Enamel Experience - International Badges Exhibition

Exhibition  /  27 Feb 2008  -  30 Mar 2008
Published: 13.02.2008
Enamel Experience - International Badges Exhibition.
Velvet da Vinci
Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt
Felix Lindner. Piece: Bugs Awake, 2007. Steel, enamel and magnet. Felix Lindner
Piece: Bugs Awake, 2007
Steel, enamel and magnet
© By the author. Read Copyright.

A show featuring 24 German, United Kingdom and American established jewelers creating contemporary badges. The badges were inspired by Hamburg, Germany's Museum der Arbeits historic enamel badge collection of military, societies, commercial organizations and charities badges. The artists used these badges as inspiration to create their own unique badges.

"Enamel Experience - International Badges Exhibition" originated at the Museum der Arbeit in Hamburg, Germany. The museum is located in The Company Carl Wild Badge Factory, which was in production from 1901 to 1989 and was forced to close due to cheaper competition overseas.
The historical badge collection includes badges made for the military, various societies, commercial organizations and charities. The contemporary artists have re-interpreted these badges to create a series of new ones.

Badges have a rich history through their messages and techniques. Elizabeth Turrell, the organizer of the exhibition, says, "The making of badges, medals and regalia gives artists a means of portable communication, including subversive messages, pleas for peace, and satirical images. The badge can be produced as a one off, a limited-edition or commercially produced by the hundreds or thousands."

Three prestigious international artists in the exhibition have taken very different approaches to re-creating the badge. Prominent British artist Wendy Ramshaw makes both public art and jewelry. Her work is found in museums and private collections throughout the world, such as the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., the Cooper Hewitt Museum and the Art and Design Museum in New York and the Victorian and Albert Museum in London. Her badge was inspired by the intrepid polar explorer Ann Daniels who told the BBC how she saw a "rainbow around the sun". The image caught Wendy's attention and she created this sight in the form of a badge.

Tamar de Vries Winter, originally from Israel, lives in the UK where she creates jewelry and hollowware. She is highly influenced by ancient cultures. Her work can be found in many prestigious collections such as the Jewish Museum in New York and the Victoria and Albert in London. She wants to communicate the message of peace through her badge. She says, "The vision expressed by this badge follows that of the prophet Isaiah - 'We shall transform their iron crosses into olive branches'. I wish to dedicate the badge to the memory of my grandfather Josef Lachmann who for all his life as a father, physician, soldier and citizen fought for his ideals."
The photo on the badge is from a collection of photographs taken in Germany and Palestine in the first part of the twentieth century that she inherited. It is a reminder to her of the world they have lost.

Mark Hartung is a U.S. artist. He originally studied glass at Kent State in Ohio. He has been working in enamel since 1989 and is a recipient of many Ohio Art Council Grants. Mark was inspired by badges with numbers he found in the collection of the Museum der Arbeit. He took this element and used it as a decorative motif to create his striking images. 

Tamar De Vries Winter. Piece: Opa Lachmann, 2007. Enamel on steel and enamel transfer. Tamar De Vries Winter
Piece: Opa Lachmann, 2007
Enamel on steel and enamel transfer
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Helen Carnac. Piece: Badge-blank Blank-badge, 2007. Mixed Media. Helen Carnac
Piece: Badge-blank Blank-badge, 2007
Mixed Media
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Marjorie Simon. Piece: Souvenir Badges, 2007. Sterling silver, vintage postcards, acetate. Marjorie Simon
Piece: Souvenir Badges, 2007
Sterling silver, vintage postcards, acetate
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Bob Ebendorf. Piece: Coat of Arms: Badge, 2007. Plastic pearls, enamel, sterling silver. Bob Ebendorf
Piece: Coat of Arms: Badge, 2007
Plastic pearls, enamel, sterling silver
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Stephen Bottomley. Piece: Star, 2007. Silver, enamel. Stephen Bottomley
Piece: Star, 2007
Silver, enamel
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Wendy Ramshaw. Piece: Rainbow Around the Sun, 2007. Enamel, silver, gold. Wendy Ramshaw
Piece: Rainbow Around the Sun, 2007
Enamel, silver, gold
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Jessica Turrell. Piece: Belong, 2007. Etched copper, vitreous enamel, sterling silver, linen thread. Jessica Turrell
Piece: Belong, 2007
Etched copper, vitreous enamel, sterling silver, linen thread
© By the author. Read Copyright.