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Museum and art gallery guru Janet Barnes unveiled Sheffield Hallam University's creative showcase at the state-of-the-art Furnival Building.

The Chief Executive of the York Museums Trust joined staff, students and VIP guests on Wednesday to celebrate the work of Sheffield Hallam's latest 'Creative Sparks' at their degree show.

Janet commented on the distinguished history of art in Sheffield and the city's historic traditions of silversmithing, cutlery, precious metalwork and steel production, and commended Sheffield Hallam saying that the exhibition's professionalism "shouts out".

Janet said: "It is a diverse exhibition with different materials and areas of activity and an awareness of the importance of visual sensibility. In terms of support and personal development the students will take this to use for the rest of their lives.

"I am pleased that the people of Sheffield can come and see the fantastic work that has been happening." 

Guests were welcomed by Rotherham trio The Vernon Sisters, Rebecca, Sophia and Tasmin Penn-Critten; their 'swing thing' giving the sound of a bygone era to a modern setting.

The exhibition also saw special awards presented to metalwork and jewellery students Jennifer Walther, Andrew Dunham and Roslyn Millar.

23 year-old Jennifer from Kent received the Sheffield Assay Office Graduation Prize for Excellence in Design - presented to her with a 10 year Sheffield Assay Office registration and a cheque for £1,000 by Sheffield Assay Master, and Honorary Doctor of Sheffield Hallam, Ashley Carson.

Jennifer was given the award for her striking fortune telling rings, which allow two people to tell each others' fortunes and encourage physical interaction between the wearer and the ring.


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Assay Master Ashley Carson said: "One of the things that stood out about Jennifer's work was that it is playful, interactive and there is a very high level of skill involved in making the pieces. A lot of engineering was needed to make the rings work and I was really impressed by that side of the skill.

"The Assay office is really pleased to be involved with the metalwork and jewellery course at Sheffield Hallam. We really want to support people who will hopefully go into the industry, and this is an excellent university to put that support in place."

Prizes of a free 10 year Sheffield Assay Office registration each were awarded to shortlisted final year metalwork and jewellery students 43 year-old Andrew Dunham from Bolsover and 22 year-old Roslyn Millar.

The Creative Spark exhibition, showcasing the work of final year students in various creative disciplines, is open to the public from 18 - 23 June. For visitor information please visit:

For press information contact: Joe Field on 0114 225 2074 or email