Artist Challenges

Story Telling Challenge
Spring 2022

People have told stories for thousands of years. Cave dwellers 30,000 years ago painted scenes on their walls depicting everyday life and the animals they shared their world with. They had no language or writing so they used images to tell these stories.

The ancient Greeks used oral story telling for thousands of years. They are the first known civilisation to develop writing and tell stories this way. Often written as poems, the stories grew into epics which were passed along in the oral tradition. The first printed story was the epic poem of Gilgamesh written in 700BC by a Sumerian king.

When the printing press was invented in 1436, it helped to disseminate knowledge and stories far and wide. Greek myths and legends, the Bible and literary greats like Shakespeare all contributed to early story telling. Fairy tales originated in France and were often passed down through generations in the oral tradition. They were written down in the 17th century and designed to teach children basic life lessons.

Telling stories has been used throughout human history to teach, to persuade, to inform, to control, to entertain and to frighten. What will your story be?

The challenge opens on March 1st!

The categories are:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Each category will have a winner and Certificate of Merit will also be awarded. There will also be a People’s Choice Award.

All winners get a digital certificate to use on their website and social media channels.

Interested in who won the previous challenges?

Check out the Winner’s Gallery


To be confirmed


To be confirmed

Artist Information

Please read the rules below carefully before creating your piece; we’ve also provided guidelines to help you select your category and prepare your entry.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Design innovation and originality
  • Successful incorporation of materials
  • Quality of workmanship


There is no cost to enter the 2022 Story Telling Challenge, you simply need to be a current member of AMCAW. All submissions will be checked against our member database before entry into the Challenge. Click here for more information about membership.

Key Dates

March 1, 2022 – Submission for entries opens
April 4, 2022 – Submission closes for all entries
April 25, 2022 – Winners of the skill level categories announced
April 26, 2022 – General public voting opens for the People’s Choice award
May 31, 2022 – Voting closes for the People’s Choice award
June 6, 2022 – Winner of the People’s Choice award announced

Photography Guide

Below are a range of images to help show what we will accept and what we will not. All of these photos were shot using a mobile phone camera and natural daylight only.

If you are struggling with photography, check out our blog posts Top 5 tools for taking great photos on a budget and Learn How To Edit Your Photos like a Pro

See Submission Guidelines below for more detail.

Piece shown clearly on white

Piece shown clearly on black

Piece shown clearly on background with slight shadow

Piece shown clearly with whole chain

Props detract from the piece

Too dark – piece can not be seen clearly

Out of focus – piece is blurry

Background too prominent

Submission Guidelines

How to Submit your Entry 

  • Submit one photograph of your piece following the rules for submitting photographs. 
  • Fill in the form that accompanies your photograph. 
  • Accept the terms and the privacy requirements. 

Rules on Submitting Photographs 

The only thing the jury will see when they are making their deliberations is the photograph of your submission. It is vitally important that your photograph represents your work in the very best way possible. Here are the rules for submitting your photographs: 

  • Use a high-quality photograph with a plain, black, graduated or white, smooth, uncluttered background and no additional props (plants, rocks, ring stands, busts etc.)
  • Do not show jewelry on a model or hold the piece in your hand
  • Jewelry must be complete and ready to wear. ie. pendant shown on a chain
  • Details of the piece should be clearly visible in the image
  • The photograph must be in focus and well lit
  • Images should be 300-dpi, JPEG format and no larger than 4MB
  • Only two photographs of the same piece may be entered per person
  • The second photograph should show detail not seen in the first photograph
  • Do not list your name, company name or logo or any other information that may identify you in your photograph

Information about your submission 

Each submission must include the following information: 

  • The category. 
  • The name of the piece. 
  • What the piece is – necklace, earrings, hair clip, etc. 
  • The dimensions of the piece. 
  • Type of metal clay used – fine silver, sterling silver, 960/950, bronze, copper etc. Do not include the brand. 
  • Other materials used – type of metal, stones, beads, other media etc.
  • Photographer credit if applicable.

Categories for Entry 

  • Beginners
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:- 

  • Design innovation and originality. 
  • Successful incorporation of materials. 
  • Quality of workmanship. 

Key Dates 

March 1, 2022 – Submission for entries opens
April 4, 2022 – Submission closes for all entries
April 25, 2022 – Winners of the skill level categories announced
April 26, 2022 – General public voting opens for the People’s Choice award
May 31, 2022 – Voting closes for the People’s Choice award
June 6, 2022 – Winner of the People’s Choice award announced

Juror’s comments

After June 6, we will enable the juror’s comments on Artcall so the individual can view the comments about their entry. This information will only be available to the person who entered the piece by logging into their Artcall account and viewing their submission.

Challenge FAQs and things to clarify


Q:Who can enter, and who can’t?

A:Anyone can enter, including AMCAW board members, advisory board, and committee chairmen. You just need to become a member of AMCAW before entering and can join anytime right up to the entry deadline. Membership will be checked on the closing date to ensure the artist is still a current member. Entries for anyone with a lapsed membership will not be accepted.

Q:I can’t afford a professional photographer. How can I get a good image of my piece?

A:There are many free online tutorials about taking jewelry photographs; try Googling “taking jewelry photos” to find one. One key thing is lighting; it’s not all about the camera you’re using. Good images are possible with the newer phones, but you do need to use good lighting to get a clear picture and remember to save the image at the largest possible size.

Q:I can’t upload my image, it’s telling me the size is wrong. How do I resize my image?

A:There are a number of free image resizing programs online which can help. Try Googling “resize photos” or try one of these free sites:,, or If your computer uses Windows 10, your Paint application is also a good resource. Tip: It’s best to upload your photo a few days before the deadline so you can submit another photo if the first one isn’t sized correctly or is in the wrong format.

Q: I don’t understand the image size requirements. What is 1000px?

A: Px means pixels; your photo should be between 1000 pixels and 4000 pixels in size. Most photo resizing applications allow you to adjust the pixel size, as well as save it in a .jpeg format.

Q: Help! I think I’m a member of AMCAW but none of my emails or passwords are being recognized online.

A: Just send an email to and we will help you.

Q: Can I enter now and join AMCAW later?

A: You must log in using your AMCAW username and password to gain access to the challenge entry portal, so membership is required at the time of entry. In addition, all entries will be verified for membership on the challenge closing date.

Q: I always wait until the last minute! Can I enter on the last day?

A: Yes, but if anything is wrong with your entry, such as the photo, you won’t have time to resubmit it. Don’t risk it! We know time is always tight for artists, so go ahead and start the entry process with your basic information at your earliest convenience; your info will wait safely in the system until you’re ready to upload your photo.

Q: What happens if my piece is rejected for some reason – can I resubmit?

A: Yes.  If anything doesn’t meet the guidelines, you will be sent an email saying your entry has not been accepted, giving you details of why (for example, photo isn’t clear enough). Make sure the email you use to submit your piece(s) is one you monitor regularly as that is the only way we will contact you. Your piece will not be presented to the jury until you address the issue. You can correct and resubmit the piece but keep in mind that your resubmitted entry must be received by the deadline. You will not be able to change your submission image once the deadline has passed and in that case your piece will not be included in the jury process.

Q: The theme of this challenge is not for me. Will there be other challenges in the future?

A: Yes, we have two challenges a year. We have a number of other opportunities for members of AMCAW to get their work published – raising your profile not just in the metal clay community, but also in the wider metal working world.

Challenge rules
  1. This competition is only open to members of AMCAW. All submissions will be checked against our member database on the date the Challenge closes, April 4, 2022 (midnight Pacific time), before entry into the Challenge. Submissions from non-members or members whose membership has lapsed will not be accepted or acknowledged. 
  2. There are three categories of entry defined by the skill level the maker has in working with metal clay. Members should submit their work in the category they feel most accurately represents their experience with metal clay. The jury reserves the right to reclassify the category of an entry.
  3. Please read the submission and photograph guidelines carefully and ensure you follow them. Submissions which do not follow the guidelines will not be accepted and you will be informed that your entry is not in an acceptable format. You may resubmit the entry using the correct format before the deadline, so it’s to your advantage to enter the Challenge early.
  4. Members can submit up to three entries, but each entry must be submitted separately and must follow the submission guidelines.
  5. The Artcall system does not allow you to enter anything after the deadline. This includes anything that is rejected and requires resubmission.
  6. All entries must be the work of the AMCAW member submitting it, and must be a unique and original design.
  7. All entries must use metal clay in part or in full. Mixed media work is acceptable, but the entry should use metal clay as a significant element in the design.
  8. Entries should not have won an award in any other competition prior to January 2022.
  9. Entries can be jewelry or bodily adornment only
  10. The jury will be looking for design innovation and originality, successful incorporation of materials and quality of workmanship.
  11. Photographs should be high resolution, between 1,000 and 4,000 pixels, in .jpeg format, and no larger than 4 MB.
  12. The jury will evaluate each photographic entry anonymously – in other words, without knowing the name of the member who submitted it. Do not show your name, company name or logo or any other information that may identify you in your photograph.
  13. When you enter a piece in this challenge, you agree to AMCAW using the image of your piece in publicity, sharing your name and image with our sponsors – who may use it in their publicity – sharing it with other members of AMCAW and the general public. AMCAW reserves the right to use the image on their website, in their advertising and on social media. By entering this challenge, you are agreeing to these conditions.
  14. Winners in all categories are not eligible for the People’s Choice Award.
  15. All shipping, import tax, duty and handling charges for prizes sent will be paid by AMCAW. Duty, tax, etc., may need to be paid by the recipient (depending on your local tax and import rules) but AMCAW will reimburse you upon receiving official receipts for payment.
  16. The decision of the jury is final.
  17. Winners will be notified by email.