BAJ announces Alighieri competition winners

The British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) has announced the winners of its design competition in collaboration with London-based jewellery brand Alighieri

The competition’s brief challenged students to design pieces inspired by the opening lines of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem, The Divine Comedy. 

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According to Alighieri, the quality of submissions was “so high that it was impossible to choose just one design”. 

In light of this, four students,  Dorottya Feher, Emma Withington, Linnea Thuning and Petra Otenšlégrová, were selected as winners.

Jewellery Design and Manufacturing course students at the BAJ were encouraged to interpret the brief “as creatively as possible”, and the judging panel was led by Alighieri founder Rosh Mahtani.

Thuning took her inspiration from nature and the circle of life with her submission of gold and pearl earrings, while Otenšlégrová’s design “channels the dual themes of hope and despair” into a double-sided pendant featuring a mirror, twisted branches and skulls.

Mahtani said: “It was really, really difficult to pick one winner. I loved that the students really understood what Dante was trying to say about finding light and how you have to go through the darkness in order to find the light. The way they all translated that so uniquely into their pieces is quite amazing.”

Kate Rieppel, head of academy at the British Academy of Jewellery, said: “This competition was a wonderful opportunity for our students to explore their creativity and put the skills that they have learnt to good use.

“What’s more, Alighieri, a highly successful and unique British brand, is a great example of what they might achieve in the future.”

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