This past summer I was awarded 2nd Place in the 2009 George A. Schuetz Design Contest, a contest exclusively dedicated to fostering the best in men’s jewelry design. My winning design, Dog Tags with Hidden Pico Drive, was a CAD (computer aided design) entry – my first in any design competition. Recently, the Gemological Institute of America released a press release about the three winners with pictures of their designs. You can see it here. I’m pleased to have put Glendale, WI on the map in my own small way!
In 2008 I won the Natural Colored Diamond Jewels category in the Women’s Jewelry Association’s Diva Design Contest. That award was followed a few months later by a 2nd Place in the George A. Schuetz Men’s Jewelry Design Contest. Many of my friends were amazed and commented that I had “made it” …that I was racking up the awards non-stop. The behind-the-scenes truth is that I had entered each of those competitions twice in the two years prior to winning in 2008. I don’t think my earlier entries were any less imaginative or carefully worked out. The rendering above was one of the “reject” designs in 2006. I still like it even though it didn’t get the judges vote.
My advice to anyone wanting to move forward and get recognition? Keep loving what you do and keep putting yourself out there. The people who achieve success are ultimately the ones who pick themselves up and continue marching along towards their goals despite setbacks. If you need some more proof, take a look at these rejections received by the likes of Dr. Seuss, Oscar Wilde, Vladimir Nabokov and Stephen King, among others.
I recently submitted the computer aided design (CAD) above for the 2009 GIA George A. Schuetz Design Competition. Recognizing the best original designs in men’s jewelry, this international competition was created in honor of the late men’s jewelry designer George A. Schuetz. The inspiration behind my Dog Tag with Hidden Pico Drive design was to create a man’s accessory that would be masculine, handsome and still functional. My design uses polished white metal, channel-set rubies and black onyx inlay. Hidden inside the flip-top compartment is a Pico Drive. The Pico Drive or thumb drive is currently the smallest on the market, is waterproof, and measures a mere 38.7 mm, or just about the size of an American quarter.
I’m delighted to win a prize in the George A. Schuetz Design Contest two years running and am grateful to the Gemological Institute of America for sponsoring a competition that has inspired me to try to design in elegant and stylish ways for men.
Special thanks also go to my good friend Jamie Hofman who told me about the Pico Drive in the first place.