All that glitters episode 6: Finale

As All That Glitters reaches its finale, we caught up with Andrew Howard, Lecturer in Jewellery and Silversmithing - Design for Industry, to discuss the last episode and get further insight into the world of jewellery making

Andrew Howard
Lecturer, School of Jewellery

It is the finale of All That Glitters and what a whirlwind it has been getting us to this stage! Three jewellers, two challenges, one winner! We saw sapphires being set into 18 carat Gold, three 10’s from Shirley, and like a scene from Grease, "The old gang back together again!", as the original line up came back to support the jewellers on the floor from Dinny & Shauns’ haunt on the balcony. 

The Saturday saw the jewellers take on the best seller challenge where they were asked to make an 18 carat yellow gold and sapphire Ring in their own style with the option to add in melee diamonds accordingly (melee = small accent diamonds). This challenge really allowed the jewellers to express their own individual style.

Jack created the golden bridge of engagement rings in a unisex style with more solder joints than our nerves could take. We saw Piers bring back his refined and traditional making style whilst showing off his traditional jewellery making background and creating a diamond set split shank on one side with a single shank side to the other; however Emma was the ultimate winner for this challenge and created a unique piece that really spoke to the judges. The twisted swirls of the shoulders and the very last-minute setting was Emma to a T but what a final they all made. 

Katherine, Shaun & Dinny were on top form as usual and you could really feel the positivity in the studio on both sections of the episode… Jack even walked to the plinth! The Judges commented that Piers ring would stand the test of time, Jack’s ring was slightly high but they liked the texture on the ring & Emma’s ring with granulation and finesse “sang her hand writing”. 

Day two saw a very special guest for the jewellers to make for in Strictly Come Dancing’s Head Judge, Shirley Ballas. Shirley made a statement entrance from the rear of the studio and introduced her challenge to the jewellers: to create a statement necklace for Shirley to wear on the final of the 2021 series. Shirley wanted the jewellers to work with her red jumpsuit and show off her personality. With the jeweller’s future resting in Shirley’s hands and vote the competition really heated up.

Jack again went to town with over 100 component parts and Emma feared Shaun’s loupe whilst setting her bezel set garnet, whilst Piers went up close and personal with his flame to ensure intricacy. We heard from the previous jewellers as to who they were backing, with a nice even spread of support which genuinely was how it came across during the filming of this series; each jeweller had everyone’s back and each wanted the other to win.

After the challenge, the judges took time to look at all of the pieces made through each episode and considered their merits across the whole of the series to choose their winner.

There was an amazing standard of work produced by each and every jeweller, with Dinny noting that Piers had a level of sophistication throughout and that his signature style had emerged as the challenges progressed. Emma was noted to have a fieriness shine through with Shaun saying that her story telling had elevated in the final show. Dinny moved on to Jack, impressed by his consistent kinetic style.  And then the families arrived, having been apart from their loved ones for weekends filming and weekdays practicing, they now stood shoulder to shoulder to support them all to find out the result.

This is where I love my job, as I got to fire the winners’ cannons alongside the art director and the amazing team of runners to help celebrate all of the jewellers hard work, and let me tell you that hold back until they announce is long! We saw Piers and his wife in tears and rightly so, he has pushed himself through each week with a heart-warming desire to win and he did just that!

All That Glitters will be returning for season three, and auditions will be announced on the School of Jewellery Instagram pages, so keep your eyes peeled for dates!

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