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All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star

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Anybody else watching this? I enjoyed the first episode, it looks like the contestants have a lot of talent.

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I came across and will be watching, but haven't yet! Glad to here it is good. I usually enjoy all the UK competition shows so much more than the US ones. I am currently making my way through Drawers Off a life drawing competition and really enjoying that! 

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3 hours ago, TVbitch said:

I came across and will be watching, but haven't yet! Glad to here it is good. I usually enjoy all the UK competition shows so much more than the US ones. I am currently making my way through Drawers Off a life drawing competition and really enjoying that! 

I can always use a good British show to watch, thanks for the heads up.

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22 minutes ago, GaT said:

I can always use a good British show to watch

 You bet. If you need help finding the episodes, just PM me. I also recommend Landscape Artist of the Year, if you have not seen that one! Oh, and Great British Sewing Bee just started. Haven't gotten to that one yet either, but it's a total delight. And Great Pottery Throw Down just finished the latest series and it was great!

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Sounds interesting, will need to keep an eye out for it here in the States.

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S1.E1

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The first challenge is the Bestseller, where they make three silver bangles, before they face the Bespoke challenge and a real client. This week, Ben wants a pendant necklace for his mum to wear to Buckingham Palace when she collects her MBE. But who will impress the judges and save themselves from being the first to be sent home?

Original air date: 4/13/21

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As much as I like jewelry, I know nothing about making it so I liked that the show explained so many things. I love that the male judge busted out his loupe to check the engraving and the soldering. After watching years of Project Runway where designers were sending stuff that was completely unhemmed down the runway, I appreciate that the judges care about technique and workmanship. The female judge seems completely humorless so I hope she loosens up a little bit.

I liked Lee's seaside bangles. The cutouts on the starfish one were nice and I liked the texture of the other two.

Hugo made a huge mistake but not taking into account how much area he would lose when he made that hexagonal bracelet. Math, man. Hugo's verbal tic of saying "sort of" might drive me crazy quickly. His explanation of how he screwed up his bracelet: "I sort of overlooked how much it was going to sort of take off when I sort of domed the edge."

Nicola's architectural trio was not my favorite. I'm not saying all bangles have to be perfect circles but I don't want a set of bangles that are all angles.

Naomi's bangles were fine but they looked like bracelets you could find at the mall at a store like Claire's. I did agree that her engraving was nice and deep though, which was good. I just wasn't a fan of "hope" written in a big loopy script.

Sonny's Bauhaus inspired bangles were very bold and sleek. They looked really professional.

Kim's tree bangles had a decent theme. I liked the bigger one with the cut outs and the thinner one with engraved leaves.

I liked that Dan used his bee theme to create very different looking bangles that weren't visually similar but thematically related. The honeycomb cutouts were very clean.

Tamara's Egyptian inspired bangles seemed very nondescript. I thought the engraving was too light. That combined with the unclear shapes made the design seem very abstract.

Hugo is big on "sort of" and Sonny's thing is "kind of." His explanation of the wings for his bespoke pendant: "I think it's kind of perfect for a metaphorical sort of standpoint of his kind of like she's letting these kids fly kind of thing." Sonny's flying wings that didn't fly didn't look much like wings in the final product. I was questioning what kind of wings they were supposed to be. I don't think the bumps in the middle (where the hinge was supposed to be) really fulfilled the 3D requirement.

Hugo's goddess pendant looked like an insect due to the body and the arms. I liked the engraving on the back.

Although Lee's pendant wasn't my style, the technique he used gave it such a three dimensional look, which I appreciated.

Nicola's kintsugi pendant was fine but not very unique.

Tamara's rainbow didn't look like a rainbow to me because there was no color. It looked like a mushroom.

Kim's leafy pendant was a bit large for my taste, but I liked the tiny delicate flowers at the top.

The wings on Dan's fairy pendant were done very nicely but I preferred the back of the center piece (with the stars cut out) to the front of the center piece with the copper.

I liked the spinning flower that Naomi made but I didn't like it on top of the big hammered piece.

Farewell, Naomi! And congratulations to Dan for the double win this week! I loved that we got to see pictures and video of the client's mom wearing it to get her MBE.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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S1.E2

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Seven up-and-coming jewellers to the All That Glitters workshop to face another two demanding challenges, the Bestseller and the Bespoke. The jewellers have to prove their worth with a chain collar that everyone will want, before taking on a commission for a real client, Chris, who wants a sweetheart brooch for his officer wife Kelly to take on her next tour of duty.

Who will impress the judges enough to stay in the workshop, and who will leave?

Original air date: 4/20/21

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Meet the contestants!

Dan

dan.jpg.257030f660450fd8b9926de326d83c10.jpg

Daniel Musselwhite, 40, is a contemporary jewellery designer specialising in ready-to-wear collections & bespoke one-off designs. Dan has over 25 years of experience designing and making jewellery. He started training to be a jeweller at the age of 16 which has given him a solid grounding in many aspects of jewellery manufacture and a level of expertise and knowledge visible in his pieces. Dan is based in the Black Swan Arts Centre in the historic market town of Frome, Somerset - he takes inspiration from both the beauty of the surrounding Mendip Hills along with his appreciation for Eastern culture.

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Hugo

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Hugo Johnson, 23, started his jewellery-making traineeship at the age of 15 and now works for a jeweller in Haywards Heath. Hugo is a diamond mounter and designer of handmade, bespoke fine jewellery who trained at the Goldsmiths' Centre in London. In 2016, Hugo was nominated as a finalist in Retail Jeweller’s Rising Stars 30 Under 30. In 2018, he was made a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and of the City of London. A year later, in 2019, he was awarded a gold award in the category of smallworkers and modelmakers junior at the Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship and Design Awards.

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Kim

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Kim Styles, 56, is a floral jeweller who trained and gained a BA (Hons) from Sir John Cass School of Art. Kim specialises in bespoke jewellery design and manufacture, wedding jewellery and wedding hair accessories. She hand-makes all her artisan sterling silver and gold jewellery at her studio in Hampshire. Kim has been making and selling her work at arts and crafts fairs for over 20 years.

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Lee

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Lee Appleby, 49, is from South Wales and has worked in a small jewellery shop, where a lot of his time was spent repairing old pieces of jewellery. In 2020, Lee launched his own jewellery business and is now building permanent collections using recycled and sustainable materials. Lee uses sterling silver, gold, platinum, palladium, copper adorned with pearls, diamonds, gemstones, beads and a stunning art glass handmade by John Ditchfield.

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Naomi

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Originally from Scotland, Naomi Smith, 23, is a trainee goldsmith at Aurum Designer Jewellers in Sussex. Naomi studied Jewellery and Metal Design at the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. In 2019, Naomi achieved a diploma in Diamonds and in 2020 an Applied Jewelry Professional Program Diploma.

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Nicola

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Nicola Lillie, 25, a graduate of Hereford College of Arts with a First Class BA (Hons) in Contemporary Design Craft creates smaller lines of architecturally inspired contemporary jewellery, wearable sculpture designs, as well as wedding and keepsake jewellery pieces. She was also a Goldsmiths’ Precious Metal Bursary Award winner and voted ‘one to watch’ by Craft and Design Magazine in 2015. Nicola splits her time between her family, making jewellery and working part-time as a special needs teaching assistant.

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Sonny

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Sonny Bailey-Aird, 26, is a goldsmith and bespoke jeweller who creates fine rustic jewellery made from precious metals and gemstones. Sonny is a self-taught jeweller who creates handmade, one of a kind pieces in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

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Tamara

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Tamara Gomez, 47, handcrafts fine gold and silver jewellery that celebrates natural beauty and individuality at her studio at Cockpit Arts in Central London. Tamara was born in Sri Lanka and grew up just outside London, graduating from the Royal College of Art with a Masters degree in Goldsmithing and Jewellery back in 1997. As well as creating her own collections, a selection of her pieces is available in the Tate Edit Shop at Tate Modern. Tamara also works to commission on bespoke designs. She specialises in rough diamonds and gemstones.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I know I complained a tiny bit about Solange being humorless during the first episode but I loved how she was such a stickler about the contestants making chains with interlocking links ("otherwise it's just a necklace"). When she asked Hugo about using jump rings, he should have modified his design because duh, listen to the judges! He even rechecked the brief and decided his design fulfilled the requirements. I was surprised by how many of the contestants used jump rings. Did they not understand the requirements? Was the brief not specific enough?

Sonny definitely fulfilled the requirement of making a chain and I appreciate that he hammered his silver, but I found the design ordinary and boring. I also didn't like his deliberate use of gold solder on silver. Like Shaun, I don't like to see the solder joint.

Hug's Russian wedding band necklace was interesting but in addition to the jump rings joining the larger wedding bands, how could the twisted wire sections be considered interlocking links?

I liked Dan's geometric shapes but again, ALL JUMP RINGS connecting them. I did like how flat the jump rings made the necklace lie against the skin so that it would be very comfortable.

Kim's daisy chain design was very delicate looking. I liked that she found a way to do a less conventional design but she still managed to technically keep it a chain by linking the pieces together without a single jump ring.

Lee's triangle design was definitely a necklace, not a chain, using Solange's criteria.

Nicola's rain chain design was interesting. The bottom section was definitely interlinked but I thought I saw a few jump rings higher up.

Tamara's design reminded me of when we made paper clip necklaces in school. It looked a bit rough but no jump rings.

Wow, I learned so much in the second half of this episode. I never knew that cuttlefish were used to cast jewelry pieces!

Although I don't collect brooch pins, I like them in theory. I was afraid the poor guy who commissioned this week's bespoke piece was going to end up with a bunch of penguin pins so it was nice to see the variety we ended up with.

Sonny's pin with the two big penguins and one little enamel penguin was cute but I wish the proportions of the penguins had been a little more accurate.

I liked that Dan's pin with two penguins incorporated a record to represent the husband's DJ career but then I found myself wondering how old this guy was and if he'd ever seen an actual record. I loved the way he used the silver to create the white part of the penguins. The letters with their initials were so precise. It's a shame that he melted his holly leaves.

I really disliked Nicola's map or Europe, mostly because it didn't really look like France and Italy. It looked like a blobby puzzle piece. The blue enamel would have looked great in the water.

Tamara's abstract military medal brooch was definitely not my favorite because it was a bit too abstract in representing the family, but I liked that her silver was so shiny and bright and I loved the bright blue enamel on the one piece hanging in the middle.

Kim's pebble and holly brooch was so lovely. The shapes were very smooth and graceful and I liked the green holly leaf contrasted with the silver pebbles and the copper berries. I did agree with how messy the soldering in the veins of the holly leaf were though. I didn't agree with their critique that she should have incorporated more elements of the couple's story into it. As one of the contestants pointed out earlier, having too many elements makes it look busy.

I liked the concept of Lee's penguin brooch but I wish he had raised the top of the background just a little more so that the heads of the penguins were more obvious from a distance. I felt like from more than a foot away, you wouldn't be able to differentiate that detail. I liked the tiny delicate hammered detail around the edges. I didn't get what the big blob of silver in the foreground was supposed to be.

Hugo's penguin on a treble clef was so elegant and graceful, but I wish he had used a darker color for the penguin because from a distance I thought it was a hummingbird due to the color. I loved the texture on the penguin's chest.

Congratulations to Hugo! I wasn't surprised that Kim was eliminated. She took it rather well so I don't think she was surprised at all either.

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I enjoy Solange as the stern judge, but she needs to be teamed up with someone quirky - they need to find her an Esme or Keith.

I kept an eye on Twitter during the first episode and of course Kathryn's comment about 'thinking like a white man' got a lot of buzz. Women loved it, and the people who are usually first to complain about "snowflakes" couldn't take it. It was hilarious.
She is a bit marmite, but she is good with the snide pop culture remarks.

On 4/16/2021 at 11:06 PM, TVbitch said:

I came across and will be watching, but haven't yet! Glad to here it is good. I usually enjoy all the UK competition shows so much more than the US ones.

If you want peek British look for the Great Model Railway Challenge if you haven't watched it already.

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5 minutes ago, Aulty said:

If you want peek British look for the Great Model Railway Challenge if you haven't watched it already.

I love this show, I wonder if it's coming back? There wasn't one in 2020, but I don't see anything that says it's cancelled. I think I lost my way of watching it though, so even if it comes back I probably won't be able to see it. 😢

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Thanks guys, I will check out the model train show! 

Okay so I started watching All That Glitters and I was like, hold on, whats happening? what's going on?... It took me a while to figure out that what was kinking me up was that I was hearing vocal fry! I then realized it was the presenter, speaking with what I thought was an American accent! Hey now, I am here for the dulcet accents and if I want vocal fry, I can step outside my bloody door!  : D

But, once I let that go, I really enjoyed the show. Good balance between creativity and learning a few things ~not a lot, cuz I can't retain that much, but enough to feel more knowledgeable about jewelry! Only a couple of the pieces have been really stunning thus far, but that's cool.

The judges are competent and quite low key, but I would rather that than what I just endured on Full Bloom (the flower display competition). In episode 2, the presenter cooled it with the vocal fry, and I am warming up to her. Her humor is okay, it just has more of an acerbic, sarcastic bent that I don't usually associate with UK programs. 

I think Kim was happy to go. As she said herself, the time crunch was too much for her.  

Edited by TVbitch

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3 hours ago, TVbitch said:

It took me a while to figure out that what was kinking me up was that I was hearing vocal fry! I then realized it was the presenter, speaking with what I thought was an American accent!

I believe the host is Canadian, so you weren't wrong about the North American accent. 

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S1.E3

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Six up-and-coming jewellers return to the workshop to face two more challenges. This week, it’s all about glitz and glamour as they try to make a bestselling cocktail ring before designing a bold bib necklace for drag queen Amrou to wear to their first solo show. Who will impress the judges enough to stay, and who will have to leave?

Original air date: 4/27/21

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Here is the British competition show Gretchenfrage: If you have one contestants who doesn't finish and doesn't meet the brief on 2 counts (design, materials) and another whose design merely misses the mark - who do you send home?

Nicola overdid it and the necklace (and her cocktail ring) didn't look great, but I feel that if it was Tamara or Lee instead of Sonny who messed up, Nicola would still be in the competition.
TBF I wasn't that keen on Sonny's cocktail ring either, the skull motif in particular.

Kathryn had another good line when she congratulated Nicola on making it into the Daily Mail with her breastmilk ring. Thats exactly the kind of thing DM readers would get their knickers in a twist over.

Edited by Aulty
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I was interested to see what the jewelers could make with alternative materials but part of me wanted to see the cocktail rings and bib necklaces they could have made if they had been allowed to use regular jewelry material.

Hugo's seashell ring wasn't the most original use of alternative material, but I liked the way he brought the swirl of gold up from the base of the ring to the seashell. It was a big statement piece without being too over the top.

Nicola's paper gemstone ring was pretty terrible. The gemstone was way too huge and it looked cheap.

Dan's leather orchid was eye catching without being obnoxious. I liked that he added yellow to the edges of the petals to accent the shape of the flower. I also liked that he used leather for the band too. I think it would look great on a red carpet or at a fancy dinner party. Don't listen to Solange, Dan!

Lee's blue ring was very pretty because of the color but he knew that the epoxy would take four hours to dry and the entire challenge was four hours, so he made a bad choice.

I wasn't crazy about Tamara's tagua nut and sandalwood seed ring. Aesthetically, it was not my style. It looked like a puckered butthole (or a demonic eyeball if I'm being nicer). I also thought using the tagua nut wasn't very practical since it's so soft that you could probably damage the ring very easily. The ring itself was so fat that it would splay your fingers apart which wouldn't be very comfortable. But I did appreciate how far outside the box she went with the alternative materials.

I didn't think Sonny's ring was a cocktail ring. Making a signet ring bigger doesn't make it a cocktail ring. It just makes it a bigger signet ring. I liked the contrast of the dark walnut and the shiny copper, but I thought the skull design was not well done. It looked very simple and it wasn't executed well. It looked like a sketch someone doodled on a cocktail napkin.

My main issue with Hugo's necklace was that it was clearly off center and it looked like that was not intentional since all the pieces were symmetrical. I liked the color contrast between the bronze leather and the dark blue denim. It gave me a very Cleopatra vibe when the host put it on. The sharp lines were very bold and would look good on stage.

I liked the way Dan layered the leather leaves to create a bib necklace. I also liked how colorful it was with all the brown, yellow, bright pink, blue, purple, and lime green. The big chunky leaves would look good from a distance. I thought it was cool that he made the chain link necklace of leather too. The brass accent on the center leaf was a nice shiny addition.

Tamara's Cleopatra necklace was a great idea in theory but I didn't love the execution. The beetle wings are so brightly colored and shiny so I wish she had used more and layered them. She ended up using only ten so the effect was more like someone had some extra press-on nails left over and decided to add them to a gold necklace (they looked like little peppers to me). To be fair, I liked the gold necklace part. It would look great even from a distance.

Sonny had a lot of problems with the bespoke challenge. I was surprised that he hadn't realized that he needed at least two alternative materials. Since no one else had the same issue, I guess he just didn't read the brief carefully enough. His solution to add feathers was awful. They looked like a little kid said, "Mommy, look, I found some feathers!" and insisted on shoving them through the necklace.  I also didn't like the red acrylic circles he added. I get that he needed to use more materials to fulfill the requirements and those added color, but it looked like three Lifesavers slapped onto a necklace. I loved how horrified the judges looked when Sonny's chain got eaten by the polishing machine. I also agreed with the judges when they said it wasn't a bib necklace and that it wouldn't have much impact on the stage.

I liked Nicola's cable tie chain necklace. It was a simple but beautiful design. The problem is that what she made was not a bib necklace.

Lee's necklace was bold and colorful and it would definitely be seen from the audience. Unfortunately, it also looked like a kindergarten art project. It was clunky and amateur looking. I was really surprised that Glamrou those this necklace.

Congratulations to Tamara for winning jeweler of the week. I loved seeing her sass when the client said the beetle wings were awesome and she said, "Well, then why didn't you pick it?" HA!

I was not surprised that Nicola was eliminated. She didn't do well at either challenge this week.

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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I wasn't crazy about Tamara's tagua nut and sandalwood seed ring. Aesthetically, it was not my style. It looked like a puckered butthole (or a demonic eyeball if I'm being nicer).

😂 spot on description!

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S1.E4

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This episode is all about gold, as they’re tasked to make a pair of identical hoop earrings which could be a bestseller, before welcoming real world client Zeynap, who wants a gold locket to give to the woman who saved her mum’s life. But who will impress the judges enough to stay to make it through to the semi-final?

Original air date: 5/4/21

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Lee has outstayed his welcome for a couple of weeks now - if his necklace had not been picked they would've kicked him out last week. And, unpopular opinion, how did Tamara make the semi final? Her locket was alright, but she has stumbled her way forward like Laura in GBBO.

I liked both Dan's pieces, he had the best hoops. Hugo did well, lovely hoops but the locket I found a bit old-fashioned. Sonny's viking hoops looked very heavy. Both his pieces this week had a very similar style and would probably go well together.

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Looks like it is coming down to Sonny vs. Hugo. Dan does great work but they don't think he has a signature style. Tamara is inconsistent at best, but she could edge Dan out of top three if she has a good day. 

 

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Every week, this show reminds me just how much I don't know about making jewelry, and it really makes me appreciate how much work goes into something as simple as hoop earrings. I loved that Shaun tried them all on to test the weight and feel of them.

Sonny's pirate ship earrings were fine but I wasn't crazy about the little gold balls on the inside. I agree with Solange that the butterfly backs aren't ideal, especially for hoops.

Lee's cosmic hoops were not what I expected at all. I thought the two circles would be placed perpendicular to each other, not next to each other. I liked the very delicate detail that he hammered into each of the inner circles. The hinged clasps he made were perfect.

Tamara's pillowy crescent moon earrings kind of looked like fortune cookies. The solder line was really visible though.

Dan's rippled hoop earrings were beautiful and so perfectly symmetric. He did a great job making something that was more challenging. The hinged clasp was so good too.

I was confused when Hugo said he was making dragonflies but they turned out really beautifully. He gave himself a lot of extra work to do with the segmented body and all the pieces of the wings, which were still symmetric. I liked that Solange's concern was if the wings would touch the wearer's cheek. I appreciate the concern for practicality.

The story for this week's bespoke challenge was so sweet. I wonder how the mom and her donor eventually got in touch since the daughter said it was anonymous.

Sonny's egg shaped locket was so shiny. I liked how smooth the egg shape was. I don't know that I would want to wear a locket in that shape because it would stick out from my body a lot. I liked when Katherine said you could keep a Skittle inside and then Solange questioned how the design referenced the friendship between the two women, which Katherine explained with "taste the rainbow of life."

Lee's stem cell locket was a good idea but I did wonder about the practicality of having those cut out pieces on the top. If you put a lock of hair or a note inside, the cut outs would let in water, dust, etc. It's too bad he wasn't able to finish.

Hugo's locket was very pretty and feminine. The hammered edges on the top made it look almost like there were diamonds embedded in the surface.

Tamara's sphere was a bit plain but it was nice to see her finish without any problems this week.

Dan's geometric locket was well made but it was too pointy for me. I'd be afraid of accidentally poking myself with the bottom corner. I agreed that the asymmetry wasn't noticeable enough.

Lee and Tamara have been scraping and Lee wasn't able to finish the bespoke project so his time just ran out.

On 4/22/2021 at 12:31 PM, TVbitch said:

Okay so I started watching All That Glitters and I was like, hold on, whats happening? what's going on?... It took me a while to figure out that what was kinking me up was that I was hearing vocal fry! I then realized it was the presenter, speaking with what I thought was an American accent! Hey now, I am here for the dulcet accents and if I want vocal fry, I can step outside my bloody door!

Katherine doesn't have vocal fry which in the lower end of the vocal range (Katherine speaks in the modal range). Rachel Zoe is a great example of vocal fry. This is what vocal fry sounds like:

 

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My recollection is that she was dipping into vocal fry in the first episode but has cleaned it up a lot since then. 

They explained that a patient is not permitted to know who their marrow donor is for two years, and it was after that time that they met and became friends. I believe there is a 2-year wait because there can be a lot of complications, including rejection or death, in the first couple years and might be too stressful for either party early on. 

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Hugo's locket and earrings were amazing. I would definitely buy both. I'm sure that there are a lot of teenage girls who would love those earrings, so it ticked me off when the judge said that he is not showing his youth in his designs. That seemed incredibly insulting for some reason.

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1 hour ago, BellaR said:

Hugo's locket and earrings were amazing. I would definitely buy both. I'm sure that there are a lot of teenage girls who would love those earrings, so it ticked me off when the judge said that he is not showing his youth in his designs. That seemed incredibly insulting for some reason.

ITA - first of all, just because you're a young artist doesn't mean that you're going to create avant garde pieces. Secondly, there's nothing wrong with making more classic designs rather than trendy stuff. Thirdly, his stuff didn't look old lady. I really liked both of the things he made this week.

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S1.E5

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It’s all about the sparkle as they work with precious gemstones. To stay in the competition, they are challenged to create an encrusted cuff bracelet before making the ultimate symbol of love: an engagement ring for couple James and Clare.

Original air date: 5/11/21

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Dan's cuff bracelet was nice, but overall I wouldn't describe any of the 4 as feminine. The engraving on Tamara's wasn't very refined - much like Sonny's skull on his signet ring. I didn't understand the judges gushing over it, nor do I understand what made her jeweller of the week. Should've been Dan.
Kathryn was right pointing out that the judges tastes are very different from the client's.

I wonder if they melt the pieces down again afterwards and recycle the stones to keep the production budget down or if they are sold / displayed somewhere.

We all wanted a longer semi - oh Kathryn 😅

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Cuff bracelets always make me think of Wonder Woman. I wanted some like hers when I was little!

I liked that Hugo's beach inspired cuff had a lot of contrast between the smooth river in the middle and the texture of the rest of the bracelet, and the raised gold he used between them was very shiny. What I wasn't crazy about were the stones he added. I know using stones was part of the challenge, but they didn't seem very purposeful. I agreed with Solange that the rolled edge at each opening of the cuff was a nice touch because that makes it nice and smooth when putting it on and taking it off. Nothing like a sharp edge in the wrist when you're taking off your jewelry.

Sonny wasted so much time carving the foundry out of charcoal just so he could melt the sheet of silver he had, turn it into a bar, and then hammer it back into a sheet. I don't think the end result really paid off. I get what he was saying about the night sky not being perfect but the texture was so rough that it looked amateurish. The top and bottom edges were very uneven. The stars were not spaced evenly. I didn't like how big the stones were because I don't like having things protruding from my jewelry. Overall, this was a fail for me.

I liked whatever Tamara did to lighten her silver and make it so shiny. I get the effect she was going for with the engraved starburst lines but I think it could have been executed better. Deeper lines, straighter lines, etc. would have made the starbust look better. I didn't like the way the bezel setting looked with the watermelon stone in the middle. Maybe it's because the stone is clear on the outer edges but it looked like it didn't fit well. I did like the way she tapered the edges which made it lighter and more feminine.

Dan's cuff was really beautiful. To my amateur eye, his bezel settings were the best. All the geometric shapes and cut outs where so lovely.

Ooh engagement rings - and with 1 carat diamonds. I was really interested to see how traditional or weird the contestants would get with this challenge.

I didn't like Sonny's ring at all. I personally would hate having a twisted band like that. The texture would bother me and it would be such a pain in the ass to clean. The setting looked really large which I also didn't like. If you're going to raise the diamond that far above the shank of the ring, it should be to let in a lot of light so that the diamond looks shiny but it was just a solid box.

I liked the texture of Tamara's shank. I wasn't sure how the molten setting would work. I didn't hate it but I agreed that it looked like something you would see in a museum but I think it's because overall it was very simple. I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing (because oof, Solange's ring was definitely not something I'd want to wear, no matter how unique it is).

Dan's ring looked like something I've seen at mall jewelers for the last 30 years. My high school boyfriend gave me a similar ring (with a much smaller diamond) with a very similar setting so that should tell you something. To be clear, I don't hate it but I was sure the judges would dislike that it wasn't unique enough. The star underneath the setting was a nice hidden detail but again, all I could think was what a pain in the ass it would be to clean.

My issue with Hugo's maple leaves is that they just looked like gold blobs on the side of the diamond. I liked that Sean pointed out that as a goldsmith, Hugo would want to make a classic engagement ring. I also really appreciated that Katherine pointed out that the jewellers had the difficult task of creating something that the client would like which might not be the same thing that the judges like.

I was surprised that the judges said it's been Dan vs. Hugo all this time. Based on what I've seen, it looked like the show thought it was Huge vs. Sonny from the beginning, which is why I was surprised that Sonny didn't make it to the final.

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I wonder about the times allotted for the challenges on this show. It's easier for me to understand how much time is feasible for things on GBBO since I love to bake, but I have no idea how realistic it is to make a piece of jewelry with the provided materials in 4 or 5 hours. I wish we heard the judges or contestants address it by saying "if I had more time, I would do x/y/z, but I've adjusted my design so I can really get it done within these parameters."

I really liked Tamara's cuff, but agree the engraving could have been a lot better. Was that an issue of timing or skill?

I feel bad for the clients in the Bespoke challenge, who end up with a rush-job version of what they want as a real keepsake piece of jewelry. I didn't love any of the rings, but probably would have picked Hugo's. Agree with @ElectricBoogaloo that I've seen versions of Dan's ring in malls forever. I think it was Hugo who mentioned wanting lots of light to shine through the stone, which is what I would want if I had a diamond that big.

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17 minutes ago, jpgr said:

I feel bad for the clients in the Bespoke challenge, who end up with a rush-job version of what they want as a real keepsake piece of jewelry.

I agree. Normally when you order bespoke jewelry, the jewelry maker has weeks or even months to create your design, not five hours. But this week I comforted myself with the fact that if this couple hated all four rings, they could just take the diamond somewhere and have a new ring made!

18 minutes ago, jpgr said:

I wonder about the times allotted for the challenges on this show. It's easier for me to understand how much time is feasible for things on GBBO since I love to bake, but I have no idea how realistic it is to make a piece of jewelry with the provided materials in 4 or 5 hours.

I've wondered the same thing because I know absolutely nothing about jewelry making. I think some of it is dependent upon the individual the same way that it can take five people different amounts of time to knit the same hat or sweater. Even with years of experience, some people just work more slowly. And unlike baking where there's a set amount of time in the oven, we really have no benchmark as to how long it should take to make, say, a pair of hoop earrings. Since everyone is using different techniques and creating their own designs, that just throws another wrench into the works.

For that reason, I wish they had something similar to the pattern challenge on the Great British Sewing Bee. Everyone is given the same materials and asked to make the EXACT same thing (like a plain silver ring or hoop earrings of a certain size and thickness) so that we could get a better idea of how long it takes to make something specific. Then we would get to see who has good technical skills, we could compare apples to apples, and we'd get to see who works more quickly than the others.

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15 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

For that reason, I wish they had something similar to the pattern challenge on the Great British Sewing Bee. Everyone is given the same materials and asked to make the EXACT same thing (like a plain silver ring or hoop earrings of a certain size and thickness) so that we could get a better idea of how long it takes to make something specific. Then we would get to see who has good technical skills, we could compare apples to apples, and we'd get to see who works more quickly than the others.

YES! That's what is missing - like GBBO technical challenge and Sewing Bee's pattern challenge.

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I didn't care for any of the engagement rings. I didn't like Sonny's twisted rope band. Would that even be comfortable wearing every day? With Hugo's, the diamond almost got a bit lost with those equal size maple leaves on each side. Tam's whole "looks like you dug it up" might be cool for some people, but I don't want to have to explain that to people who think it just looks amateurish. Dan's had a bit too much going on. 

I kind of had the feeling they wanted to get rid of Dan this week, but then he did well, and the client chose him, so.... But Sonny did not really belong in the final anyway. He's not there yet. I think Hugo probably deserves to win the whole thing. Hope he has a good week next week.  

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9 hours ago, TVbitch said:

I kind of had the feeling they wanted to get rid of Dan this week, but then he did well, and the client chose him, so....

I thought the same about Lee the week his necklace was chosen.

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SEASON FINALE!

S1.E6

Quote

It’s the grand final, and the three finalists return to the workshop to battle it out for the title. To win, they’ll have to make two pieces of truly outstanding jewellery: a pair of pearl earrings that could be a bestseller and a bespoke maang tikka, the wedding headpiece for bride Nikki. But who will the judges decide is worthy of the title Britain’s next big jewellery star?

Original air date: 5/18/21

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The way the judges talked to and about the contestants gave me the impression that they really wanted either Hugo or Tamara to win. Hugo the young, innovative one; Tamara with her feminine designs (I disagree, but what do I know) and risky techniques. And Dan.
I loved some of Hugo's stuff - especially the penguin brooch - so, congratulations.

It was great that the final challenge was something not traditionally British. Indian wedding jewellery is really oppulent and interesting. I loved it even if the results where a bit meh.
Bit annoying that Kathryn pointed out all the materials in Tamara's when the bride and her brother had a look, but said nothing about the others'. I am not surprised the bride didn't pick Dan's - it was very Arwen and would probably get lost with all the other jewellery she's going to wear.

There was a call for participants for a series 2 after the episode, thats good news.
I do have a wishlist though:

  • Replace one judge - I quite like Solange's dry style and there is also something charming about Shaun trying on all the earrings. But they don't vibe together.
  • Challenges with enamel
  • More challenges with natural materials like wood, non-precious stone, shells etc.
  • A challenge focussed on piercing designs (imagine Shaun trying on nipple rings 😅)
  • More over the top statement pieces
  • Some upcycling (I've seen nice things done with porcelain shards)
  • Belt buckles (like on those old silver nurses belts)
Edited by Aulty
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I have mixed feelings about Dan as a jewelry designer. He really leans into the same elements which became more apparent when they showed all of his pieces from this season together. It's usually either geometric shapes with sharp angles or curved pieces put together. On the one hand, I guess that makes his brand very specific so his pieces all go together and his collection is pretty cohesive (the pearl drop earrings he made could be worn as a set with the engagement ring he made last week or the maang tikka he made this week). On the other hand, I felt like even though they were pretty and well made, they weren't very unique and I wanted to see him do something different. His maang tikka looked a little too much like generic costume jewelry rather than a maang tikka.

I didn't like the pearl earrings that Tamara made this week. I was trying to figure out specifically what I didn't like but as I started looking at the different elements, I realize that I didn't like ANY of it. I didn't like the wrapped wire at the top of the earrings, I didn't like the shapes of the pearls, I didn't like the holes drilled through the pearls, I didn't like the gold pieces with the sapphires on them. I thought her maang tikka was way too simple in general, let alone for a lavish wedding. I didn't like the prong setting she used on the mother of pearl in the center either.

While the pearl earrings that Hugo created weren't my style, I could see why the judges liked it. It was technically well made and he had a lot of different elements. His maang tikka was by far my favorite. The design was very light, clean, and feminine.

A big thank you to Katherine for doing her best to pronounce maang tikka correctly.

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I feel the same about Dan. His design style is nothing special, even if things are generally well made.

I actually loved Tamara's pearl earrings, and thought the design was interesting and not like anything I've ever seen. I loved the movement and all the different elements.

Overall, Hugo was my favorite of the series and I'm glad he won. 

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I kind of wanted Dan to win, I liked his designs best.

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So glad there will be another season!

Dan is a good craftsman, and I liked a lot of his pieces, but Hugo was an equally good craftsman and had more creativity and personal flare in his pieces. I think he deserved the win. I don't think Tamara was at the skill level of the other two, and I think she was aware of that. I am curious what Conor would have done for the headpiece. 

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The last three designers are so talented, but I'm glad Hugo won. I would buy so many of the pieces that he designed. His earrings were stunning. I didn't like Tamara's earrings, but they were very unique, and showed that she has a lot of imagination. I think that she didn't go far enough with her bespoke piece. It was pretty, but really didn't fit the occasion. Dan and Hugo's bespoke pieces were amazing. 

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I didn't think I liked Tamara's earrings either until Sean tried one on - then I loved them. I had thought I preferred Hugo's up to that point, but the boxier shape was less appealing on, & suddenly Tamara's didn't look as insubstantial as it had when hanging on the plinth. All just personal taste, of course. His headpiece seemed the clear winner to me, though. Tamara's seemed too pared down, & Dan's  just wasn't to my taste, for the same reasons I didn't particularly care for his engagement ring (I preferred Hugo's, but I suppose Dan's looked more classically like an engagement ring, & more expensive.).

Overall, Hugo & (Sunny? Sonny?) were probably my favorites, & Tamara also put up some really nice stuff. My favorite piece of the season was probably Hugo's penguin/treble clef pin.

Edited by akr · Reason: Autocorrect errors
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