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The winners of the CELTIC Design Challenge

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We're thrilled to (finally!) announce the winners of Facet's Design Challenge for March, when our seasonally-appropriate theme was CELTIC. We asked our readers to consider the decorative elements of Celtic design, which are mostly derived from ancient tradition: complex ornamental patterns, religious iconography, and motifs from nature. We were looking for simple knots, endlessly twisting wire, spirals or triskelions bursting with mystical energy -- and wow, did we get some stunning submissions! If you didn't get a chance to see them during March, please do check out the stunning gallery of pieces that were submitted. We had a very difficult time choosing the winners. 

So with no further ado...

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The winner of our READER'S CHOICE AWARD is Kat Ezzo's gorgeous TARA CLOAK PIN. Kat hails from Queens, New York. 

Hand-carved in jewelers wax and cast into 18k yellow gold, the design for the cloak pin is inspired from ancient cloak pins found in Ireland.  

The pin has 3 round cabachon tourmaline stones hand set in bezels, and the top of the pin has a trinity knot design. This piece was the overwhelming favorite from the people who voted in the March challenge. 

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This wonderful LUCKY CLOVER PENDANT was created by Micah Nilsson of Port Orford, OR. The granulated clover-shaped pendant is forged from Argentium silver, with a peridot center. 

Micah embraces many ancient jewelry-making techniques, especially granulation, but also loves newer materials like Argentium silver. On her website Nymphaea Blue, she mentions that this new alloy "inspires me with its brightness and colour, and its ability to be worked into intricate pieces alone, or in combination with gold." Be sure to visit to see more of Micah's work!

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We were totally fascinated by the story behind our next winner, the SILVER OGHAM PENDANT created by Ann Marie Crosmun of Durham, NC. Ann Marie describes it like this:

Ogham is one of the earliest forms of writing in Ireland. It dates from the 4th century A.D. and was in use for over 500 years. The Ogham alphabet is made up of a series of strokes across a line or edge. Ogham is also referred to as the "Celtic Tree Alphabet" as various letters are linked to old Irish names for certain trees. The alphabet was carved on standing stones. They are read from the bottom of the stem line up (as if you were climbing a tree), or from the left hand side.

I want to keep the simple beauty of the Ogham Language alive. I love the mystery of the Celtic people. My heart feels a strong affinity to their past because of their love, respect, and connection to their environment. I want to evoke this emotion in my art and in my jewelry.

We just love the idea of preserving something so meaningful in a way that is so delicate and lovely! 

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We're thrilled with the dark dramatic style of Lynn Hedgecock's CELTIC TRIQUETRA NECKLACE. Lynn is also from North Carolina, there's a lot of great jewelry making going on there right now, it seems!

For Lynn, the Triquetra or "Trinity Knot" has many meanings, but the one that resonates with her is this:  the three equal arcs symbolize equality, the continuous line represents eternity, and the interweaving represents unity.  The piece is bead embroidered with a Slate & Pyrite focal stone and finished with a spiral rope.

Congratulations to all of our winners, we're so happy that you participated. 

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There is still time to enter the April Design Challenge, MYTH AND FOLKLORE, where we are looking for pieces that come from a place or story or imagination. Emerging from the haunted forest. Dancing in the dappled sunlight. Pendants full of whimsy and delight, bracelets bursting with charms and enchantments, earrings sparkling with magic and mystery: what tales can your jewelry tell? What will you wear to Faire this Spring? The deadline for that challenge is Wednesday, April 26, but if you can't hit that deadline, don't worry, you'll have another change to participate: 

Here's a sneak peek at the theme for May 2017, going live on Wednesday, May 3: HEROES AND VILLAINS!

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In the midst of the battle between good and evil, we still need to look stunning! Spin a web of wire, or fashion cuffs befitting an Amazon princess. Bead all in black, or channel the positive energy from a crystal. Have fun and support your favorite franchise with your jewelry designs during May!

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