Made from the heart

20 November 2018

In 2018, the Vice-Chancellor's Annual Award recipients will take home a piece of art, designed by the Glass Workshop at the ANU School of Art and Design. Each trophy has been individually cut and handcrafted by an ANU student. 

This year, nine individual trophies have been created, eight of them by using a colour of glass called 'coral' (a slight gold, orange colour). The ninth trophy is made for the recipient of the Peter Baume award.

Each of the Vice-Chancellor trophies has been created from the same piece of glass using a plaster cast. The trophy shape is cut-out using foam, before the plaster cast is created by pouring refractory mould over the foam shape. 

When the mould dries, molten glass is poured into the mould at 860 degrees centigrade to create the overall shape of the awards. To prevent the glass cracking, the trophies were gradually cooled down over a period of three to four days.

"Each one is slightly different, with slightly different dimensions, but the internals with what has happened with the glass is unique," Head of the ANU Glass Workshop, Richard Whiteley says.

All up, each award took six hours to buff and polish before the names and details of each award were sandblasted onto the back.

"For us, it's great that the ANU people who are receiving the awards are getting a trophy made by ANU, that doesn't happen anywhere else," Whiteley says.

The 2018 Vice-Chancellor's Annual Award trophies were made by a handful of ANU art students including Cathy Newton (B Visual Arts hons '16), who is regularly commissioned by the ANU School of Art and Design to work on special glass-related projects.