who are masters of their craft. In the initial round, five judges look for originality of design, proposed use of materials, and aesthetics to select finalists. In the final round, a second panel of five judges examines completed finalist pieces up close, in the hand, and on model, looking for successful incorporation of materials, wearability (except in the Hollowware category) and quality of workmanship.

2018 winner Sophia Hu says receiving the Saul Bell Award has been “such a highlight in my life—a milestone in my career.” Her beautifully inventive “Origami—Window with a View Collection” received the Saul Bell Award’s 2018 Best of Show special distinction. “I really appreciated the two rounds of judges in the competition, since they have the eyes and tastes to see deeper, to identify and appreciate all the design efforts I put into each design in this collection.”

Matthieu Cheminée appeared as a finalist in the 2017 Silver/Argentium Silver category; he returned to win First Place in that same category in 2018 with his “Itado” cuff. “I actually designed that piece as I was in Albuquerque last year after the ceremony of the Saul Bell Award,” he says. “I had so much fun, and I thought it was such as good experience, that I had to come back.”

There are nine categories in the 2019 competition: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium® Silver, Enamel, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials, two categories of Emerging Jewelry Artist, and two categories of Jewelry Collection.

The Emerging Jewelry Artist categories encompass two age ranges: 18 years old and younger (high school age), or 22 years old and younger (college age) as of October 25, 2018. The two Jewelry Collection categories invite designers to create a cohesive set of wearable pieces (such as a coordinated necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings). Jewelers can compete in Jewelry Collection Couture/Fine, representing a line of luxury jewelry, or Jewelry Collection Fashion/Bridge, representing a line of trend-setting jewelry.

Entries are accepted through October 25, 2018. Finalist pieces are due by January 25, 2019. The entry form and detailed information about the competition, including submission guidelines and information about each of the categories, are available at