Medalist

Mgr.A Jan Hásek


1. How did you get to designing coins and medals?

During my studies at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague in the creative arts studio of Professor Jiří Harcuba.

 

2. Do you remember your first design for Czech Mint?

Of course, I have worked for Czech Mint just recently. My design for a coin commemorating “Gustav Mahler“ was chosen for coinage in 2010. I participated with this design in a competition organized by the Czech National Bank and it placed right after the winning designs. After adaptation for a medal it was then minted in Czech Mint.


3. Do you know how many designs you created during your career?

Certainly not the total number of designs over these 20 years, but I could count the designs I did during the two years of cooperation with Czech Mint.

 

4. Which work for Czech Mint pleased you most, which do you like best to remember?

It is most likely the “Gustav Mahler“ medal because it was followed by other interesting projects. Design for the medal commemorating “Václav Havel“ was definitely a great challenge and recently also the medal noting “T. G. Masaryk“.

 

What themes do you prefer?
Portrait, historical as well as contemporary themes.

 

5. Where do you find inspiration for your works and where do you create them?
I look for inspiration in everyday life, in my own visions, photographs, books and also on the internet. I work in my studio.

 

6. Do you have a secret dream, is there something you would like to achieve and what would you describe as the peak in a medallist’s career?
I do have a dream and because it’s secret I will not give it away… 

 Jaroslav Bejvl


1. How did you get to designing coins and medals?
By coincidence. In 1981 I read in a daily paper that the State Czechoslovak Bank was inviting designers to take part in a competition for the design of a commemorative coin on the occasion of Czech writer Jan Neruda’s anniversary. I sent in my design and it was awarded. This has begun my career as a medallist.


2. Do you remember your first design for Czech Mint?
In 1998 I was invited by Czech Mint to take part in a competition for the design of a commemorative medal to the 80th anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic. I succeeded and my design with the portrait of Thomas Garrigue Masaryk was used for the mintage. It was the beginning of my cooperation with Czech Mint.


3. Do you know how many designs you created during your career?
During my 30 years of medal designing I created about 360 plaster models and three commemorative portrait plates. My main job, however, is elsewhere. For 50 years I have designed light fixtures and light projects for Preciosa Lustry in Kamenický Šenov.


4. Which work for Czech Mint pleased you most, which do you like best to remember?
It is hard to tell. I liked to work on each of them. Every project was a pleasure, but I like to remember the first one dated 1998, which really pleased me a lot


5. What themes do you prefer?
Historical themes are my favourite, but I am neither against contemporary subjects. I also like portraits, town vedutas, creative art topics and similar.


6. Where do you find inspiration for your works and where do you create them?
In encyclopaedias and literature, and I also use my own databank of newspaper and magazine clippings, sometimes the internet, too.


7. Do you have a secret dream, is there something you would like to achieve and what would you describe as the peak in a medallist’s career?
My dream as a medal maker has already been fulfilled because not everyone has the chance to obtain orders for commemorative plates. And I have already designed five of them (three portrait and two text ones). All of them are placed in my native south-west Bohemian region. I believe they are one of major milestones in my medal making career. 

 Academic sculptor Zbyněk Fojtů


1. How did you get to designing coins and medals?
In 2002 I for the first time participated in the Czech National Bank’s design competition for a commemorative coin to the 100th anniversary of death of explorer Emil Holub. I got the terms of the competition from painter and medallist Zdeněk Marčík because he knew I did embossing.


2. Do you remember your first design for Czech Mint?
I think it was for the medal “Předsednictví ČR v Radě Evropské unie“ (Czech Republic’s Presidency of the EU Council) in 2009.


3. Do you know how many designs you created during your career?
I do not keep files of my models but from 2002 when I started taking part in the Czech National Bank’s competitions almost regularly, their number definitely exceeded one hundred.


4. Which work for Czech Mint pleased you most, which do you like best to remember?
Almost every job pleases me, but most of all I enjoyed working on the medal “135 let zahájení provozu první pražské tramvaje“ (135 years from the opening of operation of the first Prague tram).


5. What themes do you prefer?
I do not have any favourite theme, although history and technology are probably closest to my heart.


6. Where do you find inspiration for your works and where do you create them?
It changes with age, earlier I was maybe more sensitive to various impulses. Now I am happy when I have time for work and there is calm and quiet; to tell the truth I have a feeling that there is less and less of both. Then – when I can concentrate on work – I am able to find inspiration. Best of all I like working in my studio in Černošice.


7. Do you have a secret dream, is there something you would like to achieve and what would you describe as the peak in a medallist’s career?
Secret dreams should remain secret, shouldn’t they? But to be more specific, I don’t have any such dreams and I don’t know how to answer the last question.

Academic sculptor Michal Vitanovský


1. How did you get to designing coins and medals?
I started taking part in coin design competitions during my studies at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague between 1965 and 1971. And, one of the tasks we had in the studio at that time was to create a locket with embossed portrait.


2. Do you remember your first design for Czech Mint?
I don’t, but my list of models says it was a gold medal “Sv. Zdislava z Lemberka“ (Saint Zdislava of Lemberk) in 2001.


3. Do you know how many designs you created during your career?
Since 1968 it’s about 1,250 models for coins and medals – counting both minted and cast.

 
4. Which work for Czech Mint pleased you most, which do you like best to remember?
I have had the luck to work on nice projects and it’s difficult to choose one of them. From recent years it may most likely be “Doba Rudolfa II.“ (The Period of Rudolph II) of 2009 and “Rožmberkové“ (The Rosenbergs) of 2011.


5. What themes do you prefer?
I like historical themes.


6. Where do you find inspiration for your works and where do you create them?
In case of historical topics, the author benefits from the knowledge of context, in other words of historical references and knowledge of life and customs of the specific period, such as architecture, clothing, arms etc. Of course a certain space must also be left for imagination.


7. Do you have a secret dream, is there something you would like to achieve and what would you describe as the peak in a medallist’s career?
Most of my theme-related dreams have materialized although there are a few topics I would still like to do. For example Edward Kelly, John Dee and other alchemists in our history who also had a relation to precious metals, the same as mints and medallists.
Both lay and professional public have already elevated me to the peak of my career by awarding me The Order of the White Lion. Whatever I do next, it will remain this way.

 Academic painter Vladimír Oppl


1. How did you get to designing coins and medals?
I won a competition for a medal during my studies at the academy and my fate was sealed.


2. Do you remember your first design for Czech Mint?
I started cooperating with the mint as soon as it was established. I designed the circulation coins denominated 20 Czech crowns and 50 hellers.


3. Do you know how many designs you created in your career?
I am sorry I really don’t know. I did hundreds of model designs multiplied by two: the obverse and the reverse for each.


4. Which work for Czech Mint pleased you most, which do you remember best?
I enjoyed doing everything for the mint, both commemorative medals or “just“ commercial mintage for companies.


5. What themes do you prefer?
Historical themes, architecture, portrait and nature, that’s what I like best.


6. Where do you find inspiration for your works and where do you create them?
I look for inspiration in nature and when taking photos. And as for “where I work“ – I prefer moulding plaster in the Šumava mountains.


7. Do you have a secret dream, is there something you would like to achieve and what would you describe as the peak in a medallist’s career?
Well, to own a mint would certainly be nice. 

 Academic sculptor Jan Lukáš


1. How did you get to designing coins and medals?
I have engaged in medal design since my studies at the academy.


2. Do you remember your first design for Czech Mint?
I think it was a commemorative medal for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996.


3. Do you know how many designs you created in your career?
I don’t really have an idea; I did too many models to be able to remember them all.


4. Which work for Czech Mint pleased you most, which do you remember best?
I really like to do commemorative medals with portraits of Czech rulers. These I design for Czech Mint every year.


5. What themes do you prefer?
Historical themes are the ones closest to me.


6. Where do you find inspiration for your works and where do you create them?
I prefer working at home.


7. Do you have a secret dream, is there something you would like to achieve and what would you describe as the peak in a medallist’s career?
I have no secret dreams.

  

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