The Halstead Design Challenge brought jewelers together each year to create a unique piece of jewelry as part of a fundraiser for SNAG. It welcomed everyone from hobbyists to experienced exhibition jewelers. Read more about each year's theme and the winners.
The Halstead Design Challenge was a fundraiser for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) that occurred between 2016-2020. Each year participants purchased a kit from Halstead and created a jewelry piece using at least 50% of the included components that showed their interpretation of the year's theme. Participants then send the piece in and a jury selected a curated sample of submissions to exhibit at the SNAG conference that year, where pieces would be available for sale. The top 3 submissions received cash prizes and recognition at the SNAG conference. Keep reading to see each year's theme and winners!
2020 Halstead Design Challenge: Connection
Inspired by the city of brotherly love, participants created necklaces that included interpretations such as love, friendship, physical, family and more. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 precautions the SNAG conference and in-person exhibition was cancelled.
In addition to their photos, participants submitted a letter to the wearer explaining the significance behind their HDC piece.
2019 Halstead Design Challenge: Cycle
The Cycle theme was inspired by the ideas of continuity, loops, and lifecycles. Each participant was allowed to create a pendant or necklace to show this theme as well as the creative use of a found object.
2018 Halstead Design Challenge: Hidden
The Hidden theme encouraged participants to create a brooch or convertible pendant that incorporated a surprising element for the user to discover.
Watch the video of some of the submitted pieces:
2017 Halstead Design Challenge: Memento
A memento is a special reminder of a person or event, so the Memento theme required participants to create a brooch that incorporated a photograph.
Check out the video of some of the entries received:
2016 Halstead Design Challenge: Kinetic
Participants in the inaugural Halstead Design Challenge were put to the test when they were asked to create a brooch with a kinetic aspect and a found object incorporated. Click each image to see the kinetic element(s) in action.
"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 backsand incidentals. Enamel paint was used for the color." ~ Gabrielle Gould.
"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
"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.
"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
"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
"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.
Ashley is the Content & Digital Marketing Specialist at Halstead. She grew up in the Prescott area and holds degrees in Strategic Communications and International Affairs. She and studio dog Mavis enjoy spending as much time as possible in the employee studio at Halstead.