The Jewellery Cut co-founder Rachael Taylor reflects on a sparkling year that was packed full of awards, talks, podcasts and even a live jewellery showDecember 20, 2021 By Rachael Taylor
The end of the year is always a welcome moment of reflection, and while 2021 has had more than its fair share of difficult moments, there were also some dazzling ones – and we would like to thank you for joining us for them.
The apex of The Jewellery Cut is always our live shows. While we had to make the decision not to host our usual two shows per year in 2021 due to the pandemic, we focused all of our energy on organising an event to be held in October, which we did with the help of a headline sponsor for the first time in Fuli Gemstones.
As we prepared for the show, The Jewellery Cut kept busy with many other projects throughout the year that support our mission of elevating and championing independent fine jewellery design.
The Jewellery Cut’s Rachael Taylor presents Young Designer of the Year Award to Julien Riad Sahyoun at The UK Jewellery Awards 2021
In February, I joined The Goldsmiths’ Centre Getting Started programme for its 40th anniversary. For the first time, the course, which equips silversmiths and jewellers in the early stages of their career with essential business skills, was held online. My involvement included delivering a masterclass on how to interact with the press, and also hosting a live interview with Richard Fox, founder of Fox Silver and then Prime Warden of The Goldsmiths’ Company.
This was the first of many digital talks that The Jewellery Cut was called to take part in during 2021. Other topics covered included how Brexit might impact jewellery designers and their clients.
I was also very lucky to be invited to join two fabulous podcasts to share the origin story of The Jewellery Cut. In March, jewellery designer Roseanna Croft asked me to be on an episode of her series Design Your Legacy. Later in the year, jeweller Alex Monroe and his daughter Connie visited my office in Brighton on a very windy day to record an episode for his podcast This is a Token.
Jewellery designer Alex Monroe and The Jewellery Cut’s Rachael Taylor recorded a podcast episode together
In May, The Jewellery Cut headed to the glamorous Goldsmiths’ Hall, where I was invited to host the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards for the second year. This turned out to be an historic task, as for the first time in the Awards’ history, the ceremony was a virtual one. If you missed it first time round, you can watch it on YouTube.
We were delighted to welcome Kassandra Lauren Gordon back to write for us in June once again. In 2020, Kassandra wrote an open letter for The Jewellery Cut on her experiences of racism in the jewellery industry, and it gained worldwide attention. It also acted as the catalyst for some real positive change spearheaded by Kassandra and others in the industry, including the creation of the Kassandra Lauren Gordon Fund for Black jewellers, which raised more than £20,000, as well as an original research project into the experiences of Black jewellers in Britain.
The Goldsmiths’ Centre and The Goldsmiths’ Company supported this work and more, including a seminal virtual talk Black Representation in the UK Jewellery Industry organised by The Goldsmiths’ Centre and hosted by The Jewellery Cut, as well as an internal review of The Goldsmiths’ Company’s own practices and history.
Kassandra Lauren Gordon in the audience during a talk at The Jewellery Cut Live in February 2020
The Jewellery Cut has been lucky to welcome a number of brilliant guest writers in 2021. I’d like to take a moment to thank them for their contributions. We have had book extracts from authors François Chaille and Hélène Kelmachter, brilliant interviews and features by writers Livia Primo Lack, Rae Oliver, Jason D’Heureux, Isabella Yan, Ann-Marie Voina, Jodie Smith and Annie North. As well as guest columns by jewellery experts Fay Roach, Julia Griffith, Steven Collins and Juliet Hutton-Squire. We’ve even tempted some jewellery designers to pick up the pen, including Ruby Taglight, Katherine Jetter and Emma Aitchison
In August, The Jewellery Cut co-founder Andrew Martyniuk was invited to judge a student design competition at The British Academy of Jewellery. The Jewellery Cut sponsored the Professional Jewellery Product Award at the event, which was won by Kitty Konsta. I was also lucky enough to judge some competitions this year, including The Goldsmiths’ Centre’s Getting Started: Stars in the Making and Retail Jeweller’s UK Jewellery Awards 2021, where The Jewellery Cut presented the award for Young Designer of the Year to Julien Riad Sahyoun.
Over the course of the year, we also welcomed some exiting new jewels to our online contemporary jewel emporium, The Jewellery Cut Shop. Canadian jewellery brand Hestia joined the line up for the first time, and we had some exciting launches from Alison Macleod and Charlotte Cornelius.
Clio Saskia shows off her jewels at The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones in October 2021
Then in October, it came time for the main event: The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones, held in the historic Mayfair venue The Royal Institution. The London event would be our first live show since February 2020, as we were so glad to be back. Joining us was a brand-new cohort of inspiring designers including our 2021 winner of The Jewellery Cut bursary, Jasmine Ataullah.
This year’s show offered visitors the chance to meet with their favourite contemporary fine jewellery designers and discover new talent. As well as having the chance to shop for handmade treasures and commission future heirlooms, visitors to The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones were also invited to attend a series of talks in the venue’s amphitheatre.
We had a wonderful two days, and we would like to extend a huge thank you to all who turned up to the event to support and discover some of the most exciting fine jewellery talent on the scene today, and also to all of you who followed online. The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones will be back in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming you to two shows next year.
Jewellery designer Anabela Chan giving a talk at The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones in October 2021
There are lots more exciting things in the pipeline for The Jewellery Cut in 2022 in addition to the live shows, and we look forward to sharing them with you in due course. So do stay connected with us, as we continue to share our journey of discovery of the best hidden gems in the jewellery world with you next year, and beyond.
Until then, let me take you on a trip down memory lane in this video shot at The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones 2021.