Area Bursary

Grant giving is a major part of NADFAS’ activities and the North East Area is no exception.

Established in 2003, the bursaries have been generously provided, initially by the North East Area of NADFAS and, since 2013, by the two local Societies, Sheffield DFAS and Hallamshire DFAS, for the second year students studying on the Metalwork & Jewellery course at Sheffield Hallam University. 

The bursary was created to enable promising students to design and make a piece of silver that would become part of Museums Sheffield’s Designated Metalwork Collection. Using a project brief called ‘Designing for Clients’, each student makes a presentation on the piece they wish to make. They are asked to design a suitable object for use by a real person, dead or alive. 

The ‘judges’ include their course tutor, internationally renowned designer-silversmith, Chris Knight, and a representative from Museums Sheffield. 

The students are expected to illustrate how their object filled the brief, their sources of inspiration and to discuss how they would make their proposed design. At this point in the course, most students have yet to make anything in silver . 

The image shows 'Clay Bowl and Silver Spoon" bursary piece designed by Hannah Chapman. It was displayed from 25th November 2013, for three months in the Millennium Galleries, Sheffield.


Rob Andrew winner of the 2015 Silver Bursary

Rob Anderson, Winner of the 2015 Silver Bursary                                      See          

Small whiskey jug for Joe Cocker                                                                                    

Sterling silver and heavily oxidised mild steel


My ‘client’ was Sheffield born soul shouter, Joe Cocker. Despite a very humble beginning and struggling to find bands to play with, Joe managed to establish himself as a world renowned music artist.

Joe was renowned for his 'idiosyncratic movements' with his arms and hands, and his 'tree blowing in the wind' torso. He hated it for the most part, until John Belushi did a perfect imitation of him for a Saturday Night Live show. When Joe saw it, he became hysterical. He put it down to frustration never having played piano or guitar, and that it was 'just a way of trying to get the feeling out'.

Joe was a humble man, and I took inspiration from Japanese ceramics for the form. They are perfectly proportioned and beautiful, yet ooze humility. I also decided that I'd like to rough up my vessel, as if Joe himself had shaped it with those crazy drumming fingers. He was even noted for playing left handed ‘air bass guitar’, so I incorporated some heavier marks, as if his wedding ring had scarred the vessel somewhat, since his wife Pamela was a huge part of his life and his attempts to stay clean.

The vessel has a domed base so that it rocks around the same way that Joe did during his live performances. It is made from mild steel as a nod to Sheffield. It also acts as a heat sink, keeping the whiskey cool for longer, which I’m sure Joe would have appreciated.

The vessel sits in the palm comfortably, and is made to be touched, dropped and scarred. Joe lived a full life, and I want this vessel to be far less precious than most other silverware, so that it has some stories to tell. Initially it was going to be a cup, but Joe’s lifelong generosity needed incorporating somehow, so it became a vessel for sharing.


Alexandra Defina was the winner of the 2014 Silver Bursary.

Hallamshire DFAS and Sheffield DFAS are pleased to announce the name and winning silverware proposal for the 2014 Joint HDFAS & SDFAS Silverware Bursary. Alexandra Defina, 2nd year undergraduate Metalwork & Jewellery, 

Sheffield Hallam University has created a design and feasiblity proposal for her Pouring vessel for Aimee Mullins. After creating the concept design, her proposal includes details of the chosen techniques following trials with cheaper materials and a full materials costing. 

We look forward to seeing the completed Bursary Commission in September and to its display in the Millennium Galleries where it will be added to their permanent collection. 

“My pouring vessel is a playful conversation starter that is intended to be played with, engage the user and open up their imagination” Alexandra Defina describes her Bursary winning proposal for creative design, technical feasibility testing and costing for a silver pouring vessel." 

“The design reflects on Aimee Mullins’ inspiring character as a campaigner trying to change the views that people have of the physically disabled.”

For details: Tel: 0114 2782642