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19 July 2001

Guild guru to judge opal awards

Chris Sherwin, president of the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia, has joined the judging panel of Lightning Ridge’s international opal jewellery design awards competition, to be held at the end of this month.

Mr Sherwin has been a council member of the Gold and Silversmiths Guild since 1993. In 2001, he was appointed coordinator of the jewellery department of Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE. His own work has featured in group and solo exhibitions in both Australia and Germany, and he has curated five exhibitions for the Gold and Silversmiths Guild.

"Everyone we speak to tells us how fantastic it is to have Chris judging for us, and how lucky we are that he said ‘yes," said Opal Jewellery Design Awards Association (OJDAA) executive member Mandy Healey last week.

"We invited Chris just a few days ago, when Barbara Gasch - who was part of our judging panel last year - was unexpectedly called overseas.

"The Gold and Silversmiths Guild is an elite group of artisans. The fact that someone of Chris’s stature was willing to rearrange his commitments for us says a lot for the reputation these awards are developing," said Mandy.

Chris Sherwin will join Mandy Healey and Nic Cerrone on the judging panel for opal jewellery, jewellery sketches and objet d’art, while Denes Berta of Berta Opals will judge the opal carving categories.

OJDAA coordinator Jenni Brammall said last week that more than 100 entries are expected in the opal jewellery design competition, with industry magazines clamouring for post-event coverage of the awards and exhibition.

"It’s going to be one of the most exciting exhibitions of opal jewellery every seen," Jenni said.

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