The Robert Foster National Metal Prize celebrates excellence in the field of contemporary Australian metal working. Supported by the Tall Foundation, F!nk + Co Director Gretel Harrison, and Craft + Design Canberra, the Prize honours the legacy of Robert Foster and the significant contribution he made in changing the nature of Australian design. A willing collaborator, Foster worked generously with other artists. As art critic Sasha Grishin noted, it was ‘intrinsic to his nature…to make it happen, for himself, for his friends and collaborators and for Australian design’ .

The goal of the Robert Foster National Metal Prize is to not only recognise outstanding contemporary metal work, but to also offer financial recognition for the winning artists. Long recognised for working without financial reward, artists often sacrifice security for creative goals. Offering a cash prize to the winner of the Robert Foster Metal Prize provides the successful artists with an opportunity change their circumstances. The Prize is also committed to paying all artists selected for the exhibition a recognition fee.

Imagination, high quality making skills, good design and innovation can change how we see and interact with the world around us. The Robert Foster Metal Prize aims to encourage and reward excellence in these fields.


The Robert Foster National Metal Prize is open to Australian-based metal working artists who create hollow-ware, flatware, lighting, small scale sculpture and objects. Please note the prize is not open to jewellery or 3D printed objects.

Fifteen artists including a minimum of three emerging artists will be selected by a panel of judges:

  • Brian Parkes, Chief Executive Officer, Jam Factory
  • Eoin McEoin, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at National Gallery of Victoria
  • Rohan Nicol, Associate Head of School, Creative Arts and Media, University of Tasmania
  • Gretel Harrison, Director F!NK + co

The finalists work will be featured in an exhibition at Craft + Design Canberra and showcased in the Craft + Design Canberra Festival.

The two winning artists will be announced at the exhibition opening and will receive the following prizes:

• Winner (Established) $10,000

• Winner (Emerging) $3,000

 The remaining finalists will receive $250 each for participating in the exhibition.


  • Submissions open | Wednesday 5 June 2024
  • Submissions close | Sunday 7 July
  • Applicants advised of outcome | 25 - 31 July 2024
  • Works to be delivered to Craft + Design Canberra Centre | Thursday 24 October
  • Opening of exhibition and announcement of winners | 5pm Thursday 31 October
  • Robert Foster Metal Prize Exhibition | 31 October – 14 December 2024

About the Tall Foundation
The Tall Foundation supports charitable activities to allow organisations to continue their good works. The Foundation is a generous supporter of arts organisations and activities in the Canberra region, and personally knew and had worked with Robert Foster.

About F!NK+ Co.
F!NK + Co. was established by Robert Foster in 1993 in Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia, with the aim of creating a design and manufacturing business that would support and generate opportunities for Australian designer-makers. Joined by Gretel Harrison in 1995, together they built F!NK + Co. into the business it is today – a much loved and respected Australian design company with an international reputation for producing world-class tableware, hollowware, jewellery lighting.

Foster was a long-term, respected and active member of Craft ACT. He became an Accredited Professional Member in 1993.  Foster was killed in a car accident in July 2016. Today, F!NK + Co. is spearheaded by Gretel Harrison, who is not only the face of the company but who also leads a dynamic team of practitioners. The company has continued to go from strength to strength as Gretel and the F!NK staff build on the legacy of Robert Foster.


Tim Bean Photography + 5 Foot Photography