Born in Geelong, Australia in 1931, Stuart Devlin AO completed art school at the Gordon Institute of Technology, Geelong specialising in Goldsmithing and Silversmithing at age 17. In a career that began as a teenager in Geelong, Devlin has carved out an illustrious career spanning more than 70 years.
Apart from designing Australia’s decimal coins that were released into circulation in February 1966, Devlin has designed coins for 30 other countries, including the United Kingdom and Singapore. He says: ‘I like the fact that millions of people around the world carry my work in their pockets.’ However, coins represent only one part of Devlin’s extraordinary career.
From the ubiquitous Wiltshire Staysharp carving knife to ground-breaking designs for coffee services, furniture, tableware and candelabrum that lit up dining rooms around the world, Devlin produced exquisite pieces in silver with filigreed gold ornamentation. His aim was to restore ‘richness and romance’ to peoples’ lives. Many honours have come his way, notably his appointment as Goldsmith and Jeweller to the Queen in 1982. After designing many of the awards within the Australian honours system, he was himself appointed an AO in 1988.
Among other achievements, he designed the medals and coins for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Devlin has lived and worked in the United Kingdom since the 1960s, setting up his business after travelling there to oversee production of the new Australian decimal coins at the Royal Mint.
See many of Devlin's achievements below:
- Two years at the bench as an ecclesiastical brass worker at T. Gaunt & Co
- Teacher of art and design with the Education Department of Victoria
- 1958 Scholar at the Royal College of Art, London Schools of Silversmithing and Jewellery, and Industrial Design (Engineering)
- 1960 to 1962 Awarded Harkness Fellowship Columbia University, New York
- First year developing ideas on the Nature of Creativity
- Second year on Sculpture, culminating in a one-man show at the Thibault Gallery, New York
- Returned to Australia Appointed Inspector of Art Schools
- 1963 Designed Australian decimal currency Minted in 1966
- Subsequently designed coins for 30 countries
- 1964 Returned to London. Set up as a designer goldsmith
- Built up a business employing 60 craftsmen
- Consultant to governments and large corporations on product and marketing strategies including ‘Australian Nugget’ and ‘Champagne Diamonds’
- 1982 Appointed Goldsmith and Jeweller to the Queen
- 1982 Awarded C.M.G. for ‘Services to Design’
- 1988 Awarded Officer of the Order of Australia
- 1996 Became the first creative goldsmith to be Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths Company since its first royal charter in 1327
- 2000 Awarded Honorary Doctorate RMIT University, for his work in
- Design and Education
- 2009 Awarded RMIT Alumnus of the year
- 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council
- 2009 Designed and carved the set of four UK £1 coins
- 2011 Appointed Postgraduate Director of The Goldsmiths’ Institute,
- Goldsmith’s Centre, London
- 2011 Awarded ‘Australian of the Year in the UK’
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