What has been happening since you won the competition?
I have been approached by other jewellery brands to create conceptual concrete jewellery or incorporate concrete into their pre-existing designs. I have also displayed quite a bit of my own concrete jewellery designs at other art galleries. My studio is expanding and has become more efficient in terms of the equipment that I have been able to acquire over the past year thus making it easier to turn my ideas into tangible designs. The Concrete Jewellery collection is currently being displayed at the Pretoria Arts Association Gallery and is available for purchase. I will also be having an exhibition at the Long Street Art Lovers Gallery at the end of this year (2016).
What have been some of the benefits you have noticed after having done so well in the competition?
I have definitely been more confident with my designs and experimenting with new materials in my jewellery. As a result, I have been developing my skills as a craftsperson and my style as a jeweller. I’m very excited about the future and am excited to see what new jewellery designs I create as a result of the experience I gained from winning this amazing competition!
What insights or advice do you have for the other finalists and entrants?
Some key advice I would have for the finalists, is even if you aren’t a runner-up or winner in your category, you should enter the PPC Imaginarium again next year! It took me two years of experimenting with concrete and entering the work into the Imaginarium to win. It also took time to understand the material and how to incorporate it into a design that is aesthetically pleasing yet remained functional. So don’t give up and keep on experimenting with your designs!
What would you like to see more of in the design sector of South Africa?
I would like to see South Africa move away from commercial designs and celebrate contemporary designs as well as designs with a unique individuality. Speaking as a craftsperson myself, I would really like to see the craft itself being celebrated within the design.
Mignon’s work is available for purchase here.
Why not enter the PPC Imaginarium? We’re in search of innovative concrete design across six categories: fashion, jewellery, sculpture, film, architecture and industrial design. Our champion will take home R100 000 in cash. Additionally, each of the 6 category winners will be awarded a cash prize of R50 000, with runners-up walking away with R15 000. Remember to enter your conceptual statement before the end of the month!