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The graduate class of 2021 overcame a year of disruption and very different working environments due to Covid restrictions, to created some extraordinary work. These efforts were recognised with the annual Theo Fennell Awards for Best Concept, Best Technical and Overall Achievement for the RCA Jewellery & Metalwork, graduating class.

The RCA students have all done a magnificent job of working through the Pandemic and the work Jingwen Yuan and Mairi Millar exhibited our two top prize winners was extraordinary. We are thrilled that these prizes are still part of the student’s big day, as they have been for so many years, as we will do anything we can do to encourage young people into this grate trade.

Theo Fennell

The Winners

Overall – Jingwen Yuan

Calculating Poetry- Surface- Origami- A Moonlit Night On The Spring River (excerpt)

Calculating Poetry-Plane-Decoding- Selected Poems of Li Bai

Calculating Poetry- Surface- Origami- A Moonlit Night On The Spring River I (excerpt)

Calculating Poetry- Surface- Origami- A Moonlit Night On The Spring River II (excerpt)

Calculating Poetry- Surface- Origami- A Moonlit Night On The Spring River III (excerpt)

Jingwen’s works are are discussions of poetry. She uses mathematical formulas to visualise poetry and expresses emotional poetry through rational mathematics. Her work has a sense of order and is also another form of expression of poetry. The confrontation between rationality and sensibility in her work is her thinking about ‘what is poetry’

Best Concept – Mairi Millar


A ring that speaks to guilt and responsibility, it bleeds when washed and afterwards leaves an intaglio of a permanent ‘wound’.

Mairi Millar is a multidisciplinary artist from Trinidad & Tobago whose practice center’s on the materiality, power and the ritual of objects.

For millennia, humans have always held a strong relationship with the sense of touch when it come to belief. Clutching a talisman, wearing an amulet close to our skin, a stature worn down and polished from years of pilgrimages; tangibility gives us that sense of control amid chaos.

Throughout the history of jewellery we have countless examples of humans placing faith in small objects we can carry and hold close to us. Whether its our hopes or fears, having a vessel for these abstract emotions that we can see and hold helps us to better understand them. When we place so much of ourselves in an object, when it lies intimately on our skin and carries our aura long after we’re gone, where’s the line? When does the objects’ matter become our own?

Best Technical – Stamp Sangsuk-iam & Yu Chen

Stamp Sangsuk-iam

Fly Me To The MoonNecklace

‘Key Tray’ & ‘Life Music’

Stamp Sangsuk-iam is a Thai artist / designer-maker. She studied for a BA (Hons) Industrial Design at Chulalongkorn University, before studying for an MA in Jewellery & Metal at the Royal College of Art. Her work has always been influenced by sounds around her. She likes to use the sound properties of objects as a language to communicate to the world.

‘Everything around us is like an instrument, our interaction controls rhythm and tune and it’s all composed together by our living. Sound in our daily life has unique characteristics which intuitively tells a story of its own.’
Stamp’s practice is mainly influenced by sounds from our living world. She enjoys exploring the sound properties of everyday objects together with observing our intuitive interaction with them. Spending most of her time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, she started to hear and see her family relationship through sounds and interactions from her domestic life. Her current practice, Life Music, turned simple everyday objects in the house into sound objects which communicate the story of family relationships.
Stamp’s hope is that, after hearing and seeing her work, it will change your listening experience, at least a bit, because there are so many beautiful sounds around us that we ignore.

Yu Chen (Cyan Chen)

Yu Chen is a contemporary jewellery designer living in China. She completed a BA in product design at Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology and an MA in Jewellery & Metal at RCA. Cyan is deeply committed to the culture of her generation and to using jewellery as a means to record and comment on contemporary life experiences.

Do You Really Want It?

In this series, Cyan tries to challenge the audience to consider: which is more important, the material price or artistic value? People keep and carry bags with logos to imply that they have the capacity to consume luxury goods. In other words, shopping bags and products have the same function. The value of paper is higher than the price of paper. From paper bags to shopping bags, the value and price of the brand is more than that of the paper. For example, Tiffany shopping bags are full of commercial elements. Using the traditional Chinese paper-making technique, the shopping bag becomes paper pulp. Cyan’s work strips out the price and value of the brand, but retains the colour to indicate the source of the material. By reshaping the physical form, the value of classic jewellery design and the value of craft are given to paper. At the end, the price of paper is still cheap: do you really want it?

Dongting Pearls

Social status is not the most important or valuable aspect of life. What is really valuable in life? Cyan’ believes the answer is – food. She chose rice as a material because, in China, rice has a thousand-year history of cultivation. The status of rice in Chinese food culture is like the central precious stone in jewellery. However, as the quality of life improves, hunger is no longer a problem. People start to waste food. She uses rice instead of gems to imitate the jewellery production process. After comparing the colour, wholeness, hardness and shape of different kinds of rice, she selects glutinous rice as a material. Using rice, Cyan imitates the process of selecting, measuring and sorting gems. Cyan uses rice that originates from the Dongting Lake. Set into the jewellery, the individual grains are as pure and white as pearls. 

Gilded Youth

Theo Fennell has an ongoing commitment to supporting the jewellery industry through our Gilded Youth initiative which aims to encourage great designers for the future as well as giving a voice to emerging young jewellery and silver talent.

The Gilded Youth project is our ongoing mission to support and nurture the best master jewellers and designers of the future. The reason we sponsor prizes, awards and initiatives for young starters, apprentices and college students, at, amongst others, The RCA, Central St Martins and The Goldsmiths Centre – is to try and help them prepare for the future and promote the extraordinary young talent we have in this country.

Theo Fennell

2021 is the 13th year that Theo Fennell have sponsored the BA Jewellery Design show at Central Saint Martins and presented their annual design awards. For the second year running students coped extraordinarily well with the limitations of Covid and produced outstanding levels of work across the board. This year we virtually awarded prizes to three students for Technical Achievement, Design and an Overall First prize.

‘In very difficult circumstances, the CSM students have produced some really interesting and accomplished work and I am delighted by how they rose to overcome the challenges of the last year or so. As always, it has been rewarding to work with them and the Theo Fennell award winners were very worth of their prizes’

Theo Fennell

The Winners

Theo Fennell Award First Prize: Roni Levy

Revealing

Roni‘s collection is a love affair with the onion. Its an affair that unfolds tear-jerkingly; in the quest for a nutritious kernel of truth, each layer of the journey is just translucent enough to invite deeper investigation. Composed entirely of onion skins, her biodegradable pieces bring romance to a material that has long been relegated to the scrapheap. Roni embodies the shedding of an onion through her collections metamorphic narrative. She begins with an intricate, defamiliarised composition of the onion, which she then peels back to reveal its true organic form.

Roni is a London based jeweller and artist. Whilst using a wide range of materials in her designs, her main passion lies in exploring the use of sustainable materials. Her skill-set incorporates a conscious approach to traditional bench work, by introducing transformative techniques that bring new life to otherwise “unwanted” waste products.

Theo Fennell Award For Technical Achievement: Ruby Mellish

Contemporary Self Portraiture

Ruby’s collection draws on her personal experience of isolation. Deprived of external inspiration, Ruby became her own muse, questioning her own perception of identity through the image of her eye. Her eyepieces subvert conventions of traditional self-portraiture by enabling the wearer to see from the artists perspective. Viewing the human eye as a vessel of ‘the self’, Ruby uses acetate to allow the wearer’s face to become part of each piece. By gradually distorting her eye, she shows the inability to truly capture the self, which is constantly fluctuating, inherently personal.

Ruby is an experimental jewellery artist who uses a wide range of materials and techniques to achieve unique outcomes. Her practice is primarily influenced by the body and carries surreal themes through the application of computer aided design and hand-crafting. She specialises in Photoshop, exhibiting her original interpretation of digital manipulation and converting virtual projects to life through a considered range of materials. 

Theo Fennell Award For Design – Imogen Burch

Emotive

Traditionally, rings memorialise specific events. In ‘Emotive’, Imogen steps beyond this, turning sober, commemorative rings into light-hearted versions of themselves while maintaining an emphasis on preciousness. From heirloom to cocktail to engagement, each ring sets aside weighty tradition, instead becoming fun, playful and kinetic. By each representing an individual feeling or emotion that is less present in traditional notions of ring-wearing, such as being tipsy, they collectively illustrate a more developed picture of the intimate wearer-ring relationship.

Imogen is a Jewellery designer and maker based in London. She explores the relationship between jewellery, emotions and people. She situates her practice within luxury fine jewellery as a means to navigate identity in a playful and light-hearted way. By reinterpreting and updating traditional pieces, she challenges the assumptions of what is expected from fine jewellery. She does this by designing objects that update traditional steadfast designs, in an attempt to connect people in a shared experience.

Gilded Youth

Theo Fennell has an ongoing commitment to supporting the jewellery industry through our Gilded Youth initiative which aims to encourage great designers for the future as well as giving a voice to emerging young jewellery and silver talent.

The Gilded Youth project is our ongoing mission to support and nurture the best master jewellers and designers of the future. The reason we sponsor prizes, awards and initiatives for young starters, apprentices and college students, at, amongst others, The RCA, Central St Martins and The Goldsmiths Centre – is to try and help them prepare for the future and promote the extraordinary young talent we have in this country.

Theo Fennell

Collection descriptions courtesy of Central St Martins BA Hons Jewellery & Design Catalogue

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

Theo Fennell collaborate with Gold medallist nursery Primrose Hall Peonies

Virtual RHS Chelsea 17th – 23rd May.

We are delighted that our collaboration with Primrose Hall Nursery can finally go ahead in 2021, beginning with ‘Virtual Chelsea’ week. It shows how the thought, love and craftsmanship that go into creating an exquisite piece of jewellery is mirrored by the love, passion and care needed to nurture a peony to exhibition standard.

There is great synergy between the journey of designing, creating and crafting a piece of jewellery and breeding a new peony plant.

“Our Gallery, workshop and studio have been based in Chelsea for 40 years and it is our spiritual home. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of the great local, jolly events and a cornerstone of the London season.

As a company we have used flowers as an inspiration for years and my wife’s favourites are Peonies….so when Primrose Hall Peonies, the best Peony growers in the Kingdom, asked us to partner with them at the show, it seemed like a perfect fit.
We are very excited to be working with them, designing some Peony inspired jewels and showing them at RHS Chelsea flower show. We are much looking forward to it.”

THEO FENNELL

The thought, love and craftsmanship that is poured into creating an exquisite piece of jewellery is much like the care and attention needed to nurture a peony from bud to flowering maturity. Giving jewellery, like giving a gorgeous peony, is a joyous thing and an act of love. This collaboration with expert peony grower Alec White for the RHS Virtual Chelsea Show in May and the physical show in September 2021, perfectly depicts the closeness of this sentiment.

Primrose Hall Peonies is an RHS award-winning British nursery. They hold the National Collection for Intersectional peonies and stock the largest selection of rare and extremely collectable peonies for sale in the UK.

We were thrilled to create six important trophies again for the Qatar Goodwood Festival 27th -31st July 2021.

Congratulations to all the winning owners, trainers and jockeys!

The Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup

Won By Trueshan
Jockey: Hollie Doyle
Trainer: Alan King
Owner: The Singular Partnership

The Qatar International Stakes

Won By Lady Princess
Jockey: Oisin Murphy
Trainer: Thomas Fourcy
Owner: Khalifa Bin Shaeil Al Kuwari
The Qatar Sussex Stakes

Won By Alcohol Free
Jockey: Oisin Murphy
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Owner: J C Smith
The Qatar Nassau Stakes

Won By Lady Bowthorpe
Jockey: Kieran Shoemark
Trainer: William Jarvis
Owner: Mrs E L Banks

The King George Qatar Stakes

Won By Suesa
Jockey: William Buick
Trainer: Francois Rohaut
Owner: George Strawbridge
The Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes

Won By: Wonderful Tonight
Jockey: William Buick
Trainer: David Menuisier
Owner: Christopher Wright

Theo Fennell is probably the last company to design and hand make all their own silver in Britain. There is nothing to compare with the look and feel of handmade British silver. The pieces we make require unbelievably brilliant craftsmanship. We can produce pieces to suit perfectly your company and event.

Learn more about our Bespoke Silverware

On Sunday 9th May, a watch made by Roger Smith in partnership with Theo Fennell sold at Phillips Watch auction in Geneva for an astonishing $600,000. The ‘Onely’ was one of a set of 3 watches originally sold in 2006.

The White Gold ‘Onely Watch’ one of only three watches made by Roger Smith in collaboration with Theo Fennell.

Back in 2003 Theo came across Roger Smith, the brilliant and only apprentice to the legendary George Daniels. Theo commissioned three watches from Smith, incorporating the Fennell logo at 12 o’clock, one in each of yellow, red and white gold. They were named the ‘Onely Watch’ as only one of each was ever to be made and are signed by both principles on the movement. This watch marks a significant moment in Roger Smiths career and reflects Theo’s passion for timeless and unique design.

Original artwork for the ‘Onely’ watches in Red, Yellow & White Gold.

‘I have always been proud of the joint endeavor with Roger and the watches it produced. I am even prouder of Roger’s stellar career, the brilliant pieces he makes and his place in the horological firmament’

THEO FENNELL

It is one of the many projects that Theo has been involved in to encourage and further the career of young talent. This continues with Theo Fennell’s Gilded Youth initiative and with The Leopards, a collective of jewellery professionals.

Learn more about our Gilded Youth initiative.

For the 12th year Theo Fennell have sponsored the BA Jewellery Design show at Central Saint Martins and presented their annual design awards. Two students were awarded in two categories set by Theo Fennell – Best Design Proposal and Best Online Project.

This year was a first for the awards, which are traditionally held at the Central St Martins campus. Due to the COVID 19 crisis Central St Martins was forced to rethink their presentations and exhibitions, re-imagining them in a digital space. Students were tasked with virtually presenting their designs to Theo – with each student given only a few minutes to talk through their inspirations, year’s work and final piece. A further physical show will be hosted in January 2021, again sponsored by Theo Fennell, where Theo will be presenting two additional awards: Best Overall Piece and Best Technical Prize.

The Winners

Best Design Proposal: Olivia Woodhouse

Olivia’s collection explores the female body and simultaneously critiques its idealisation. By using suggestive “womanly” fruits such as peaches and pomegranates and manipulating them into chains, pendants, and rings, she conveys the ways that women are constrained from using their bodies freely. Olivia’s jewellery adopts glass as a symbol of fragility and strength, offering an alternative perspective to society’s view of the female body solely as a reproductive tool.

Best Online Visual Identity/Presentation: Hannah Bourn

Hannah’s collection explores the close connection between the human body and nature. She focusses on preserving organic forms and shapes whilst transforming natural objects collected from the seashore into pieces of jewellery. Drawing inspiration from biophilic design, which reconnects humans to nature, Hannah uses shells, pearls, and seaweed, adapting them for adornment of the human body. With minimal intervention in the raw material, she explores the fluidity of the shapes, highlighting their delicate beauty by using precious metals to breathe life back into their inanimate forms.

“As always we are thrilled to sponsor the CSM Degree show and to give our annual prizes. This year has obviously been quite a challenge and the students and staff should be very proud of the way they have managed through this very difficult time. There is some fantastic work and some deeply thought out projects and, as usual, it has been very difficult to separate the best.”

THEO FENNELL

Theo Fennell are delighted to announce the winners of their annual RCA awards. The awards are now in their sixteenth year with prizes awarded to graduating students from the Jewellery and Metal MA programme.

This year was a first for the awards, which are traditionally held at the Royal College of Art. Due to the COVID 19 crisis the students were tasked with virtually presenting their designs to Theo – with each student given only a few minutes to talk him through their inspirations, years’ work and final piece.

The Winners

Overall Excellence: Gearry Suen

Best Work in Metal: Roxanne Simone

Roxanne Simone is a Black British Visual Artist working primarily within Contemporary Metalwork and Jewellery, her work focuses on the reimagining of the Black Diasporic Identity. With a wealth of global cross-cultural collaborations, Roxanne’s practice is at the beginning stages of reimagining craft, space and the future of Blackness within Contemporary Art.

Best Work in Jewellery: Lara Hirst

Her practice is concerned with the relationship between the Material and Immaterial, and although highly conceptual is realised through the crafting of objects. She addresses themes of a human nature and where subject or emphasis may vary, it is the trend of reduction that remains consistent throughout.

As well as a cash prize, the three winners will also receive a silver dish each crafted and engraved by hand in the Theo Fennell workshop. Notable past winners of the Theo Fennell x RCA Award include Ruth Tomlinson, Melanie Georgacopoulos and Jessica Pass.

”It was fascinating to view the work online rather than in the flesh but all the students had produced an incredibly polished presentation given the circumstances and talked about their work with great passion. It is a delight still to be able to award these prizes, despite the situation to the stars of tomorrow.. Jiarui, Roxanne and Lara are more than worthy winners and I hope the prizes are a help to them in these strange times.”

THEO FENNELL

The Summer Solstice Stonehenge Opening Ring is an homage to Stonehenge and its annual ritual, whereby thousands of people are permitted to enter the prehistoric stone circle to watch the sunrise on 21st June. Visitors gather to watch the sunrise over the prehistoric stone circle. It is the longest day of the year, and the sun aligns perfectly to the monolith’s center.

The ring is designed in 18ct Yellow Gold with a Blue Topaz roof, which has been set with Diamonds to imitate the night sky turning into dawn. The domed roof opens up to reveal an intricate, to-scale version of Stonehenge, crafted in miniature by our talented craftsmen.

Our one of a kind opening rings are entirely handcrafted in our Fulham Road workshop by our exceptional craftsmen. They are acknowledged as miniature architectural masterpieces with intricate enamelled details.

“The Opening Rings all have something hidden under them, a starfish under the sea or a pot of gold at a rainbow’s end, or something, like Stonehenge, more talismanic and under a canopy of the Summer Solstice sky represented by the blue tourmaline hollow dome and the diamond stars. The tiny Stonehenge is accurate to the last detail.”

THEO FENNELL

We’re very excited to say we will be open by appointment from 16th June.

As I am sure you will understand, this first stage will be on an appointment only basis so as to minimise the amount of people in the Gallery, these will be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11am – 4pm. We have put in place every appropriate measure to ensure your safety, and that of the staff.

If you would like to make an appointment please call us on +44 (0)207 591 5000 or email customerservice@theofennell.com and we will do our very best to accommodate you.

Our brilliant workshop and studio teams have been working throughout the lockdown and have created some outstanding work, under extraordinary circumstances. If you would like to have work designed or made and are unable to visit the Gallery we would be very happy to arrange a video call to talk about it.

ONLINE ORDERS, SHIPPING & RETURNS

Of course, our scintilating Jewellery and Silverware collections are still available to buy or on our website, www.theofenell.com, and will provide, we hope, inspiration for those birhtdays and anniversaries that will, of course, still happen. This means that, as well as having presents delivered to those who are with you, we can also send piecces to those you may not be able to see in person.

Please note that deliveries may now take up to 2 weeks. As official advice changes, please bear with us and, as always, our Customer Service team will continue to be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

REPAIRS, REWORKS & BESPOKE

If you have jobs in progress or to collect, we are all working hard behind the scenes so please do contact us on +44 (0)207 591 5000 and we will arrange for your items to be delivered.

Our brilliant workshop and studio will still be operating with our teams working from our either workshop or home. So if you would like anything designed or made, whether new pieces, reworks or repairs, now would be a great time to have them done. It would also be of enormous help to our small and brilliant team, keeping our craftsmen and women busy through this trying time. We kindly request that any consultations take place via email or telephone.

THEO FENNELL GALLERY

The health and wellbeing of our lovely customers and our wonderful staff and everyone around us are paramount. In order to best protect us all, and taking the best advice, The Gallery will be closed until further notice. We would also like to take this opportunity to encourage our community to support small businesses wherever they can. Please bear with us as official advice changes, and a huge thank you for your understanding and continued support – we are so touched every day at how much our jewellery means to people.

Head over to ourInstagramfor daily inspiration!

Known as the Oscars of the jewellery industry, each year the Goldsmith’s Craft & Design Council attracts over 600 competition entries from talented UK based designers and craftspeople. The showcase presents award-winning work ranging from jewellery to tableware and objet d’art.

The Theo Fennell Master & Apprentice Award is an award specifically designed to highlight, celebrate and record the importance and unique partnership between the quality craft skills of an apprentice and their master. This exciting incentive and special award aims to promote high quality apprentice work and equally recognise the significant contribution of their skilled master. Therefore, the award is looking to attract, identify and celebrate high standards of hand craft skills across any apprentice discipline from work submitted in the competition. This special award is for an apprentice and their master alike.

The winner of the Theo Fennell Master & Apprentice Award 2020 Alexander Wood and his Master Nathanial Groves created a beautiful piece crafted in Sterling Silver.

To read more about our Gilded Youth programme, click here

“Congratulations to the winner of our Apprentice and Master prize at the Worshipful company of Goldsmiths’ Awards for this sensational ring mount.

Impossible to explain how difficult this would be to make in silver. May Alexander have a wonderful life at the bench.

THEO FENNELL

Known as the Oscars of the jewellery industry, each year the Goldsmith’s Craft & Design Council attracts over 600 competition entries from talented UK based designers and craftspeople. The showcase presents award-winning work ranging from jewellery to tableware and objet d’art.

The Jewellers section is designed to identify and reward high quality hand craft skills demonstrated on fine jewellery.

Our very own Simon Caldicott was awarded a Gold prize for his stunning pendant crafted in 18ct Gold.

“Congratulations to the phenomenon that is Simon Caldicott who has worked with Theo for over 30 years for winning yet another Gold Prize at the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths’ Awards for this beautiful wasp and leaf pendant. And a picture of him having a think!!”

THEO FENNELL

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