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An MDF Table and an Ice-cream Hangi?!

MEDIA RELEASE: Monday 12 June, 2006


An MDF Table and an Ice-cream Hangi?!

The Friends of The Dowse are delighted to announce the winner and runners-up of the 2006 FRIENDS OF THE DOWSE TERTIARY STUDENT CRAFT/DESIGN AWARD.

This annual award is offered to encourage creativity in contemporary New Zealand craft and design. Tertiary Students from around the country were invited to submit entries based on a work/project completed in the 2005 academic year. The judges were looking for entries that exhibited innovative and imaginative ideas in craft or design and had a high standard of presentation. The 2006 award winner receives $1500, and the three merit runners-up awards, $500 each.


Daniel Emery's winning entry is a sophisticated MDF table created through an internal lattice structure only achievable by laser cutting. The construction makes efficient use of the fibreboard by creating hollows, thus not relying on solid material. Daniel's project was chosen as the winning entry by the judging panel, as it demonstrated that if digital technologies (in this case laser cutting) are explored with the same rigour as craft methodology, then the expressive potentials of these digital technologies are limitless.

His project was developed while studying in his 4th and final year at the Victoria University School of Design. Currently Daniel is working for Design Mobel in Tauranga as part of a Government funded internship programme.


Alice Benson from UNITEC's Jewellery Programme, received a Merit Award for her entry entitled 'Capture accidents'. This beautiful series of rings is made from craft materials and wax, and then cast in the lost wax technique in steel wire and silver.

The rings were chosen because they demonstrated not only a high level of craft, but conceptually they question notions of treasures for the living vs. wrapping the body after death; adornment vs. decay; beauty vs. discomfort; and precious vs. non-precious objects.


Nadine Smith from Whitireia Community Polytechnic also received a Merit Award for her very quirky object series 'A deluge of fragments'. Smith says of her work, 'The aim was to bring the deluge of fragments from my past together. I searched for a framework to hang my thoughts on, eventually settling on the form of a square box. Beyond the Freudian feminine symbolism, boxes represent mystery and the hazardous drama of surprise. Other elements bring their own individual flavours, narratives and a sense of discovery to the viewer. The works sit waiting to be opened like an old photograph album, ready to lead the viewer up their own garden path.' The judges were impressed by the high quality of finish in these miniature objects as well as the elements of humour and the unexpected.


Andy Kingston received a Merit Award for his work entitled 'Ice-cream hangi', a humorous and light-hearted take on the taboos associated with the use of cultural material.

Kingston, from Northland Polytechnic, staged his exhibition event at his Kerikeri campus, where the ceramic ice-creams were 'cooked' in a hangi then given away. Each ice-cream was made using the potter's wheel and had the 2 standard bisque/glaze firings prior to the 'hangi' where everyone attending received a hot ice-cream and optional cordial.


The judges: Claire Regnault, Programmes Developer at The Dowse, Phyllis Mossman, Gus Watt and Bruce Sedcole of The Friends of The Dowse, commented on the wide variety seen in the briefs that the students engaged with. 'The superbly imaginative and practical responses, combined with the generally very high standard of presentation made the judging particularly enjoyable this year. Also, we were pleased to see such a high number of entries from tertiary institutions as far north as Northland Polytechnic and as far south as the University of Otago. Our congratulations go to all the entrants and especially the 4 winners,' says Phyllis Mossman, vice-president of The Friends of The Dowse.

For more information about The Friends of The Dowse visit:

The Dowse is currently closed for a major building redevelopment and will re-open in February 2007. For more information visit:


Create the future!

The Dowse is an innovative exhibition & events venue and touring agency. We are currently seeking proposals from groups and individuals, who share our vision to create some breakthrough creative projects! >> IF YOU ARE an artist or maker, a designer or producer, a creative individual or part of a collective we want to hear from you... OR - if you work for a government agency, business, community group, tertiary institution, science and research centres, funding agency or an organisation committed to creativity and innovative solutions contact us now OR download the pdf registration of interest form from

THE DOWSE IN NOW CLOSED FOR A MAJOR BUILDING REDEVELOPMENT. The stunning Athfield Architects design will include 60% more exhibition space, multipurpose indoor & outdoor facilities, a spectacular cafe and destination store. While we are closed, Dowse staff will still be located at The Dowse, 45 Laings Rd, Lower Hutt and can be contacted on the same ph & email extensions. For more information and updates please check

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