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2016 Halstead Design Challenge: Kinetic

The inaugural Halstead Design Challenge: Kinetic results are in! See the winning brooches and runners up from this innovative jewelry exhibition.

The results are in! See the winners of the first ever Halstead Design Challenge: Kinetic.

Halstead Design Challenge: Kinetic component kit

What a wild ride it has been! We are thrilled to announce the results of the Halstead Design Challenge: Kinetic! Read on for descriptions, photos and video clips of the winning pieces in the competition.

The response to the challenge was amazing. One hundred $25 entry kits of supplies sold out in just 24 hours after the challenge was launched. This was the inaugural Halstead Design Challenge in cooperation with the Society of North American Goldsmiths and the SNAGneXt conference in Asheville, NC. Participants had to use 50% or more of the kit to create a kinetic brooch. Twenty of the submissions were selected for an exhibition at Blue Spiral 1 gallery in Asheville during the annual SNAG conference. The winners of the competition were selected from those 20 exhibitors and announced at an event on Thursday night. Photos from the event are included below.

It was hard to judge! Huge thanks to jurors Brigitte Martin of Crafthaus and Samantha Skelton of Samantha Skelton Jewelry Design and winner of the 2016 Halstead Grant. We were so impressed by the ingenuity of the kinetic designs and the variety of the submissions. A complete online exhibition will launch on the SNAG website this summer.

See some of the entries:

The top three winners received cash prizes and their submissions will go into the permanent Halstead collection on display at company headquarters in Prescott, AZ.


1st Place Winner: Gabrielle Gould "Spring Garden View"

1st place winner Gabrielle Gould

"My Kinetic design encompasses two main pieces: the Banded Moth pin and the Walking Stick pin. The Banded Moth has moveable, hinged wings which are ornamented with the various parts of the Halstead Kit. The Walking Stick's six legs are each articulated and the pin itself is a Locket that opens to reveal a small jewel, a bracelet. Though both pins can be worn individually, the two pieces may connect by way of an attachable chain. This connection creates the whole "garden" view as the chain carries natural found objects of shells and feathers, things which may be found in a garden in the South. 

The design uses solely the Halstead Kit accept for small eyes, tubing for the hinges, pin backs and incidentals. Enamel paint was used for the color." ~ Gabrielle Gould.

Link to video of Spring Garden View by Gabrielle Gould Click the video thumbnail at left to see the kinetic features of this piece.

2nd Place Winner: Stacy Rodgers "Various Species"

2nd place winner Stacy Rodgers

"My work focuses on lines; the delicate undulating lines found in the details of a starfish, a micro-scopic organism or the veins of the human eye; and the negative space that ebbs and flows between those lines. Each piece is a combination of line drawings hand pierced in metal then layered one on top of another endeavoring to create a depth of unseen spaces within the lines." ~ Stacy Rodgers

Link to video of Various Species by Stacy Rodgers Click the video thumbnail at left to see the kinetic features of this piece.

3rd Place Winner: Kirsten Denbow "Freedom"

3rd place winner: Kirsten Denbow"For me, this piece was a humorous way to address vegetarianism. I stopped eating meat a few years ago after watching a series of videos about farming and meat production. I have since found that I enjoy so many alternatives to farm produced meat products and I have a clear conscience that I try to have ethical dietary choices. I realize that this is what works for me and not necessarily others. I am not preachy about my choices, but why not bring it up in a fun playful way!

The flying pig represents the animals that have been freed, the angels who weren't so lucky and the chance we have of becoming a vegetarian society!" ~ Kirsten Denbow.

Link to Freedom by Kirsten Denbow Click the video thumbnail at left to see the kinetic features of this piece.


Matthew Smith

Runner up Matthew Smith"A cross between a vintage penny-arcade game and a 1940's era scientific apparatus, the Atom Smasher brooch features an atomic bubble chamber suspended from a control unit. As the wearer moves, the sub-atomic particles glide along a circuitous path within the bubble
chamber. Once the atomic collisions are over, the wearer can reset the apparatus by rotating the chamber 180 degrees, which will restart the kinetic process. The control panel features a rotating power dial, glass laser tubes, and an enigmatic red button. NEVER press the red button." ~ Matthew Smith. 

Link to Atom Smasher by Matthew Smith

Click the video thumbnail at left to see the kinetic features of Atom Smasher.

Jessica Todd

Runner up Jessica Todd

"When designing my brooch I wanted the kinetic aspect and found object element to play off of one another and become the focal point and central concept. The two discs, assembled with found glass and set on ball bearings, spin, causing the charcoal and graphite shavings to fall and pile up, upset by the painted brass ring inside. Over time, a visual record of the piece's movement is traced onto the white background. This movement is emphasized in the repeating concentric circles throughout the piece, inspired by the many circular shapes included in the design kit. Working in matte silver and painting the non-silver elements white, the focus is on the shapes and the movement; the tenuous lines of the graphite drawing, wire relief, and outside border; and the two geometric forms connected by a collection of chains." ~ Jessica Todd

Link to Traces by Jessica Todd Click the video thumbnail at left to see the kinetic features of "Traces."

Erin Cora Turner

Runner up Erin Cora Turner

"My current body of work relates to the artisanry and trade skills associated with my home region of Scranton, PA, and the gender roles associated with the each trade. Utilizing materials produced and used in the area (such as coal, lace, steel and cement), I combine elements of the decorative and industrial into wearable and sculptural objects.

The "En Tremblant Cluster" brooch for Halstead was designed with the idea to continue my work utilizing springs as a means to propel an object to life. The decorative elements are comprised of cement, pigment and resin, which are then attached via the copper pins and sheet provided. Sterling silver was used as a case for the springs to attach to the main housing. The cement pieces float above the housing and tremble when touched for several seconds. The piece is activated when the wearer moves, or (while displayed) the viewers walk near." ~ Erin Cora Turner

Link to En Tremblant Cluster by Erin Cora Turner Click the video thumbnail at left to see the kinetic features of "En Tremblant Cluster."

The exhibition at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, NC was a huge success. Hundreds of SNAGneXt conference attendees and Asheville locals turned out to see the entries. The gallery was packed all night and many pieces quickly sold.

We will launch a new Halstead Design Challenge this fall. The Challenge is a fundraiser for SNAG so your entry fees go directly to an amazing national organization dedicated to creating community and advocacy for jewelers across the full range of materials and styles. Watch SNAG and Halstead emails and social media for news. Learn more about the Halstead Design Challenge.

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