Clarice Price-Thomas scoops EC One Unsigned 2011

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Designer inspired by watchmaking wins mentoring program with retailer.

EC One hosted its Unsigned winner’s party last night, with finalist Clarice Price-Thomas scooping a mentorship program that will allow her to develop her collections with the retailer’s founder Jos Skeates.

Price-Thomas was revealed the winner out of four finalists that included Belgian jewellery designer Julie Impens and retro-inspired designer Pip Jolley. Tom Wilson was chosen as a wild card finalist, following the same proceedings as last year where wild card Myia Bonner took the prize.

As the winner of EC One Unsigned Price-Thomas will have use of the EC One workshop and will meet regularly with EC One’s goldsmiths including Skeates and the in-house head goldsmith Jude Huntley, to develop the collection that marked her out as a winner.

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She will get design advice from EC One’s buyer Alison Skeates and will eventually create a line of jewellery to be sold through EC One, receiving PR and marketing from the company’s own public relations partner, Push PR.

Price-Thomas’s winning collection of watchmaking-inspired jewels were handmade using watchmaking tools and gear cutters. She was inspired by her upbringing in a house of watches and clocks, where her father works as a horlogical restorer. She has had no formal university training but has interned with jewellery designers including Ana de Costa and Jessica de Lotz.

The night attracted a number of guests and co-incided with the second of EC One’s Christmas consumer-focused events called Get Your Rocks On, inviting customers to shop for Christmas party jewellery while offering a special discount.

Professional Jeweller editor Rachael Taylor was invited to be a guest judge for this year’s Unsigned competition but due to ill health handed the judging baton to assistant editor Kathryn Bishop.

The four finalists met with the judges, including designer William Cheshire and Rebecca van Rooijen of Benchpeg, earlier this month to intriduce their collections and discuss where they would like to take their work through the mentorship program. The winner was chosen via a secret ballot.

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