Halstead Design Challenge


The theme for the 2020 challenge, connection, is inspired by the city of Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. Participants will create a necklace that explores interpretations of the theme, connection. Examples of connection include love, friendship, mechanical, physical, mentor/mentee, relationship and family. The bond between parent and child, human and Earth, the sun and the sky; connection can be conceptual, or physical, technical processes. Connection to a place or a time are possibilities too.

Submissions should include a found object and as much of the kit as possible. As part of the theme, we ask that the Artist Statement be a letter directly to the person who will own and wear this necklace. Create a connection between yourself as the artist and them as the recipient of this object. What do you want them to know or experience when they wear your work?

Stretch your creativity with this inspiring challenge and share your progress online with your fellow community of makers with #HalsteadDesignChallenge. Help raise funds for SNAG while having fun!


2020 Halstead Design Challenge Kit
Receive a 50-piece kit of sterling silver, copper, and brass supplies to get you started. Your kit includes sheet metal, chain segments, wire, metal blanks, and beads. Create a necklace or pendant under 6” x 6” x 1”. Only 225 Halstead Challenge kits are available, get your hands on them before they are gone. Last year’s kits sold out within 24 hours.

Order a Kit
KITS ARE SOLD OUT. 2020 deadline has passed.

Kits are transferable. If you cannot use your kit and there is still a reasonable amount of time before the deadline (February 15, 2020), feel free to send your kit to a fellow maker and email us who that person is.

Kit price (includes shipping within USA): $47.50
There are no additional fees when submitting images of final work for jurying. The kit fee is the entry fee.

International Terms & Conditions (Shipping to Mexico or Canada): $47.50 kit fee + international shipping fee. USPS First Class International shipping rate will be calculated at check out. There are no additional fees when submitting images of final work for jurying. The kit fee is the entry fee.

For international please note:

  • We will ONLY be shipping kits to the USA, Canada or Mexico.
  • Kits are shipped out internationally with a commercial invoice. We cannot falsify declarations.
  • You are responsible for any duties or tariffs from your home country on kit materials. You cannot refuse to pay duties once a package is in transit. Please find out your obligations before ordering a kit.
  • You will be responsible for shipping fees, insurance and any import duties to send your necklace or pendant to the exhibition if it is included in the juried exhibition. Please also plan for additional transit and clearance time ahead of the deadline.

Fundraiser for SNAG
This design challenge is a fundraiser for SNAG. Proceeds from kit sales and 25% of work sold at retail price will benefit SNAG. All submissions must be for sale.

This exhibition is an open call to metals and/or jewelry artists who reside in the USA. SNAG membership is not required but always encouraged. Artists residing in Canada or Mexico are eligible to participate but need to be aware of the specific shipping and customs requirements this entails when the kit is sent to them, as well as for any artwork that may have to be shipped to and from the USA for exhibition and sale purposes.


  • Kit orders open on October 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. First come first served. Only 225 kits available! Last year’s kits were sold out in less than 24 hours.
  • Deadline for submission entry: February 15, 2020 at midnight Pacific Time
  • Artist notification of exhibition participation: April 15, 2020
  • Deadline for arrival of shipment at specified venue: on or before May 10, 2020
  • Exhibition at SNAG conference in Philadelphia, PA, May 20-23, 2020 (exact dates/times TBA). Prize winners will be announced! Please plan to attend.  Due to cancellation of the SNAG conference, we will make the prize winner announcement a different way. Please stay tuned.


  • Enter up to 3 high resolution images and a YouTube video link showing the piece in its entirety for a chance to win prizes and an exhibition spot at the upcoming SNAG conference in Philadelphia.
  • After the conference, all submitted work will be featured in an online sale and exhibition at SNAG//SPACE. To be included in the online exhibition, images must meet quality specifications (see photo spec sheet).

2020 Prizes
Prize winners will be announced at the exhibition opening in Philadelphia, PA! Due to cancellation of the SNAG conference, we will make the prize winner announcement a different way. Please stay tuned.

 Top 3 Winners:

  • Cash prizes ($750 for 1st. place, $500 for 2nd. place, $250 for 3rd place)
  • Halstead features artists in video, blogs and print publications.
  • SNAG features artists in video, blogs, and web/social media posts.

Top 3 Runners-up:

  • 1 year free membership to SNAG (2 awarded)
  • Free ¼ page ad in Metalsmiths (1 awarded)

Challenge Specifications

  1. Create one necklace or pendant from the Halstead Design kit utilizing as many components as possible (minimum 50% of kit items should be used in final work).
  2. Add at least one clearly visible found object component into your jewelry piece.
  3. Size restrictions: Maximum: 6 x 6 x 1 inches and must fit in a MEDIUM USPS flat rate box, or smaller, when your item is double boxed! Your package has to withstand a 30 foot drop during shipping. If you submit a pendant, please limit the weight to 35 grams (1.2 troy ounces) so it can reasonably hang from a standard chain necklace, or provide a chain that can support your focal piece.
  4. Retail price of finished items cannot exceed $500 (higher priced work will not be considered for exhibition!)
  5. The entry form requests to clearly state who the copyright holder of your image and video is. We cannot admit work without such a statement.

Submission Entry – DEADLINE HAS PASSED

By February 15, 2020 midnight Pacific Time send the following to HDC@halsteadbead.com:

  • Completed Submission Form
  • Artist statement/letter to the buyer (Word doc format, one paragraph max, no PDF)
  • Abbreviated 1 page artist bio, clearly labelled with last name and first name
  • 3 high res images (1 full view front, 1 full view back, 1 detail shot) of finished work on a plain white background (preferred). Partially finished work or sketches will not be considered. Review the photo spec sheet.
  • A link to YouTube with a maximum 20 second video of the item.


  • Finished work is owned by the artist until sold.
  • All work submitted must be for sale through the time of exhibition, including the online exhibition component.
  • Unsold pieces should be picked up by the artist or a designated person immediately after the Philadelphia exhibition. In case the artist is not present at the SNAG conference the artwork will be returned in its original package at Halstead Design Challenge expense provided the package meets maximum size specifications (MEDIUM USPS FLAT RATE BOX) and the original packaging materials are suitable for reuse. Packages exceeding maximum size will be returned at artist’s expense.
  • In case of a sale during the exhibition cycle (brick and mortar and online segments), the following split of proceeds applies: 75% of retail price goes to the artist, 25% of retail price goes to SNAG.
  • All administration of sales will be handled by SNAG.

Shipping and Insurance
Double box your artwork and use USPS MEDIUM Flat Rate Shipping Box as the outer container. Plan ahead and make sure your design concept can fit in the inner box!

Artist is responsible for cost of shipping and insurance to exhibition venue. Deadline for arrival of shipment at a specified venue is on or before May 10, 2020. A specific shipping address will be sent to all accepted artists. If an accepted artist will be attending the Philadelphia SNAG conference in person, they may elect to bring the submission to the event themselves. A detailed email of where and when to drop off will be sent prior to the conference.

Artwork is insured at 50% of retail price while on venue premises and during return shipment.

Exhibition Contracts
Acceptance into the exhibition constitutes a contractual agreement between the artist and the exhibition venue. A formal contract will be sent to exhibiting artists together with a condition report form and other information relating to the shipment of the work.

Questions? Contact Halstead at HDC@halsteadbead.com

Jurying Process
The jurying process ensures that the work submitted is of the highest quality and follows the curatorial mission outlined in the proposal. Craftsmanship, dedication to the concept of the show, diversity, intrigue, and interpretation of the call will be considered.

2020 Jury

Hilary Halstead Scott
Hilary Halstead Scott is the President of Halstead, a wholesale supplier of jewelry chain and materials that was established in 1973. The family owned and operated firm supplies thousands of jewelry artists around the globe. Hilary is passionate about helping small jewelry businesses and entrepreneurs. To that end, she founded the Halstead Grant in 2005. The Halstead Grant is a business development program that awards start-up cash and recognition to an emerging jewelry artist each year. The rigorous application process is designed to encourage sound business practices in the jewelry industry. Hilary has an MBA and a Masters in International Management. She worked in Madrid, Spain prior to returning to the family business. She is an active member of SNAG and the Women Presidents Organization.

Jim Bové
Jim Bové is a practicing artist, educator and former board member of SNAG. He has organized and curated several international exhibitions and lectures between the United States and Japan, including the cross-cultural exchange, Metalsmiths Linking. He recently completed an artist residency in the Arctic Circle aboard a three-masted ship where he explored landscape inspired forms. Jim’s artwork was selected for Metalsmith magazine’s Exhibition in Print, ‘Fresh‘. His artwork has been featured in several books, Humor in Craft, On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets and most recently in Cast. His artwork was awarded Honorable Mention in the Cheongju Craft Biennale, South Korea and was accepted into Schmuck as well as being exhibited in the Taiwan International Metals Crafts Competition. He acts as a pro bono consultant to non-profit arts centers and hosts workshops to help public school teachers integrate crafts into their curriculum.

Brigitte Martin
Brigitte Martin created the online social network CRAFTHAUS in 2008 to foster camaraderie and professional exchange within the international craft community. As the site’s editor she connects the membership with the larger craft world while offering a place to show work and discuss thoughts and ideas about craft. Brigitte founded a Craft Think Tank in 2011 and continues to organize the convenings in cooperation with the American Craft Council. Brigitte published Humor in Craft, which won the FINALIST award at the 2012 USA Best Book Awards and a Gold Medal at the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2013. She curates and juries exhibitions nationally and she is the Editor at Large for American Craft Magazine. Martin was the president of The SNAG from 2017-2018 and a public speaker on topics of social networking, online community, artist development and art entrepreneurship. She is currently the Executive Director of The Society of Arts + Crafts.

If you have questions about the Kit or Challenge please email HDC@halsteadbead.com

If you need order or website support please email the SNAG office at info@snagmetalsmith.org and SNAG will reply as soon as possible within the hours of 9:00-5:00 Pacific Time.

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Past Halstead Design Challenge exhibitions and items for sale can be viewed at SNAG//SPACE.