CANBERRA furniture and product designer Tom Skeehan is the recipient of a national craftsmanship grant worth $25,000, it has been announced today (December 2).
Skeehan, who received the grant titled, “Patrón 60 Hands – Pay It Forward” out of hundred of applications, is a well-known Canberra arts identity and the designer behind his own design studio –”Skeehan”.
Trained as a furniture maker, he went on to study industrial design, and it was this cross section of skills that made his designs so unique, said judge, design and architecture connoisseur, and comedian Tim Ross.
Skeehan intends to put the $25,000 grant towards further project development and support manufacturers and other craft practitioners in his industry. With his team, he is currently exploring ways to keep hand-blown glass manufacturing facilities and craft processes alive and viable in Australia.
“It’s been wonderful to engage with the work and ethos of all the applicants, and I think it is great that Tom wants to share the grant in an area beyond his expertise,” Ross said.
The idea of sponsor Patrón Tequila, still produced in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, was to “pay it forward” to grassroots and community craftspeople in the Australian creative community and help them grow their craft.
Runners up for the grant were Kenny Son from NSW, an object maker and designer specialising in metal craft, and Ben Devlin, also from NSW, the chef and owner of Pottsville restaurant, Pipit.