Friday, October 17, 2014

Cast Your Vote for the 2014 MJSA Online Design Challenge!

Pamela was invited to be one of nine participants in the 5th annual MJSA Online Design Challenge and voting is now open to the public!  Click here to go to the voting page to see all nine entries and vote for your favorite.  (Of course, we hope Pamela's design is your favorite!)  You can only vote once so, if you'd like to help Pamela win, please share the voting link on your favorite social media outlets.

Here's a little more background on the competition, copied from MJSA's website: 

The 2014 Design Challenge: A Mother’s Love

For the fifth consecutive year, we’re hosting this online-only project, a favorite among our readers and website visitors. This year’s Design Challenge is centered around a padparadscha sapphire available from the project’s sponsor, Omi Gems in Los Angeles. We’ve supplied nine designers with a fictional scenario, presented here, about a group of siblings that have come together to commission a very special 70th birthday gift for their mother:

A gorgeous Beacon Hill home in Boston. Eight beautiful grandchildren. Enough time and money to travel the world. Amelia Andrews has a good life—and she shows her appreciation for it by giving back to her family and her community.
The Boston area native has spent the past 10 years since her retirement from Boston University, where she was a professor of art history, volunteering her time hosting art therapy sessions for homeless youth in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods. She finds great satisfaction in helping kids—especially teenagers—work through their emotions while painting, drawing, and sculpting. On more than one occasion, Amelia’s compassion and tender nature has significantly impacted the direction of a young person’s life, redirecting his path toward a brighter future.
In addition to volunteering in the program for underprivileged youth, Amelia is a patron of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—her favorite museum in the U.S., and what she likes to call her “second home.” She frequently leads tours and loves spending her free time there.
About once a week, Amelia brings the two of her grandchildren who are not yet school age to the museum for “art with grandma.” They explore the rooms together and Amelia teaches them something new each week. Her favorite painting there is an oil on canvas by Henri Matisse, “The Terrace, Saint-Tropez,” which hangs in the museum’s Yellow Room. It reminds her of the many trips she has taken with her husband to the French Riviera. The pinkish orange color of the flowers in the painting is Amelia’s favorite hue, reminding her of the many sunsets she has enjoyed in her life.
About a year ago, Amelia’s four children got together to plan a monumental gift for their mother’s 70th birthday, in honor of how much she had given to her family and her community over the past decade. They had discussed commissioning a jewelry piece Amelia could wear to events and private parties that she hosted at the museum that would be as impressive a work of art as the museum itself—something Isabella Stewart Gardner herself would be proud to wear.
Amelia can most often be found wearing heirloom Cartier passed down by her mother, most notably a collection of vintage brooches that she adores. She prefers warm tones and is obsessed with the colors of a sunset. This love of pinks and oranges fueled her children’s choice of a gorgeous 4.49 carat oval padparadscha sapphire, sourced from Omi Gems, as the focal point of the project.
Your mission is to design a special piece of jewelry for Amelia around this padparadscha sapphire, using any other materials you see fit. The cost of additional materials and labor cannot exceed a budget of $20,000.
Pamela's versatile design can be worn as a brooch...

... or as a pendant!
Here's how Pamela tackled the challenge, in her own words:

"I first approached the project by learning all I could about Amelia—her passions in life, her favorite art museum, her love of sunsets, and her fondness for heirloom Cartier pins. I wanted to create a wearable work of art for this wonderful woman whose life has revolved around art and giving back to her family and community. Because her story inspired multiple design ideas, I did some research into classic Cartier brooch styles to help narrow down the ideas. I noticed that many of the brooches were round or oval in shape so I decided to go that direction with the design.
Because I like versatility in my jewelry pieces, I chose to create a piece that she could wear either as a brooch or as a pendant. This will allow her the opportunity to wear it to a variety of functions with her family throughout the year: as a brooch during the cold Boston winters and as a pendant during the warmer months.
While designing the piece, I also studied her favorite painting, Henri Matisse’s “The Terrace, Saint-Tropez.” I took note of the colors in the painting, wanting to incorporate her favorite part, the pinkish orange flowers, into the brooch. I felt that my signature ombré style—having the design transition from 18k pink gold to 18k yellow gold—would capture the warmth of the flowers, and given Amela’s passion for sunsets, seemed like a color palette that she would love. Also, since the painting features a variety of beautiful flowers, I wanted the piece to have a “flowery” feel without being too literal. I created a scrollwork design reminiscent of petals radiating outward from the sapphire center.
Finally, I added diamonds to the design for a bit of sparkle and to highlight the gorgeous color of the padparadscha sapphire. An earlier version of the design incorporated pinkish orange sapphires inspired by the flowers in the painting but they blended too much into the gold and didn’t pop enough. Replacing them with diamonds added just the right amount of sparkle and, as they say, "diamonds are a girl’s best friend," whether that girl is 17 or 70. Happy birthday, Amelia!"

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