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Pat crafts her passion for lifelong learning into an award-winning piece of jewellery

Pat crafts her passion for lifelong learning into an award-winning piece of jewellery

Published:09 August 2017

Pat Handley won the CQU Creates 2017 Student Award for her sterling silver and jasper brooch, entitled ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning’

When Pat Handley enrolled in CQUniversity’s jewellery-making course in 2014 to pursue a passion for lifelong learning, she never imagined such a creative pursuit would earn her an award three years later.

Mrs Handley won the CQU Creates 2017 Student Award for her sterling silver and jasper brooch, entitled ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning’ - the first time she has ever won an award for her jewellery-making.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed by the win, really,” she said.

“This is the third time I’ve entered CQU Creates and I enter every year because I just want people to know that there is a jewellery-making stream to the Visual Arts course.”

She said the title for the piece came to her after she created it, as she didn’t have any particular concept for the title when she set out to make it.

“It was part of an assignment and as it looked a bit like a rising sun with clouds, it brought to mind Laurence Binyon’s poem, For the Fallen and hence the title.”

Pat, a former schoolteacher at The Cathedral College in Rockhampton with no real artistic background, first got into jewellery-making in 2011 after doing a short hobby class in stonecutting with her husband at the local lapidary club.

“My husband was much better at stonecutting than me so he cuts the stones for me and I use them in my pieces,” she said.

“The instructor at the lapidary club was doing a jewellery-making course at CQUni at the time so I decided to enrol.

“Our teacher, Lisa Gaze is very good. She has taught me many new techniques and this has helped me a great deal with my designs.

“I think it’s very important to always be learning new skills. When I first started the course my hand-eye coordination wasn’t the best, but now I can see that it has improved.

“The company is good – there are about seven or eight of us – and I just like to be able to create something different.”

Although she doesn’t think she has quite enough pieces for a solo exhibition yet, she likes the idea that she could hold a joint exhibition with her fellow students.

“At the moment I make pieces for friends and family and I’ll keep going with it for as long as I can,” she said.

Members of the public are encouraged to view the Exhibition when it visits CQUni Mackay City campus (from 9 am to 4 pm on Friday 11 August and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday 12 August) and CQUni Gladstone Marina campus (from 9 am to 4 pm on Friday 1 September and from 9 am to 1 pm on Sunday 3 September). Entry is free.