A jewellery designer has struck Gold in the UK’s most prestigious craft and design awards despite her career still being in its infancy.
Ellina Pollitt’s design thrilled the judges in the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards 2021.
A recent graduate of Staffordshire University, Ellina, 42, won a Gold medal for her use of laser technology in creating a beautiful silver bracelet.
A gold medal from the Craft and Design Council at the Goldsmiths’ Centre is regarded as the pinnacle of achievement for designers working with precious metals.
Only a handful of gold awards are bestowed each year and Ellina was one of only two designers to be awarded gold in the laser technology design category, she was also awarded the prestigious Alfa Laser overall award winner for this category. The judges said at the awards ceremony that “with it’s pure, clear style the techniques used and the highly precise cutting and programming that were utilised and the level of finishing were all highly commended”
A career in jewellery design is a second chance for Ellina, who embarked on a new career despite being a mum with two teenagers at home.
Originally from Russia, Ellina emigrated to England at the age of 26, and now lives in Biddulph, Staffordshire, with her family.
She said: “It was only five years ago when I plucked up the courage to join the 3D designer maker degree course at Staffordshire University. I have always been passionate about design and I wanted to set an example for my children and to make them proud of their mum. This led to an interest in laser design and I have now developed this to create intricate jewellery pieces in silver.
“To win the Goldsmiths’ prize is fantastic for a designer like me, it’s the pinnacle award, akin to winning a gold medal in the Olympics. It seemed an impossible dream – I went from zero to a gold award in just a few years.”
Now Ellina is hoping it will kick start a career as a jewellery designer.
She explained: “I haven’t yet built a business and the design entered into the Goldsmiths’ awards was part of a set I created as part of work for myself and not for sale. However, I am looking to pursue a career as a silversmith, primarily in jewellery design and I hope to utilise my laser design skills.
“I have some experience of the commercial design world as I was involved in a North Staffordshire wide project involving the design and manufacture of over 5000 butterflies that made up an art installation at Trentham Gardens to raise awareness and funds for the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice. That was a rewarding project to be involved with and a fantastic opportunity to work with leading companies in the area who came together to support the children’s hospice.
“Having graduated from Staffordshire University with a BA (Hons) as a 3D Designer Maker in Contemporary Jewellery, I’m still studying, currently taking a Masters Degree at the Birmingham School of Jewellery.
The award winning bracelet is part of a set of jewellery designed by Ellina for her degree collection.
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