All That Glitters, Series 2, Episode 5: Seafaring K-pop Idol

Hey, we’ve all fallen down that Wikipedia rabbithole during a sleepless night.

Showing Your Asymmetry

For their semi-final Bespoke Challenge, the jewellers were having to embrace asymmetry by creating a pair of asymmetric earrings, with one being a drop earring and the other being a stud. In order to make their pair of earrings they had been given 9 carat gold and a semi-precious gemstone – also David and Piers had wrangled themselves some diamonds from somewhere without further explanation, I like to think a daring heist was involved. And in order to properly appreciate them, Shaun would be trying each and every single one of them on

truly the hardest working earlobes in showbusiness.

As it was the semifinal and the last chance to get Jeweller of the Week before they announce the winner, Emma was determined to get a win on the scoreboard and was hoping to do it with a pair of earrings that represented her journey through the competition and unleashing her creativity

as Emma said, doing a head was always going to be tricky because everyone and their dog is going to notice if it’s slightly off and perhaps looks a little bit like Handsome Squidward in profile…

but the idea was good and I could absolutely see a better execution of this being sold by many an independent jewellery store on Etsy.

The title of Jeweller of the Week has also evaded David who seemed to be taking his inspiration from Hasbro with a set of earrings that you could detach pieces of in order to make them either more or less formal, and as it was the semi-final he was using some pretty risky techniques – including drilling into his labradorite and setting a couple of diamonds into molten gold

I adore these and would absolutely wear them as is, the gold and the labradorite go so well together but the setting of his diamonds wasn’t quite so successful and Shaun was a bit worried that they’d fall out over time.

Piers had much more luck with his diamonds, including the absolutely massive rock on his finger because sometime between the filming of the quarterfinal and the semifinal he got married

The diamonds for his earrings were pavé-set in order to give his peacock inspired earrings a little more depth and interest

he had somewhat neglected the stud, but to be fair most of them just defaulted to having the stud being a matching stone so they kind of just let it slide, but that Variscite stone is a really pretty colour even it isn’t the most peacocky shade of green.

Jack, having excelled with asymmetry when creating his oyster-link necklace for the Pearl Necklace Challenge was on a relatively confident footing with this challenge and designing a pair of earrings that were aimed at a male audience, taking inspiration from South Korean fashion, which he almost kind of just said so that he could say he was also inspired by pirates without sounding a little bit silly, Shaun however was just thrilled that he could drop some pirate facts

I did actually know that – you either obsessively watch Pirates of the Caribbean as a teenager and come out of it with a deep understanding of pirate lore or bisexual

and sometimes both. Yaaaar, happy Bisexual Visibility Week everyone.

Jack was also unabashedly making the earring for himself – who amongst us doesn’t want to look like a blinged out seafaring K-pop idol? He’s halfway there already with his little trawlerman outfit

and Jack being Jack had made his earrings with a fastening mechanism that nobody has ever seen before and that I would have absolutely no hope of ever managing to fasten

I love the stones and the chain, I find the fastening a little clunky and distracting but the judges seemed fully prepared to embrace the weirdness and I can see why he came out on top for being more inventive than some of the others…


An Official Asymmetrical Earring Ranking

  1. Jack’s K-pop Pirate Earrings
  2. Piers’s Minty Peacocks
  3. David’s Transformers™ Earrings, Available in All Good Toy Stores!
    • Emma’s Portrait of Handsome Squidward

The Missing (Cuff) Link

This week’s Bespoke Challenge clients were Rya and Enoch, the latter of which works as a street warden, providing assistance to vulnerable people on Broad Street. As he was attending an awards ceremony that celebrates that work, he wanted a pair of cufflinks that made a bit of a statement, with the jewellers getting to take inspiration from their chaotic pantomime of a moodboard

and he definitely knew what he wanted given that he bought his first pair of cufflinks aged 7, this obviously making him the best dressed child in Birmingham.

The asymmetry theme was of course being carried over, as was the stone setting challenge, with the jewellers having to incorporate a set of melee diamonds into their designs.

Emma was the only person to take any inspiration from Enoch’s work as a street warden with one of her cufflinks featuring a series of minimalist human figures walking on a gold road, to allude to Birmingham’s Golden Mile, and her other one being a reference to Enoch and Rya’s love of skiing. The latter one gave her significantly more trouble than the first as she, like David in the previous round, was attempting to molten-set her diamonds which didn’t go entirely to plan as one of the diamonds came loose and Emma proceeded to have a very polite mental collapse

but despite her slowly unravelling psyche, she did get a pair of cufflinks out in the end, losing 1 diamond in the process, but we’ll just say that’s a cave in the mountainside

making them the same shape was a really good way of keeping them connected and the actual embellishing and saw piercing are really good – the Golden Mile cufflink is really beautiful, even if it does remind me rather heavily of Alien Mr. Burns

I still think it was definitely one of the better cufflinks of the episode, it was just a shame about the escaped diamond on the other one.

The other three all went with some combination of Enoch’s love of skiing, film or drama. Both Piers and Jack using the Comedy and Tragedy masks in their designs, or if you’re Jack they’re just the Happy and Sad Theatre Faces

spit on Aeschylus’s grave, why don’t you!?

Like Emma, Jack was also opting for a mountainscape cufflink as he, being a keen snowboarder, really connected to that side of Enoch’s brief

I really like the composition of Jack’s cufflinks – the frame around the mountain and the negative space around the masks makes them look so much more dynamic. I do wish the mountain was maybe a little more discernible, I think his texturing may have gone a little overboard and the detailing on the masks was a little more naive, especially when compared to Piers’s

the draped curtain above them was a little bit clumsy around the edges and Dinny had some concerns about how delicate the gold and diamond detail on the film canister was but Shaun’s only disappointment was that he couldn’t find anything negative to say about them

Piers however was thrilled.

Lastly we have David, whose pieces were just that little bit simpler when compared to everyone else, I’m not sure his brutalist influences quite translated to the challenge this time

there’s a charm to them but when everyone else had gone all out on detailing and refinement, his did begin to look a little bit like things you’d make a LEGO character hold.

An Unofficial Cufflink Ranking

  1. Piers’s Theatrical Links
  2. Jack’s Mountaintop Tragedy
  3. Emma’s Escapé-set Diamond
  4. David’s LEGO Accessories

I did think Enoch was going to choose Piers’s cufflinks, but I do also think that Piers and David may have overestimated his love of film and so Jack took the win for both the Bespoke Challenge and Jeweller of the Week

and with Piers having a very solid week, it was either Emma or David getting the chop. I did think Emma was going to go, I thought she’d had a rougher week, but I think in terms of her overall ambition and design process, she is a stronger competitor and David was sent home

for someone who has only been making jewellery for the last 2 years he did phenomenally well and if you want to see more of his brutalism inspired jewellery, you can follow him on Instagram at DavidJLillyJewellery.

And so, we have our Final Three in Jack, Piers and Emma!

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