In order to make interesting and exciting developments in the creative world, jewellery designers dream of having new materials to play with. Central Saint Martin’s students are being given that opportunity with one of the most contemporary materials available; palladium. A precious white metal that stays naturally white for a lifetime and is part of the platinum family.
Prior to this white metal, options have lied upon inexpensive silver, which softness makes it unable to set stones in for the duration. And 18ct white gold, that - unlike the name suggests - is a grey colour also needs to be plated and re-plated over time. Or platinum, which although it's the best option due to its naturally white colour and hard material to set lasting stones into, is the most expensive because of its rareness.
Palladium is a third of the price of platinum and is still a precious, light and a hard metal with superior attributes and because of its lightness more intricate pieces can be made capable of bearing larger gemstones.
Central Saint Martins students have been given the task by the Palladium Alliance International (the world’s first organization dedicated to establishing Palladium as a luxurious, precious metal) to create a two-piece jewellery collection of a ring and necklace to be judged by a panel of experts, with the five most inspirational being manufactured using Palladium and showcased at an exclusive and sparkling event in central London in March 2011, where the overall winner will be announced.
Simon Fraser, course Director of MA Design and Jewellery at the college says: "The Palladium Alliance’s generous and inspirational gift of this metal to make their collections allows our talented and creative design students a chance to explore an emerging material, new to the international industry".
The five finalists will be announced on 10th December 2010