A flock of magpies, a box of matches, a floating scarf, a glistening blue rabbit – the Ranamok Glass Prize has always attracted a diverse range of objects, all forged from glass.
But this year it was an aged oriental carpet, complete with the wear and tear of footprints, that caught the judges' eye.
Kathryn Wightman's Carpet is this year's winner of the $15,000 Ranamok Prize, selected for her "intriguing and beautiful reworking of historical imagery" in a three-metre long glass rug.
The New Zealand artist will also be the last winner of the prize, which wraps up this year after a 20-year run.
Wightman said said she was shocked to win the award, her second major gong after a US prize for emerging artists.
She said her piece had been inspired by the imperfections in our lives.
"[Also] I'm obsessed with carpet," she said. "I'm inspired by fabrics and textures, and working with textures and patterns is a theme that runs through my work."
Wightman said she would be spending the prize money on a new kiln for her studio.
Open to Australian and New Zealand artists of any level, the Ranamok is the country's most prestigious glass prize, showcasing the growing local glass art scene and catapulting the national and international careers of several winners and finalists over the years.
But co-founders Maureen Cahill and Andy Plummer, both glass artists themselves, said they had decided to end the prize on a high and focus on their own work.
The two met in the early 1990s at the Sydney College of the Arts. Cahill was a teacher at the college and Plummer, a mining executive, was a budding artist who had recently discovered the wonders of glass.
They decided to found the Ranamok in 1994 as a way to promote glass as an important visual art and to give artists the chance to push the boundaries of what glass can do.
Cahill said the name of the prize reflected that ethos.
"It's a play on people pushing themselves to be a bit crazy and that's what the whole idea of this is – taking things to other levels, to run amok," she said.
The work of the finalists was originally shown at the Glass Artist Gallery in Sydney before shifting to the Canberra Glassworks when it opened seven years ago.
Plummer said the pair had felt the time was right to end the prize after 20 years.
"It's a nice round number and I guess we've been at it for a long time, and I think both of our lives have changed," he said.
He said while he hoped someone would eventually create another prize for glass artists, the name Ranamok, and all that it entailed, had run its course.
It was also announced on Tuesday that the Ranamok acquisitive collection of all the winners of the past 20 years would be donated to the National Gallery of Australia.
The Ranamok Glass Prize exhibition opens at the Canberra Glassworks on August 13 and runs until September 18.