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The craft&design Selected Awards 2014 - Specialist Judges

craft&design Selected Awards

Shirley Frost
Shirley Frost
Specialist Media Category

Shirley Frost

Shirley Frost has always been interested in the diversity of contemporary craft and design. “My own training was in broad aspects of ceramics at Royal College and my mixed media practice has also included Fine Art and Jewellery. As a lecturer I became increasingly concerned at the lack of guidance for graduates entering the real world, so in 1980 I founded designGAP as a not for profit venture to assist emerging designer makers in the promotion of their work.
“Using my own commercial experience as a springboard I organised stands at major Trade Fairs (the first being under the umbrella of the Design Council), also at other events, specialist retail outlets, galleries and I later published illustrated Membership Directories and comprehensive websites. As a self-funded venture with curated membership, designGAP has become well known and well respected for its eclectic mix of established and new creatives who combine innovative ideas and technical skill with business sensibility. These are qualities I will be considering when judging the Specialist Media category of the craft&design Selected Awards.”
 DesignGAP’s 25th birthday was marked with Shirley receiving the Giftware Association Honorary Achievement Award and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Birmingham for her ground breaking work with mini-micro businesses: over the years she has helped around 3000 creatives. Now, as designGAP’s 35th anniversary approaches she is stepping back from her voluntary day to day administrative work while still remaining involved to mentor and give continuity to the fresh blood coming in to carry the concept forward and ensure its future.

Judge’s Statement

Gold: Val Hunt
Judge's statement: Val's use of the phrase 'Reincarnated Rubbish' is such an evocative description of her work - so much more accurate than just 'recycling'.
Over the years the ongoing development of Val's work has been both broad and specific and her innovative self-promotion and fortitude underpins the unique way she guides her work forward.
She has a clear passion for three dimensions and as artist-designer-craftmaker particularly understands the need to create an enjoyable yet viable business. The one-off pieces show Val's love of recognising the creative possibilities of specific elements of 'rubbish', both in the subjects and various levels of detail. Even with her repeat jewellery designs, the originality and quality of finish combine, providing dramatic yet comfortable wearability.
In all aspects Val's work has a special feeling of attitude and integrity which makes it so outstanding.

Silver: Simon Keeley
Judge's statement: Simon Keeley demonstrates a high level of sculptural skills in a variety of styles, materials and techniques. He has a very thorough website which logically promotes the many aspects of his talents. It is rare to find such a high level of creativity ranging from abstract to realistic and historic.
These several strong aspects of his work could be confusing, but instead they inter-relate and there is a clear and strong business rationale evident, and despite the difficulties in following several directions simultaneously, he stays totally in control.

Silver: Kate Rattray
Judge's statement: In pursuing her mosaic work, Kate is clearly expanding the techniques she uses in an inventive manner, investigating and confirming many possibilities, also exploring price structures to appeal to a wider public.
Expanding her ideas into fabric with the clear link of digital printing is a natural progression, but not always easy to achieve. While providing the wider price range on one hand, on the other Kate is searching out larger scale bespoke projects for interiors and gardens, all creating a well balanced future business which inter-relates her ideas and design skills.


Kimberli Werner
Judge's statement: Kimberli's cut paper work is attractively uncluttered, but perhaps rather self-limiting in itself. However, she seems to be at the beginning of some interesting new developments with her work, it will be interesting to see how these evolve.

Anya Keeley
Judge's statement: An eclectic collection of work carefully constructed. Anya's upcoming ideas for the inclusion of movement and automata sound fascinating and will take her work to a whole new level of interest.

Clare Lindley
Judge's statement: Very intricately cut paperwork, incredibly delicate in construction, but very strong in imagery. Clare's related range of greetings cards sounds interesting and the proposed development of lino prints onto paper and other materials sounds a fascinating way forward which, when resolved, could well create a very special range of work

2014 Judges »
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