The ancient livery company, The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers has become a special patron of the Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship and Design Awards and has created a new prize to support the craft in the 21st Century.

A £1000 Jewellery Prize will be presented by the Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers to a winning entry which displays the innovative use of wires, either precious and/or non-precious, in an item of fashion jewellery. The winner will receive a prize of £1,000.

The Award signifies a new emphasis for the Company, which aims to actively promote its craft in the 21st century, and is one of a number of new initiatives that is planned for 2012.

Historically, the function of the Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers was to make the very delicate gold and silver wire used in fine embroidery, intricate embellishments, the gold braid and frogging on military uniforms, ecclesiastical robes and royal garments.

As a highly skilled hand craft, a wire drawer would produce long lengths of extremely fine wire through a skilful and lengthy process using the finest gold, hammered around a heavy core of silver to reduce its thickness which would then finally be drawn through a drawplate on a medieval drawbench.

The ancient technique has been superceded by the use of synthetic materials and the use of machinery and new technology. However, the Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers continue to support the creative use of wire particularly through education and grant giving in association with the Royal School of Needlework and through the Company’s grant and bursary scheme.

About the Competition

The submission for the Special Award will have to show practical use of wire (precious and non precious) incorporated into a contemporary design. There are two sections under which submissions can apply:

Section A of the prize ‘Production Jewellery’, has an emphasis on a design led item of production jewellery which will be primarily judged on the potential for reproduction as successful multiples. Production methods and techniques using casting, laser technology, jig making, production machining etc. should be used.

Alternatively, Section B of the prize, ‘Gallery Jewellery’ allows applications for a one off piece showing innovation of the use of non precious wire in fashion jewellery.

Entry forms for the Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers Company Special Award as part of the Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship and Design Awards can be downloaded from:

The Award entry details can be found in Section 10 of the application pack.

The deadline for entries is the end of January 2012.