Australian bushfire support

Thanks to generous support from the World Crafts Council – Asia Pacific community, WoCCA has some funds to offer short term assistance to those craftspersons struggling to recover from the devastating bushfires.

Our expressions of interest in funds for bushfire relief have closed. We’ll be in touch with the recipients on 6 April 2020.

Meanwhile, see below for information about how you can assist in bushfire recovery.

World Crafts Council – Australia would like to offer ways in which you can give support to those affected by the bushfires that have devastated so much of Australia.

The tragedy is immense. In the broad scale, it has taken many lives, killed millions of wildlife and destroyed the habitat in which they live. Specifically, it has directly affected many craftspersons who are drawn to the bush as an environment to make beautiful works. Some have had their workshops destroyed, and many more will struggle to recover their lives.

Your support is much appreciated. There are general fundraising campaigns to assist in community recovery and also specific initiatives to assist individual studios. We will keep a list of these on this website. We encourage you to submit any further information about initiatives, goods or services you may wish to offer, or requests from those affected. You can add a comment to this page, post on our Facebook group, or email us. 

General fundraising

Craftspersons raising funds for general purposes

Clay for Australia an online auction where ceramicists offer work for sale on Facebook. They specify which charity the proceeds will go to.
Burnt shed on ceramicist Steven Harrison’s property

Ways of offering goods or services for humans and wildlife

Campaigns for specific studios

  • Fran Geale, near Tumbarumba, Snowy Mountains, NSW: 31 December 2019; Fran’s pottery studio has been destroyed; People can post donations to Fran (any tools – cutting wires, glaze tongs, books, underglaze colours, glaze ingredients, cones, bats) at PO Box 318 Tumbarumba NSW 2653.
  • Peter and Vanessa Williams, Mogo Pottery, NSW: lost everything 31 December 2019; Their home and studio and all the contents have been lost. They aren’t insured. Their home and studio were two heritage churches they had relocated and renovated. St Mary’s was 120 years old and St. Bernards was 130 years old.
Individual campaignsGoalCurrent
Elizabeth Andalis $5k$7k
Steve Harrison and Janine King $100k$53k
Melissa Gabelle$3k$7k
Gabrielle Powell$32k$28k
Kees Staps$23k$5k
Vanessa Williams$30k$20k

Spotlight: Albert Tse

Albert Tse, Momento Australia, 925 oxidised sterling silver, Top: Height 21mm Width 21mm; Bottom: Height 12mm Width 12mm; Post length: 14mm

This is the second in a series of Australia craftspersons who are eligible for the World Crafts Council – Asia Pacific Award of Excellence. These include finely made and innovative objects that are designed for everyday use. The objects in this spotlight show the value and appeal of Australian craft today.

Albert Tse is a Sydney-based metalsmith who employs 3D technology to make bold unisex jewellery.

3D printing allows me to create a 3D topographical view of Australia in fine detail with four different height layers that give you a view of what Australia looks like.

Albert Tse

The Memento Australia cufflinks are designed and handcrafted in Sydney, Australia by Albert Tse. They are 3d printed in wax to maintain the sharpness in the layers, and then cast in 925 Sterling Silver and oxidised to enhance the detail.

Albert Tse can be found on Instagram at @alberttsemetalsmith

Mae Adams @ Gippsland Art Gallery

Mae Adams, Deep Space Dark Universe, 2018, Sheoak needles, poa grass, dyed cotton cord, artificial sinew, 60.5 x 60.5 cm

We’re very pleased to celebrate the acquisition of an important new fibre work by Gippsland Art Gallery. To contributes to Australia’s Heirlooms for the Future.

The artist Mae Adams provides some background:

Deep Space Dark Universe is one of several stitched and coiled wall mounted works I made in response to space exploration. In this work the natural colours and textures of Australian she oak needles and poa grass are combined with commercially dyed yarn. My work with plant fibres has evolved through my interest in restoring bush land, especially the indigenous grasses and sedges of South Gippsland in Victoria, where I live and work.

Venus Bay grasses and sedges

I am delighted that Deep Space Dark Universe has been acquired by Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale for their permanent collection. The work was acquired through the newly established Gippsland Textile Collection, which has come about through the generosity of a private farming family in Gippsland. The Gippsland Textile Collection is dedicated to Australian textiles in all its forms, with a focus on items created in or about Gippsland. The Collection was established to provide inspiration and enjoyment for visitors, and to become an educational resource to encourage knowledge and appreciation for textiles of all periods.

Mae Adams, Deep Space Dark Universe (detail), 2018, Sheoak needles, poa grass, dyed cotton cord, artificial sinew, 60.5 x 60.5 cm

Robert and Eugenie Bell Decorative Arts and Design Fund

At the October 2018 National Gallery of Australia Memorial Celebration for Dr Robert Bell AM, NGA Director Nick Mitzevich announced the creation of the Robert and Eugenie Bell Decorative Arts and Design Fund. The Fund will support the acquisition of 20th and 21st century decorative arts, design and crafts for the National Gallery’s permanent collection.

Robert, who died in July 2018, was well known to the Australian and international craft communities as Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the National Gallery of Australia from 2000 until his retirement in late 2016, following 22 years as Curator of Decorative Arts at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. He and wife Eugenie provided an initial financial contribution to establish the Fund.

The Fund’s first target acquisition is Liminal, a major glass work by Canberra artist Mel Douglas, exhibited in the 2018 Hindmarsh Glass Prize. A serenely poetic work, Liminal has two elements which can be arranged in various configurations.

To make a tax deductible contribution in Robert Bell’s memory towards the purchase of Liminal, please visit

Australian Heirlooms for the Future

Helge Larsen and Darani Lewers, Brooch ‘The Australian Dream’ Sterling silver, Gold, Acrylic 1974, 52mm National Gallery of Australia collection

When visiting museums and galleries today, we enjoy seeing the best of the works produced in the past. We learn about the styles of those times and what was considered valuable.

Despite the increasingly short-term focus of our digital lifestyle, it is critical that we invest in acquiring representative works from our time so they can be enjoyed by audiences today and into the future. Works crafted by hand give expression to an enduring sense of who we are and where we live.

Australia is blessed with a network of substantial state and national galleries. WoCCA seeks to support their work in acquiring Australian craft by promoting recent purchases. We are calling for information and images about purchases of Australian contemporary craft works from across the continent and its islands, specifically including works purchased since 2017.

These will be profiled on our website and shared through our social media. We hope in this way that we can instil pride in the skills and creativity of Australian craft artists and ensure their legacy is sustained into the future.

Information about acquisitions can be submitted here.

See recent acquisitions below:


WoCCA fires up Bhaktapur

In April 2015, an earthquake devastated Nepal, killing more than 9,000 people. WoCCA board member Jane Sawyer led a fundraising campaign to help rebuild potters workshops in the town of Bhaktapur. All up nearly $24,000 has since been raised. WoCCA members in Nepal toured Bhaktapur to look at the first round of constructions, guided by the ebullient Pushkar Shakya. The new kilns appeared to have had a transformational effect. They not only restored capacity but also replaced the dirty wood-fired kilns with much cleaner electric versions. This reduced the number of breakages and increased the production rate. Nepalese expressed their sincere thanks for your support. Australia has a very good name in Bhaktapur.

China International Import Expo 2018

The largest import expo to be held in China will take place in Shanghai 5-10 November 2018. The Australia China Commercial Association(ACCA) as Official Authoriser represent China International Import Expo Bureau & as service provider represent China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) are pleased to invite you to the 2018 China International Import Expo (CIIE)

About the CIIE
On the 5-10 November this year, China will host the first China International Import Expo (CIIE). The event will take place in Shanghai, the hub of trade in China today, and will feature exhibits in areas including Animation, Games, Sculpture, Painting, Music, Dance, Intangible Cultural Heritages, Intangible Property, etc.

Over 100 countries and regions are expected to participate in the event, which represents an important move by China to open up its market and promote international trade, whilst also serving as a platform for countries around the world to showcase their development achievements and discuss global economic and trade issues.
*Please note, there is a limit application allowed to attend this Expo*


The World Platform

Australia China Commercial Association (ACCA) would like to provide you with an opportunity to exhibit at China’s First International IMPORT Expo under a Cultural Classification. In corporation with the World Trade Organization, United Nations Industrial Development Organization and other relevant international agencies, The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government will be working as the main sponsors of the event.

The total area of the exhibition area exceeds 240,000 square meters and consists of two main units: The National Trade and Investment Comprehensive Exhibition and the Corporate Commercial Exhibition. China International Import Expo and the China Arts and Entertainment Group have appointed ACCA as solo cooperation representor for the Cultural Exhibition.

The aim of the Corporate Cultural Exhibition is to showcase and promote a rounded Australian cultural experience to global citizens as affiliated to the Cultural Zone of the Comprehensive Service Zone. This is a unique commercial export opportunity to showcase Australian Culture at the Shanghai Import Expo in China, make connections and develop further commercial and service opportunities.

ACCA would like to invite Australian Aboriginal Culture Associations, Organization, Government involved in the Cultural Sector of Australian Industry and Enterprise to exhibit at the first China International Import Expo. Also the opportunity approved by China National Publicity Department, through the world platform to display Australian Aboriginal Culture, maybe you can obtain further commercial chance on display.



Shorey Wong
General Secretary
Tel. 61 3 9020 5885
FAX:61 3 9790 5203
Australia China Commercial Association
39-41 Overseas Drive, Noble Park North.
Melbourne, Australia. VIC 3174

WCC-APR General Assembly in Kathmandu 29 August – 2 September 2018

Members are welcome to be part of a special event in Kathmandu Nepal.

WoCCA has a special relationship to Nepal. In response to the devastating earthquake of April 2015, funds were raised from members that enabled the reconstruction of potter’s workshops. This has made a big difference in the lives of the potters.

Now is a chance to get to know the Nepalese better with this inside view of their crafts. WCC-APR General Assemblies are rich events, involving a combination of ceremonies, demonstrations, forums, workshops, tours and plenty of local cuisine. There will be a focus on wood and fibre crafts.

For more information, please see the website – 


Could you run a workshop on vintage fabrics?

WoCCA has been approached by Phillips Shirts, a company based in Malvern, Melbourne, who have been making shirts for over 60 years. They have a large vault of fabrics that have been acquired during this period including silk and cotton. They would like to work with some textile artists who are able to conduct some public workshops at their warehouse using our fabrics.  These could include fabric dying, quilting, bookbinding and recycling/upcycling fabric. They can provide public liability and can pay artists depending on the proposal.
For further inquiries, please contact the Brand Manager, Amit Charan or 03 9670 3000.
Brand Manager, Phillips Shirts


WoCCA at Hermès

Frederic inking the silk screen for the Hermès scarf

Thanks to the very knowledgeable and thoughtful Miranda Samuels, WoCCA members had an insider view of the Hermès exhibition in Melbourne. Monsieur Kamel Hamadou gave a wonderful exposition of the silkscreen printing process behind the iconic Hermès scarves, while the very skill Frederic produced a geometrically designed scarf before our eyes, with more than a dozen screens, without a blemish.  We heard a long explanation of why this production is located in Lyon and the wonderful infrastructure of craft schools that ensure there is a new generation coming through to renew the tradition.

The discussion with Miranda was quite enlivening and touched on the ambivalence some Australians might feel about a luxury craft brand. We’re hoping that this Hermès tour will prompt us to consider our own heritage crafts and how we can give them a profile similar to those in France. Vive la république des métiers!