Lo Lai Man
A winner of SJDA 2011, Miss Lo Lai Man just graduated from Hong Kong IVC (Lee Wai Lee). She said, ‘I am interested in different types of designing, not just jewellery designing. My designs are an expression of my ideas and I can express my ideas through physical objects, like jewellery. It is a process of transforming my ideas into reality, into pieces of art. ‘
A winner of SJDA 2011, Miss Anya Almira just graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and is currently looking for a job in Singapore. She said, ‘This competition has given me more confidence as my design has been accepted by the judges.’ She added that her design is a representation of herself; it expresses her character of being cheerful and playful. Her advice to budding designers is to appreciate custom made jewellery or contemporary pieces, it will help them grow in their design knowledge.
Lam Hoi Kiu
A winner of SJDA 2011, Miss Lam Hoi Kiu just graduated from Hong Kong IVC (Lee Wai Lee). She became interested in jewellery design after reading some jewellery related magazines. Her inspiration for her winning design came from a caterpillar cocoon turning into a butterfly. She thinks that Hong Kong students need to increase their CAD knowledge. Singapore students use CAD in their designs, and their designs were better presented in the competition. Hong Kong students relied more on hand drawn designs which tend to lose out to CAD designed jewellery; CAD can make your designs look more 3D and are more accurate. She added that she likes designs that are eye-catching, and her favourite jewellery pieces are from Dior; they use gems stones tactfully, enhancing the beauty of their jewellery pieces.
A winner of SJDA 2011, Miss Silvia Tjahyadi just graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and has the passion for designing jewellery. Her inspiration for her winning design came from her love for nature. Her advice for future contestants is not to be afraid to express their ideas. She entered into this competition feeling that she could do any design with any shape or form, and just be bold in her design. She has found a job with BP DeSilva, and she is looking forward to gain greater satisfaction through her working experience. When she was asked if she would join more competition, she firmly said, ‘I want to join jewellery competitions at a professional level, if there are any.’
A winner of SJDA 2011, Rachel Lam is currently an undergraduate from Hong Kong IVC (Lee Wai Lee). Her inspiration for her winning piece came from a seashell. When she was asked if she would make jewellery designing her career, she said, ‘I have the passion for jewellery design but I am not sure about becoming a designer since I am still young. However, I have now won the competition, and it makes me seriously think about designing jewellery as my career. I am still studying and probably next year will have a chance to enter into the finals again. My preference is contemporary jewellery. My family members also inspire me as they are fashion designers and interior designers.’ Her advice to future contestants, ‘I think they (HK students) should invest in learning computer aided design as most Hong Kong students are using hand drawn designs, whereas other countries are using computer aided design. The best would be to have the talent for both computer and hand drawn designs. The hand drawn designs are great in drafting out your ideas, but computer aided designs will benefit manufacturers during the production process.’
Mr Ho Nai Chuen
Mr Ho Nai Chuen, is the President of Singapore Jewellers Association. He is also the Managing Director for On Cheong Jewellery, and On Cheong the manufacturing sponsor for SJDA 2011 and SJDA 2012.
Q: Singapore Jewellery Design Award (SJDA) has been running for 7 years, what has changed over the years?
Mr Ho: Singapore Jewellers Association (SJA) took over this design competition from Rotary Club of Singapore East about 4 years ago. After a few rounds of discussions with the then-president of Rotary Club East, we found it very relevant to the Association, especially promoting local talents and putting our students in the international arena.
To enhance the level of awareness of SJDA, we came up with an idea to invite students from the designs schools in the region to participate in this competition using the internet platform.
In the past, there were feedbacks from students who conveyed that they had incurred expensive postage charges, and this had deterred them from participating in our competition. From 2011 onwards, aspiring designers can submit their entries online, and the first round of judging can also be done online. Our panel of judges need not to be physically present till the final round.
I believe that using an internet platform, we can grow SJDA and encourage young talents to take part in this competition. For the time being, the competition is for design students, and the next step is to have another category for professionals and/or jewellery practitioners.
Q: You mentioned that the portal is to attract the international participants, how would this be done?
Mr Ho: We need to do marketing through the internet platform, and convey the message to our counterparts, foreign jewellery design schools and overseas associations, to make them aware of such innovative platform for entries submission. We are hopeful of attracting more participants.
Q: I noted that most of the foreign winners were commenting on the computer aided designs compared to hand drawn designs. Which is better?
Mr Ho: I would advise all participants to make use of IT; computer aided designs ensure accuracy and precision as compared to hand drawn designs. Furthermore, computer aided designs are visually more appealing as compared to hand drawn designs.
Desmond John Chin
Desmond J. Chin has been teaching jewellery design for 12 years. He introduced jewellery design courses in Singapore. Desmond is currently the Senior Lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).
Q: What do you think about this competition?
Desmond: It is good to have a competition, as it provides a platform for students to showcase their design talent.
Q: Will you be getting your students to participate in SJDA 2012?
Desmond: Definitely. SJDA 2012 is on an internet platform, students do not need to submit design hard copies and could save substantial amount of money.
Q: What stands out when you look at these designs?
Desmond: They need to have a love for designing and it can be expressed in their designs. Their designs will not be inspiring if they are solely designed for meeting commercial requirements.
Q: What is your preference between hand drawn design and CAD design?
Desmond: Hand drawn designs are good, as designers can have a quick visualisation of ideas. CAD can better illustrate designs, and this gives the designers an opportunity to improve their designs before production.
Ko Lee Meng
Ms Ko Lee Meng, is the Executive Director for Aspial-Lee Hwa Jewellery, and Aspial-Lee Hwa was the previous manufacturing sponsor for SJDA 2009 and SJDA 2010.
Q: What do you think of the winning designs this year?
Ko: The designs are very nice and more creative. This competition is a platform for students to design their jewellery according to the themes set by the sponsor. It helps to prepare students to be ready for real job demands, as there are many customers who request for custom-made jewellery.
Q: Can these winners find a job easily in the jewellery industry?
Ko: The winners from Hong Kong will have no difficulty in finding jobs as designers in the jewellery industry. However, in Singapore, it is difficult to find a job just as a jewellery designer. Most jewellers require designers to perform other roles in the company because it does not make business sense to employ a full time designer. Therefore, it is common to find designers doubling up as sales staff or administrative staff.