Access Granted

I am very honored and fortunate to be supported by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) Culture and the Arts WA Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups - 2023 to 2024 funding program. 

Funding the Star Setter project was very daunting, the cost of the course alone is rather large, but when you factor in all the other costs involved it really does get very very expensive! So here is an all access pass to Grant applications for your next arts project! 

There are many organisations that provide Grants to artists, small business, innovation to even switching to renewable energy. You just have to find the right grant to suit your needs. National, Sate and Local Governments have grants for artists with various outcomes and mostly to satisfy their level. i.e. Local Government would be seeking to fund opportunities and initiatives which directly benefit their local community. 

For this project I applied for two grants, but was only successful on one.


The first funding body was The Churchill Fellowship, which I was made known to me by a former student who had been a fellow a few years prior. It essentially provides you with up to 4 to 8 weeks of travel to anywhere around the world to carry out a significant project that will benefit skills and knowledge in Australia. 

Churchill Fellowship run information sessions prior to the submission of applications and happens every year around May

Applied for in 2022 the star setter project had me traveling to USA, UK, Belgium and Taiwan to visit various stone setting schools around the world as a survey and return back with tips and tricks from all over.

Perhaps the project was too ambitious to carry out in 8 weeks and it was not clear if attending courses in the countries met the criteria. Alas I was not successful and unfortunately no individual feedback was available due to the number of applications they receive.


After the rejection I sat on the project for a while and enrolled myself into Stand Out Stone Setting Academy and ultimately after 12 months I dawned on me to change the project parameters to something a little more substantial and be it life changing.

There are a number of grants provided by DLGSC through their arts funding, It had been a while since I applied for a grant and the submission processes had changed, everything is now online! 

Arts officers are still available via phone to answer any questions and you can also ask to have your grant reviewed prior to submission (there is a specific cut off date for this) make sure you have most your grant filled in prior to this so they are able to give you constructive feedback. 

There are limits for answers to question and sections. Make sure you you adhere to them. Be sure to check if it is word count or character count as this makes a huge difference. 

There are also project limits and timelines, you can't for instance have started your project and then ask for funding and sometimes a project just does not fit the funding or grant parameters. 

Support Letters
Often you are asked to provide support letters from notable people from industry, I asked my local Jewellers and Metalsmith Group of Australia to write a support letter in how it will benefit the local arts community. I also a fellow Jeweller and Stone Setter Steven Anderson to outline the importance of my project. Make sure you ask early, because they are doing you a big favour and time is always running away from us.  

Budget & Exclusions
Ensure your budget checks out for the amount requested and it falls within the funding limits. Keep screen shots or all quotes you receive to compile for written support material. 

Grants don't cover all elements of a project and in the case of DLGSC will only fund up to 80% of the project. i.e. you can not ask for the grant to fund materials to make pieces... but you can seek funding for other elements like professional photography of your final pieces or printing fees for invitations for your exhibition etc.   

A grant is essentially free money, and it is a privilege to be a recipient of a grant. I always like to ensure I am giving value back to the local arts scene. Rounding out a project is much more wholesome than if I had just submitted to go to Antwerp for 3 months and that's the end of story.

To add value and weight to the project, out the other end, I've proposed to enter 3 months of development of new works and then exhibit during the JMGA National Conference in October hosted by the WA chapter in home town Perth, where I look to display new works and perhaps an installation of exercises completed during my time studying coupled with and artist talk, but then also future possibilities of me teaching classes and or integrating knew found knowledge and skills into my Lecturing role at North Metropolitan TAFE as a Jewellery Lecturer. 

Support Material
In addition to written support material such as my CV, Quotes, Support Letters and Confirmation from Gallery and Diamond Setting School. I also had to supply up to 10 images of previous work. These images should should distinctive design and what makes your practice unique and be of the highest quality. Be organised and label each support material systematically, it shows your ability to plan and carry out a project before assessors get into the nitty gritty of your project. 

Below are just a few examples of support material images used with their accompanying descriptions

Maybe some of this information might give you an insight and also encourage you to apply for your own grant! Just think of a project you are passionate about and think you were going to do regardless of a grant and the extra funding is just the cherry on top! 

 Diamond Sky Runway Couture - Hand-cut aluminium plate beyond garment

Fault lines Ring - Hand carved lost wax on-cast Nanocrystals in oxidised sterling silver

The Pearl Fishers Ring - Designed in CAD 18k yellow gold tension set south sea pearl set with melee diamonds along the band

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