|Janet Alexander, Jennifer Park, Holly Gage, Ivy Solomon|
As a recipient of the Finalist Award for the Saul Bell Design Award, I wanted to share what the evening at the awards banquet was like.
As I walked into the conference room there were four display cabinets, around 5’ long and 3’ wide, sitting back to back displaying this year’s Saul Bell Design Award winner’s pieces. Every piece was more beautiful in person than the photos shown on the website. Walking in and seeing all of this work was awe inspiring!
One artist, Kent Raible won two first place awards! One in hollowware and the other in Gold/Platinum. His work is outstanding.
Off to each side of these display cases were round tables with photos of the other Finalist’s submitted pieces. It was great to be one of those artists!
Ivy Solomon, of Oak Park, Michigan, won first place in metal clay. In fact, this is her third time winning the Saul Bell Award! She won in 2004, and again in 2006. She uses a mixture of metal clay, silver sheet, and resin. The metal clay has texture and is accented with color using resin, much like Champlevé in enameling. Each of her pieces tells a story. When asked where she wants to take her skill to next, she said she would like to write a book on her technique and teach workshops.
Holly Gage, of Bowmansville, PA, won second place in metal clay. Her piece, Je t'aime, was made by combining metalsmithing with Metal Clay. It is a love story expressed in dance. The pose you see is the final movement in the lover’s dance. As their love grows, they emerge from a blossom.
|Kathleen Nowak Tucci and mom|
The banquet room had two bars with free beverages throughout the evening. Sitting at my table, the winner’s table, were Ivy Solomon and her husband Steve; Holly Gage and her husband Christopher; Kathleen Nowak Tucci (first place in Alternative Materials) and her mom; Jennifer Park, first place winner in the enameling category; and myself with my husband Gary.
Dinner was served, including salad, filet mignon with a potato mixture, green beans, dinner rolls, and a white mousse with a chocolate stick topped with a strawberry. Wine flowed freely to all! The centerpiece was a beautiful long stemmed red rose arrangement.
The Bell family turned out for the occasion in large numbers! What a wonderful family! The winners were introduced by way of a video. Previously, they were shipped a video kit for them to film a video with someone off camera asking them questions. They were told not to look at the questions before filming! It made for a fun video as each one tried answering questions. For example, “If you were in need of being saved who you would choose from these three people, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Sylvester Stallone.” There were a lot of fun questions and some serious questions about their piece.
After the video, awards were given to the finalists and then to the winners. I happened to be the first Finalist as my name starts with an A. Allan Bell handed me a framed certificate and then they took a photo of me with him. They showed my entry piece on the overhead screen during the process. It was very exciting.
The winners went through the same process, with a photo of their entry piece showing on the overhead screen, they received their award from Allan Bell, and had their photo taken with him.
I had a great time visiting with the other artists. It’s great to get together, ask them how they created their piece and find out who they are. We all have so much in common, even though most of us just met a few hours before the ceremony, it felt like we were old friends.
Congratulations to the winners and finalists! You all are an inspiration.
Until next time, have fun claying around!
by Janet Alexander