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Inari Kiuru, winner of the jewellery design category in the 2011 Australasian Student Design Awards
Inari Kiuru, winner of the jewellery design category in the 2011 Australasian Student Design Awards
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Design Institute awards Melbourne student for sustainable jewellery

Melburnian Inari Kiuru edged out 18 competitors from all over Australia to bag top prize in the jewellery design category of the 2011 Australasian Student Design Awards (ASDA).
Organised by the Design Institute of Australia, the annual ASDA aims to acknowledge high-achieving undergraduate design students, apprentices and graduates.

Each year, tertiary institutions across Australia and New Zealand are invited to nominate four students’ designs for each category. The jewellery design category in particular looks for pieces that exhibit ergonomic, functional and aesthetic aspects with an emphasis on sustainable design practices.

For this year’s jewellery design category, only tertiary institutions from Australia submitted nominations.

Kiuru, who is enrolled at the Royal Institute Melbourne of Technology, won a $1,000 Peter W Beck-sponsored cash prize for her pieces ‘Winter Thoughts’.

Kiuru created a series of jewellery using non-toxic, low-cost, mostly recyclable materials that are traditionally reserved for industrial use.

“The series is titled ‘Winter Thoughts’ as the colours, clean lines and dark tones emerging reminded me of the bare landscape in my native Finland during the cold months,” Kiuru said. Although her homeland is Finland, Kiuru has lived in Australia for the past 17 years.

She used materials such as copper, stainless steel, industrial plumbing mesh, liquid enamel and brass to create rings, brooches and neckpieces.

One of Kiuru's winning pieces - a neckpiece made from brass and stainless steel safety pins, coated with liquid enamel and torch hand fired
One of Kiuru's winning pieces - a neckpiece made from brass and stainless steel safety pins, coated with liquid enamel and torch hand fired

The judging panel for the jewellery design category said Kiuru’s ‘Winter Thoughts’ illustrated “a beautiful juxtaposition of a raw, natural environment with a refined, aesthetic view.”

Danyka Van Buuren who hails from the Australian National University in Canberra was runner-up in the jewellery design category with ‘Picnic Gems’, a range of wearable pieces that were fabricated using reclaimed materials.

She won a $500 Peter W Beck voucher for precious metals.

Van Buuren used kitchen plastics such as melamine, bakelite, acrylic and recycled sterling silver to create the pieces.

“‘Picnic Gems’ serve to challenge conventional notions of value in jewellery, deriving their preciousness not simply from monetary worth, but from their history, the hand of the maker and their shifted context,” Van Buuren said.

Hana Bartovicova from the Central Institute of Technology in Western Australia won third prize for her piece ‘The Phoenix.’

Bartovicova used the red silk chords of a gift wrapper to create her necklace alongside sterling silver pieces which can be rearranged many times over to create a different piece each time.

The Design Institute of Australia awarded Bartovicova, alongside the two other winners, one year sponsored graduate memberships to the institute.

Danyka Van Buuren, runner up in the jewellery design category
Danyka Van Buuren, runner up in the jewellery design category

Amy Cochrane from the Queensland College of Art received a Commendation for her piece ‘Bone Dry.’ Inspired by the rural Western Queensland environment that she grew up in, Cochrane used rusty oil tins and decaying sheep bones to create jewellery that symbolised Queensland’s reoccurring droughts.

The jewellery design judging panel – which comprised Shaylee Designs principal Shaylee McKenzie, Mimco creative and commercial director Cathryn Wills, and Pieces of Eight director Melanie Katsalidis – said they were impressed by the calibre of work submitted for this year’s awards.  

“There was a high level of entrants demonstrating sensitivity to the key aspects of the judging criteria. In particular, the exploration of sustainability and materials created an exciting result,” the panel said.

More reading:

Call for young jewellers to unite

JAA award winner snags global prize

Young apprentices shine at Queensland awards










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