Left to right: Claire McArdle, Dr Gene Sherman AM, Hon Martin Foley MP, Lousje Skala, Michaela Pegum, Anna Davern and Sai-Wai Foo.
    Ice Past, Ice Cut, Ice Remnant, by Dr Kirsten Haydon. Porcelain, silver, glass, wood, paper, steel, and thread.

RMIT crafts a clean sweep at Victorian Craft Awards


Students, staff and alumni artists from RMIT have taken all major honours at this year’s awards.

The Victorian Craft Awards is a biennial event that grants over $20,000 in cash prizes, facilitated by Craft Victoria and supported by the state government. 

Providing a snapshot of the vitality of contemporary Victorian craft, the Awards celebrate the work of emerging, mid-career and established craftspeople across the state. 

From a pool of 100 finalists, nearly 40 were RMIT staff, students or alumni. But it was in the major awards that RMIT artists were recognised for their craftsmanship, winning every accolade. 

Dr Kirsten Haydon, RMIT lecturer and studio coordinator in Ceramics, Gold and Silversmithing, was awarded the $10,000 Lynne Kosky Jewellery Award. 

“Lynne Kosky was the Victorian Arts Minister when I was a Fine Arts student at RMIT,” said Dr Haydon. 

“I am honoured to receive this significant award for jewellery and be recognised for the work that I make.” 

Dr Haydon, who is also an alumni of RMIT’s Master of Fine Art (Research) and PhD (Art) programs, presented a pair of contrasting necklaces in her work, Ice Past.

With one necklace made from silver to symbolise the sampling of water droplets and the other made from remnants of unique porcelain moulds, Ice Past reflects the fragmentation of Antarctica’s landscape.

However, according to Dr Haydon, it wasn’t surprising to see so many prizes awarded to RMIT students. 

“RMIT School of Art students and staff engage in deep research in around their practice and it is this research based exploration in making that generates new thinking and approaches to their work.” 


2017 Victorian Craft Award winners

  • Lynne Kosky Jewellery Award ($10,000)
    Kirsten Haydon, Master of Fine Art (Research) and PhD (Art) graduate and RMIT Studio Coordinator (Gold & Silversmithing & Ceramics)
  • Jewellery Encouragement Award ($2,000)
    Michaela Pegum, Master of Fine Art (Research) candidate
  • Ceramic Award ($5,000)
    Katherine Wheeler, Diploma of Visual Arts and Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) graduate
  • Excellence Award ($5,000)
    Claire McArdle, Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) (Honours) graduate and RMIT academic
  • Chair’s Award for Innovation ($1,000 prize)
    Anna Davern, Master of Fine Art (Research) graduate
  • Chair’s Award for Innovation ($700 prize) 
    Sai-Wai Foo, Bachelor of Arts (Fashion)* graduate 

*Now known as Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours)


View the finalist’s entries on the Craft Victoria website