Award of Excellence recipients 2024

The Awards of Excellence were judged last week in Bukhara alongside the massive Zar Festival of Gold Thread Embroidery and Jewellery.

In a field of over 190 applications from all over the Asia Pacific, the jury worked very hard to accurately and fairly assess all applications.

The South Pacific was successful in achieving awards for four of our nominees – see attached, including two products from Papua New Guinea.

Congratulations to:

  • Karen Adie (Australia)
  • Christine Mary Brimer (New Zealand)
  • Njalikwa Chongwe (Australia)
  • Project Two Mile, Maggie Timbi (Papua New Guinea)

Ceramics craft cooee – 7 May 2024 5pm AEST

Aaron Angell, Maximalist ceramics  Pie #1, 2020


Join us in a discussion about the contemporary state of ceramics.

Tuesday 7 May at 3pm (AWST) and 5pm (AEST). Register here

Are ‘beauty’ and ‘ugly’ terms that have meaning in terms of contemporary craft?

Or is the term ‘sloppy craft’ more apt?

Is ‘sloppy craft’ something to consider as a vehicle to express societal activism, indigeneity, gender disparity and the reversal of traditional roles associated with craft?

Is parody and self-conscious naivety more relevant in today’s world than caring about refinement, finish, elegance, gracefulness, stylishness and ‘good taste’?

What are some of the ramifications of this shift?

What is the future for the field of ceramics?

Bernard Kerr is a West Australian ceramicist and convenor of the Australia Ceramics Triennale in 2025.

Fleur Schell is a successful ceramicist working in porcelain. Her work captures our imagination through her playful yet highly technical porcelain characters and settings.

Janet DeBoos has taught across many institutions and was recently Head of Ceramics at ANU School of Art. She has also run a production pottery, written/co-authored three books on ceramic glazes, worked within the industry in China & Italy and has written numerous articles for Australian and international ceramics journals on ceramic art practice, education and glaze technology.

Vale Jane Burns AM

Jane Burns passed away on 17 April 2024 at the age of 90 years.

Jane Burns was the founding Director and long-time CEO of the Crafts Council of Australia, as well as a founding member of the Arts Law Centre, National Association of the Visual Arts and numerous other organisations.

In 1988, Janes was awarded an Order of Australia medal for services to the crafts and, in 1992, the Australia Council’s Visual Arts/Crafts Board Emeritus Medal.

‘’Jane was definitely a craft legend/treasure, having led Craft Australia for decades with exhibitions, events, visitors, and the magazine. Her passion and knowledge of the sector were exceptional…, and she was so engaged in what was happening in the industry. She will be missed’’ – Liz Williamson, President of World Crafts Council Australia.

“Jane was a passionate advocate for Australian craft and its place in the world. She led Craft Australia with a unique combination of vivacity and wisdom. Her life will continue to inspire us all.” – Dr Kevin Murray, vice president of World Crafts Council International.

The Australian Design Centre acknowledges “Jane’s extensive contribution to Australian contemporary studio craft, a tireless dedication spanning over four decades.”

Read more about the work of Jane Burns at…/aust…/jane-burns/

Our sincere condolences from World Crafts Council Australia. She will be very fondly remembered.

Craft Cooee with Gina Fairley from ArtsHub on 26 March

Gina Fairley has been very active in covering craft news for ArtsHub. Most recently, she has been writing about the review that has currently been planned for Sturt Gallery and Studios – see Australia’s oldest craft gallery and studios facing closure

You are welcome to join us for a conversation about how craft is presented in the media, the state of writing about craft and in particular the scene in her hometown of Mittagong, the location of Sturt Gallery and Studios.

 The Craft Cooee is Tuesday 26 March at 5pm (AEDT). Register on Zoom here

WCC-APR Award of Excellence – 2024

Previous winners of WCC Award of Excellence from South Pacific

The Biennial Awards of Excellence for Craft are very well known in our neighbouring regions – less well known in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

If you specialise in making production line ware that is of high quality, and unique to your country or region, please consider entering.

Past winners can brand their work as a Winner of the World Crafts Council Award of Excellence and the governing body is constantly looking for opportunities to market and present winners’ works. Winning entries will find a place in the Kokand Museum for craft in Uzbekistan.

Entries are due 10 April 2024.

You can find the form for applications for the Award of Excellence here.

Craft Masters from the South Pacific – 2023

Sandra Black accepting her award at the Ceramic Arts Association of WA Christmas party, November 2023

World Crafts Council Australia is very proud to share news of the practitioners from the South Pacific who have been officially honoured with the title of Craft Masters of the Asia Pacific Region.

In November 2023, a jury meeting was held in Dongyang, China. Over four days, regional nominations from Central Asia, South Pacific, South Asia, West Asia, South East Asia and East Asia were reviewed and discussed by an 11-person jury representing all these regions. The jury process enabled jurors to see and glimpse the complexity, skill and traditions that underpin craft practices across the Asia Pacific.

The World Crafts Council Asia Pacific Region (WCC-APR) concluded the 4th Asia Pacific Region Craft Master Program, hosted in the vibrant city of Dongyang, China. The event, organised by the Municipal People’s Government of Dongyang City and the China Arts and Crafts Association, witnessed the gathering of craft enthusiasts, experts, and artists from around the world. The Asia Pacific Region Craft Master Program, initially launched in 2008 for China only, has expanded its coverage to the entire region, honouring craftsmen with over 30 years of professional practice for their outstanding contributions to the development of crafts. The final jury meeting, held from November 5 to 7, reviewed 66 pre-selected entries from six sub-regions of the Asia-Pacific region.

An international jury, consisting of 11 members, evaluated each application based on five
endorsement criteria: extraordinary contribution to field, sustainable practice, international
recognition, continuous learning, and international collaboration.

The jury was very interested in the aspects of intangible cultural heritage and passing on knowledge that otherwise might be lost through your art practice.

The South Pacific winners were:

South Pacific
Greg Daly (Australia – Ceramics)
Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello (Australia – Glass)
Kaetaeta Watson & Louisa Humphry (New Zealand / Kiribati – Fiber Crafts)
Kirstie Rea (Australia – Glass)
Liz Williamson (Australia – Weaving)
Marian Hosking (Australia – SilverSmithing)
Mary Dhapalany (Australia – Fiber Crafts)
Prue Venables (Australia – Ceramics)
Sandra Black (Australia – Ceramics)

Masters from other regions are:

South-East Asia
Anna India A.Delacruz – Legaspi (the Philippines – Textile crafts)
Bangie Anak Embol (Malaysia – Weaving)
Dudung Alie Syahbana (Indonesia – Batik)
F.M. Widayanto (Indonesia – Ceramics)
Michael Lim Tiang Ek (Malaysia – Batik & Fiber Art)
Meechai Taesujariya (Thailand – Weaving)
Kongthong Nanthavongdouangsy (the Laos – Weaving)

South Asia
Gitesh Chandra Das (Bangladesh – Reed weaving)
Gopendro Nath Chokroborti (Bangladesh – Spongewood craft)
Mamtaz Begum (Bangladesh – Embroidery)
Mahesh Jangid (India – Woodcarving)
Muhammad Wajid (Pakistan – Ceramics)
M.Wasantha Jayasekara (Sri Lanka – Bamboo Crafts)
Manorama Dewmini Kolabage (Sri Lanka – Bobbin Lace)

West Asia
Amin Soltankhah (Iran – Painting by Burning (pyrography))
Mansour Hafezparast (Iran – Repousse and Chasing)
Saro Mkrtchian (Iran – Silver Engraving)
Fatemeh Seyedi (Iran – Embroidery)
Mohammad Binava (Iran – Gold-thread Weaving)
Behrouz Seifollahi (Iran – Painting on Leather)
Dadash Mehravary Solut (Iran – Glass painting)
Saeed Pouzesh (Iran – Woodcarving)

Central Asia
Kulzhay Khusman (Kazakhstan – Embroidery)
Serik Rysbekov (Kazakhstan – Jewelry)
Abdunabi Toshtemirov (Uzbekistan – Weaving)
Muhammadali Yunusov (Uzbekistan – Woodcarving)
Masudjon Madaliyev (Uzbekistan – Metal Art)
Rakhmon Toirov (Uzbekistan – Ceramics Restoration))
Sakhodat Fayzieva (Uzbekistan – Embroidery)
Zukhro Obloberdieva (Uzbekistan – Embroidery)
Sukhrob Saidov (Tajikistan – Ceramics)

East Asia
BAO Zhiqiang (China – Redware pottery)
CHEN Ajin (China – Swordsmith)
CHEN Shuiqin (China – Embroidery)
DUAN Guoliang (China – Woodcarving)
FANG Wentao (China – Sculpture)
GU Shaopei (China – Redware pottery)
KONG Xiangqing (China – Ceramics)
LI Wenyue (China – Ceramics)
LI Yan (China – Embroidery)
LU Guanghua (China – Bamboo weaving)
PAN Deyue (China – Metal craft)
PENG Zushu (China – Micro engraving)
RAO Xiaoqing (China – Ceramics)
SHAN Xiumei (China – Fabric sculpture)
SHE Guoping (China – Woodcarving)
WANG Zhiwen (China – Micro calligraphy)
WANG Zuwei (China – Inkstone carving)
XIAO Jianbo (China – Ivory engraving)
ZHONG Liansheng (China – Enamel)
ZOU Liyou (China – Papercut and drawnwork)

WoCCA Textiles Cooee on 17 October

New Exuberance installation, JamFactory Craft & Design Centre
New Exuberance installation, JamFactory Craft & Design Centre

You are welcome to join us for the next in our ongoing series on the state of our craft media across the country.

Date: Tuesday 17 October 2023, 5 pm to 6.30pm (AEDT)

Zoom registration link

2023 has seen many contemporary textiles exhibitions around the country with several touring for several years plus numerous local and regional exhibitions. Is there a resurgence in interest and enhanced opportunities for crafts practitioners working in textiles? What’s driving this interest in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous textiles art and design works? 

Hear from the directors of the organising institutions and curators of the Tamworth Textile Triennale 5, Residue + Response: connecting histories and cultures and the Jam Factory’s, New Exuberance: contemporary Australian textile design in art, design and fashion. 

Speakers are – 

  • Bridget Guthrie, Director, Tamworth Regional Gallery. 
  • Carol McGregor, curator, Residue + Response: connecting histories and cultures
  • Brian Parkes, COE, Jam Factory, Adelaide. 
  • Carly Dodd, the Jam Factory’s First Nations Assistant Curator who worked with Meryl Ryan the exhibition.

Presented by Liz Williamson and Louise Hamby

List of current textile exhibitions in Australia (link)

WoCCA supports the Voice

WoCCA President and Australian Living Treasure, Liz Williamson

World Crafts Council Australia supports the proposed Voice to Parliament. We acknowledge the primary status of First Nations peoples as custodians of our land for more than 60,000 years. The crafts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are a unique contribution to our common human heritage. This includes traditional and contemporary objects made by practitioners across the country.

Enshrining the Voice in our constitution means that First Nations peoples will have an enduring say in matters that affect them. Their place in our governing will not depend on the politics of the day. Decisions can be made on what they believe is in their best interests.  This is an act of trust that will offer hope for future generations.

As an organisation that reflects Australia’s place in the common heritage of humanity, we are grateful to be living in a country with this ancient culture that continues to flourish today. We support the Voice.

Craft Masters of the South Pacific 2023

Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello, Large Sedge Reeds Eel Trap #3 – hot blown glass with canes, 102 cm long x 24.5 cm diam., 2017, collection Museum of Applied Arts and. Sciences, Powerhouse, Sydney NSW.

World Crafts Council Asia Pacific called for applications from the South Pacific sub-region to the Craft Master Program. The aim is to recognise and honour masters in their chosen craft form.

Initiated in 2008, the Asia Pacific Region Craft Master program has organized three evaluations respectively in 2008, 2012 and 2016. It is organized every 4 years. Due to the pandemic, the 4th evaluation has been postponed to the year 2023.

60 finalists from the Asia Pacific Region will be nominated by their respective regions (10 from our region the South Pacific) and 30 finalists will be flown to Donyang China for the Awards Ceremony.

The 43 entries from the South Pacific region revealed an extraordinary group of craftspersons whose careers combine artistic success and leadership through education and mentoring. Unfortunately, our quota was limited to ten for this program.

The ten finalists from the South Pacific region selected by our judging panel are:

  • Greg Daly
  • Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello
  • Kaetaeta Watson & Louisa Humphry
  • Kirstie Rea
  • Liz Williamson
  • Marian Hosking
  • Mary Dhapalany
  • Prue Venables
  • Rangi Kipa
  • Sandra Black

We’re thrilled that our region is represented on the world stage but such an impressive group of craft masters. We respectfully acknowledge their significant contribution to our vibrant craft scene.

We will keep you updated about the outcome of the judging of world craft masters in China. And we look forward to a new crop of masters in the next iteration of this program in 2027.

Chair of the judging panel Jude van der Merwe comments, “I recently had the honour and privilege of being part of a skilled panel appointed to review nominations for the World Crafts Council Asia Pacific Craft Masters Award 2023. 43 nominations were received from Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand and South Pacific islands. The quality and breadth of practice was astonishing and we are so grateful to all those skilled people who took the time and trouble to participate.”

We’re thrilled that our region is represented on the world stage but such an impressive group of craft masters. We respectfully acknowledge their significant contribution to our vibrant craft scene.

Ten finalists have been forwarded to the main panel in China and we look forward to seeing how the program unfolds over the next few months.