Internationally acclaimed jeweller and art and design historian Dr Dorothy Erickson has been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to jewellery design and the arts in Western Australia.
Dorothy's dazzling career spans more than 50 years with over 40 solo exhibitions and over 350 group exhibitions in Australia and Europe.
"It means a lot that the arts are recognised as contributing significantly to our life and culture," said Dorothy, when asked what the award meant to her.
A farmer's daughter from Bolgart, Dorothy said she grew up with a sense of self-reliance and perseverance.
"As a botanist and naturalist my mother Dr Rica Erickson influenced the way I thought about life and looked at nature," she said.
"She had an AO for her contribution to writing, botany and history and I often accompanied her to functions."
After leaving school, Dorothy became a teacher then went to England to study botany.
Not long after she returned a fine arts course started at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT - now Curtin University) and she enrolled to study painting, printmaking, textiles and jewellery design.
Following graduation, Dorothy worked part of most years in Vienna and made regular visits to London, and lectured in 3D design jewellery and silversmithing at WAIT.
Many of her jewellery pieces are inspired by WA's unique flora and landscapes and one collection was based on her mother's wildflower paintings.
Dorothy has described her designs as being a "mixture of geometry with nature".
"It is partially engineering on a small scale. It is part design, there is problem solving to make the piece work on a body and there is the chance for making something of beauty," she said.
"Then there is a feeling of being fulfilled if others appreciate what you have made."
Dorothy was invited to talk about her work at the World Craft Council Conference in Vienna in 1980, and was the first Australian to have a solo exhibition in Galerie am Graben in Vienna - one of the top three jewellery galleries in the world at that time.
"It was wonderful for me in Europe in the 70s and 80s because they hadn't seen any Australian jewellers and doors just opened for me," she said.
The author of several books, Dorothy's latest work is Inspired by Light and Land: designers and makers in Western Australia 1970- 21st Century published by the WA Museum.
"This award is not only for me but also for the other achievers I have written about," she said.
"I trust I have been able to blaze a path that has opened doors for others to follow."
. A retrospective exhibition of Dorothy's work will be held at the Art Gallery of WA from March 20 - June 30.