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This was the theme for the first annual Aussiepolyclayers Competition and what a competition it turned out to be. I was honoured to be asked to be a judge of this competition and when I happily accepted the position, I had no idea that the standard of entries was going to be so high. There were 21 entries, each unique in it’s own right.  The creator of each piece was anonymous to the judges and was judged using a framework and scoresheet created by Christine Dumont, founder of Voila.  I am so proud to be a member of the Australian polymer clay community and I would like to share with you some of the amazing works that came out of this competition.

First Place went to Sabine Spiesser with her ‘Timeless Opulence’ piece.  In her Artist Statement, Sabine says, “I wanted to build the necklace one link at a time resulting in a chain of related but individual pieces connected by a common theme. I also wanted to create something much larger and more substantial. It had to be wearable, but my the main aim was for it to be a decorative and priceless ornament”.  She has certainly succeeded.

Second Place went to self-taught clay artist Melanie Allan with ‘Flying High’. Says Melanie of her piece, “After giving some thought to the theme of ‘Dare to Dream’, the image that really stuck in my mind was that of an eagle juxtaposed with a budgerigar. To me, the eagle truly epitomizes the idea of freedom- soaring through the air at great heights, the one free spirit of the animal kingdom. At the other end of the spectrum however is the humble budgie, also another native Australian bird, but one that is often sentenced to a life of watching the wild birds through the wire bars of its cage. The budgie ‘dares to dream’- to dream of freedom from its cage. It dreams of soaring high as the mighty eagle, free from all confines, just as the creative human spirit dares to dream of flying high.

Fiona Shannon was the Third Place winner with her ‘Magical Worlds of Time Gone By’ sculptural piece. For Shannon, the Dare to Dream theme took her to, “ol’ time worlds of enchantment , where dragons and magic abound , where anything is possible and probable!!”.

There were also two Encouragement Awards given out in this competition. These went to Russell Hanson for his ‘Wishful Thinking’ sculptural piece and to Shannon Best for her ‘Reach for the Stars’ Necklace.

This was an fantastic competition that has resulted in some amazing polymer clay work. To view all the entries, you can CLICK HERE. If you want to be a part of this next year, make sure you join the Aussiepolyclayers forum for all the details plus lots of fun and inspiration in the meantime.

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