Halstead Jewelry Grant

Erica Bello Wins the 9th Annual Halstead Grant

Halstead is proud to announce Erica Bello of Rochester, NY as the winner of the 9th annual national Halstead Grant competition for new silver jewelry makers. She will receive $5,000 in cash and $1,000 in jewelry supplies as part of her prize package.

"I was extremely honored to be chosen as the 2014 Halstead Grant recipient. Writing the grant allowed me to focus my ideas into a cohesive goal. It is an incredible opportunity to be able to put my ideas into motion; I cannot thank them enough."

Erica finished her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2011 at The Rochester Institute of Technology with high honors. After college she worked as a bench jeweler while she continued to strengthen her customer base for Erica Bello Jewelry. Working for one of the largest national retailers of fine jewelry enhanced her technique, skill, and business knowledge.

2014 Halstead Grant Winner Erica Bello Jewelry Erica’s geometric silver jewelry with an oxidized finish can be described as industrial, bold and edgy with a three-dimensional dynamic. This unique metalsmithing work creates contrast with acute angles and semi-precious stones. Her collection is influenced by architecture and traditional jewelry archetypes.

Each design is shaped, soldered, or casted out of silver then given an antique oxidized finish. Her metalsmithing technique also includes built up fabrication of rings with stone settings. Prices range from $105 to $ 445 and you can purchase pieces at Erica Bello Jewelry. Bello will also exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show in November and the American Craft Council Baltimore Show in February.

The Halstead Grant competition recognizes jewelry artists who excel in both design and business preparation. Applicants are required to submit a portfolio and elements of a business plan including marketing, production capacity and financial planning information. The program is designed to encourage sound professional practices in the jewelry arts community. The application process guides candidates through several critical business issues. Analyzing those challenges helps new jewelers lay the groundwork to become successful, independent studio owners.

A complete list of finalists is below in alphabetical order by grouping.

2014 Halstead Grant Results


Erica Bello Rochester, NY

Top 5 Finalists

Amy Brandenburg Asheville, NC
Duchess Leigh Los Angeles, CA
John Harris/JPHii Design Tonawanda, NY
Seth Papac San Diego, CA

Top 10 Finalists

Kelly Noonan/5 Oaks Studio Arlington, TX
Jennifer Will/JW Metal Arts San Diego, CA
Kathryn Froeter/kFroet Designs Chicago, IL
Sara Gallo Coatesville, PA
Valerie A. Heck Broadview Heights, OH

The Halstead Grant is an annual jewelry grant that began in 2006. If you are interested in applying please see our grant application, FAQ and grant information pages. Click here for hints & tips articles on starting a jewelry business. We also offer a list of links and small business resources for the industry. Click here for past Halstead Grant winners, finalists and press coverage. The award is sponsored by Halstead Bead, Inc a wholesaler of jewelry supplies since 1973.
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