Retiring Coin Sculptor

November 4, 2011

Memorable designs by Wojciech Pietranik. Top: The Ashes 20c, Bottom: Burke and Wills $1. Not shown the now iconic Kangaroo at Sunset Design.

We've learnt from the Mint's annual report that a shuffling within the design ranks at the Royal Australian Mint is underway as a long term coin sculptor moves into retirement. It's been noted already by collectors new designs by different designers being released. Newer coins aren't being attributed to particular sculptors but have been given a general "Royal Australian Mint Designers" attribution. We're not always seeing the designers initials as we have seen on a lot of previous coin designs.

One can only guess that either Vladimir Gottwald or Wojciech Pietranik have decided to hang up their coin engraving hat to relax and enjoy the sunsets. The RAM has begun succession planning which involves outsourcing of coin designs, plaster carving and joint coin design with local tertiary educational facilities to fill the gap left by the retiring sculptor.

It saddens me to hear of this retirement and view the newer coin releases which focus on graphic design and pretty pad printed coloured designs which could mean the loss of the 3 dimensional coin concept. Coin design to me is about depth in design and features and intricacies not just a pretty picture stuck to one side of a coin. Let's hope with new technologies in graphic design and printing techniques that we don't lose sight of the art and sculpture that can make a coin design. Both senior designers Wojciech and Vladimir have showed us this over the years, their sculptural talents are sure to be missed.

Memorable designs by Vladimir Gottwald. Top: The 2000 Royal Visit 50c, Gottwald designed both the Reverse and Obverse, Bottom: Fred Hollows $1

Posted by harrisk at November 4, 2011 4:16 PM
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