We are really lucky to have four very esteemed judges working with us on the benchpeg awards at City Lit, now in its second year. The judges are from diverse areas of the jewellery industry and will bring different ideas and expectations to the judging process. The benchpeg awards is the highlight of our City Lit-Jewellery Week.
The judges list 2014
Rebecca van Rooijen - Co-Founder of benchpeg
Rebecca is the Co-Founder and Editor of benchpeg, a nationally and internationally read jewellery trade newsletter with over 8,700 subscribers. benchpeg has partnered with organisations including the Crafts Council, the Design Museum, WorldSkills, London Jewellery Week, New Designers, International Jewellery London, Creative and Cultural Skills as well as collaborative projects with an array of jewellery industry organisations and associations.
Rebecca graduated with a first class honours degree from Birmingham’s School of Jewellery and has an MA in Arts Management. She has a background in jewellery and the wider crafts sector spanning some seventeen years and specialises in jewellery industry support initiatives. Her work has included involvement in the Jewellery Sector Investment Plan (JSIP), the charitable Goldsmiths Crafts and Design Council and Awards, long running programmes at the Goldsmiths’ Company, the creation of the Jeweller’s Toolkit, and latterly as part of the senior management team for the design and delivery of the Goldsmiths’ Centre project. She has previously held office as an elected Council Member of the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council, currently serves as a committee member in an advisory capacity at the Goldsmiths’ Company and is a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and City of London.
Dave Merry - Assay Office Training, Education & Trading Standards Liaison
David started work at the Assay Office as an apprentice over 40 years ago and today one of his roles is Master to the apprentices as well as overseeing training in the Assay Office. Dave also supports Trading Standards with their work policing the trade to the 1973 Hallmarking Act. He also runs educational programs for Trading Standards Officers and students and with his knowledge and passion has become the official Assay Office Tour Guide.
Sascha Hurrell – Marketing & Communications Officer
Sascha began working for the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office soon after completing her Fine Art degree in 2007. Her initial role as Registration Officer developed her customer communication skills and knowledge of the trade. She is now responsible for the Assay Office’s marketing activities, including website updates, digital communication and social media. Whilst Sascha has worked for the Company, she has established a keen interest in contemporary jewellery and silverware design, especially the innovative work of students and graduates.
Liz Olver is Design Director for Annoushka Jewellery, the eponymous British jewellery brand launched in 2009 by founder and previous owner of Links of London, Annoushka Ducas.
Liz works closely with Annoushka designing and developing fine jewellery collections and one of a kind, unique jewellery pieces. Annoushka has its own store in Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea and is represented in landmark retailers Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Liberty of London, and in selected stores from Leeds to Dublin.
Prior to this, Liz Olver was Designer for British contemporary jewellery brand Links of London, working principally on jewellery collections. She initially joined Links of London in 2004 as Designer / Product Developer, later progressing to full time designer. Among her achievements there was Links of London’s ‘Watch Over Me’ which became the company’s bestselling collection, and the distinctive ‘Anthology’ collection.
Liz was a Senior Lecturer for seven years on the BA Hons Jewellery Design course at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design before joining De Beers LV as Product Development Manager. A graduate of the Royal College of Art and Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design, Liz also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Art and Design from the London Institute. She continues to support emerging talent as a speaker at Getting Started for the Goldsmiths’ Company and as a guest at the Royal College of Art.
Having sold her own label jewellery collections to exclusive department stores Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Bergdorf Goodman and Holt Renfrew, Liz continues to design bespoke jewellery and is the author of three international publications The Art of Jewellery Design, Jewellery Making Techniques and The Jeweller’s Directory of Shape and Form. Liz has been bestowed with the honour of Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and has been given Freedom of the City of London.