Daily Wire Tip March 2: How to Win Awards for Jewerly Design

By on March 2, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
March 02, 2010


This isn’t about wire, but about doing shows.  We participate in many shows that give awards for Best in Show, 3-Dimensional Art Wearable, and etc. What exactly are these judges looking for?  How do we prepare to compete for these Awards…or is there a way to compete? Sometimes the award is free entrance into that show the following year.  Sometimes it is very substantial depending on the show and would be worth knowing how to prepare for this.


Wow, I totally understand your frustration as I am also in this situation many times. Unfortunately there is no magic solution, as all shows are different and as artists we never know exactly how the judges are going to determine their winning choices, or what exactly they are looking for (and sometimes it’s just politics). First, check the award criteria. Does it give you all of the necessary information? If not, take a moment to give the promoter a courtesy call and ask them outright how they would prefer to have a contender display their entry, if there is a special form that needs to be given to the judges before the show and if any special labeling is preferred.

Personally, if I am entering a piece into a show competition and there is no specific display area for the entries, I display my chosen item or set in a separate display box, with excellent lighting, in the front of my booth. I chose a background color that makes the item ‘jump’ and add a plainly written card that describes both the materials and the process used to create it, as well as its name/title. If it is an unusual item, like a specialty headpiece, I also add one nice photograph of it being worn, so one can see it in use.

If you do not win a contest or judging, be sure to look over the winning entries to see exactly how the artists presented their pieces and take a few minutes (while congratulating them) to ask them how they think they won.

Whatever you do, do not stop entering contests! They can fuel your imagination and hone your skills. Best of luck in the next one!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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One Comment

  1. avatar

    Linda B

    March 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I have been doing Art/Craft shows for over 10 years and have seen some very strange decisions made in the awards category. One time the “Best In Show” was given to a guy who imports (from Mexico) large glass vases with iron holders. All the artists and crafters knew it was a buy/sell, but the decision makers had no clue. Unless you know the jury will be a group of artists, the winner might just be the one with the most flash.

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