Academic sculptor Jiří Dostál
How did you get to work on coins and medals?
I got acquainted with the discipline of relief at secondary school and I had an excellent teacher - Jiří Harcuba at university. When I graduated, I started painting, drawing, making sculptures, design and also smaller reliefs – medals. The establishment of the Czech Mint enabled to work on medals.
Do you remember your first implementation of work for the Czech Mint?
Yes, I do. My first medal was intended for ceremonial opening of the Czech Mint.
Can you count how many coin and medal designs you have made in your career?
I tried to count the medals for the Czech Mint and there are more than a hundred of them. In addition to them, there are also medals for other customers and then also my own work - medals cast in bronze or made of stone.
Which commissioned work from the Czech Mint pleased you the most, which one do you remember the most?
I enjoy every commission and it would not be "fair" to the others if I choosed only one of them. The most demanding work was probably the medal dedicated to the Formula 1 winner in 1998, Mike Häkkinen, who became world champion also the following year, so I worked on his next medal again. I enjoyed the technical complexity, accurate details and demanding approval. Winning the second title was decided in the last race in Japan in 1999. The Mint gave me the task to watch TV, how it will turn out, and in case of victory, I needed to speed up my work. I didn't get much sleep due to the time shift.
Which theme is closest to you?
Probably portraits, but almost every medal maker likes them. If I have a chance to portray a living personality, I will be happy to meet him or her before. Visual contact is important for this work.
Where do you draw inspiration for your work from, where do you like to work?
Inspiration can be discussed more in the field of free art. Creating a custom medal design means getting acquainted with the topic, understanding it, obtaining information and composing a good composition with the writing. I usually draw a lot of paper.
Do you have a secret desire, something you would like to achieve and what you would call the height of a medal maker's career?
I have some secret dreams that I don´t want to reveal.