Young hopefuls shine at the PlatAfrica 2022 jewellery design awards

The annual awards recognise industry talent and demonstrate the sponsors’ commitment to reimagining mining to improve people’s lives

By Debbie Hathway
The winning professional entry – a piece titled 'Gathered' by Samantha Vincent © ByDesign Communications
The winning professional entry – a piece titled 'Gathered' by Samantha Vincent © ByDesign Communications

A neckpiece of beads and platinum by Samantha Vincent (Durban University of Technology) is the winning professional entry in the 23rd annual PlatAfrica jewellery design and manufacturing competition. Her piece, titled ‘Gathered’ is inspired by traditions.

An innovative ‘Two Sparrows’ ring inspired by a Bible passage in Luke 12 by Phillipus Wilhelmus Vorster (Rare Earth Creations) won the award in the student/apprenticeship category.

The winning piece in the student/apprenticeship category – Phillip Wilhelmus Vorster’s ring titled ‘Two Sparrows’ © ByDesign Communications

The competition, hosted annually by Anglo American Platinum, in association with Platinum Guild International (PGI) India and Metal Concentrators, showcases local platinum jewellery manufacturing and design talent.

Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, said PlatAfrica demonstrates the company’s commitment to reimagining mining to improve people’s lives, enabling the 158 talented finalists to access and use platinum metal to expand their creative talents. “I am proud and extremely impressed by how each of [them] has translated [their] concepts, designs, and creativity to the theme of #Hope using platinum. Despite the challenges Covid-19 has put us through, we have emerged stronger, inspired, and even more hopeful. For this reason, we can draw inspiration from platinum – its malleability, strength, and ability to withstand pressure and heat. Our finalists drew on these qualities to create imaginative and intricate pieces. They have proven they can use their skills, creativity, and discipline to create beauty. This reveals the enormous calibre of talent in our local industry that came together to produce these magnificent works of art.”

This year’s theme was developed in consultation with PGI India and inspired by the global pandemic and commitment to sustainability. Entrants were tasked with creating innovative pieces that embrace sustainability while investigating new perspectives, interconnectedness, and transitions brought about by their Covid-19 experiences. Their designs were also expected to represent sustainability, demonstrate modernity and inclusivity, and have cultural expression.

In addition to their cash prize, PlatAfrica winners will enjoy an all-expenses-paid design workshop at PGI India to learn more about their trade in the world’s largest platinum market. Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the market in the forecast period from 2022 to 2027. This is due to increased demand from countries like China, India, and Japan, according to a Mordor Intelligence report.

Runners-up in the professional category

  • Mandlenkosi Moses None and Nnete Koketso Mokgothu (TPI – Mo Nkosi & Nnete Jewellers) for ‘Ithemba Elihle – Beautiful Hope’, which speaks to a sense of belonging to the African continent
  • Aimee Bredenkamp (Prins and Prins Diamonds) for her ‘Radiating Hope’ ring design
  • Rajesh Shah (J Hind Jewellers) for his pendant, ‘Elpis’, which means hope in Greek.

Runners-up in the Student/Apprentice category

  • Ditebogo Sesana (Rare Earth Creations) for his ‘Resilience’ ring design
  • Jané Schoeman (Prins and Prins Diamonds) for her ‘Interlinked’ platinum earrings that speak to the value of connection and community
  • Bob Tshidiso Kolatsoeu (Pneuma Jewellers) for his neckpiece ‘Born to Rebuild’.

People’s Choice Award

  • Mandlenkosi Moses None and Nnete Koketso Mokgothu for their ‘Ithemba Elihle’ bracelet.

Special mentions for ring submissions

  • Mianca Grobbelaar (Prins and Prins Diamonds)
  • Vuyani Gumede (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
  • Roger Sash (Akapo Jewels).

This year the pieces were sold through an online auction. The remaining submissions are available to purchase via the PlatAfrica online store.

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