Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

The Enamel Experience - International Badge Exhibiton

Place: Touring Exhibition
Curated By: Elizabeth Turrell
Date: February 2008 - Janurary 2010
Catalogue ISBN: 978-1-906501-00-6
URL Links:

The Centre for Fine Print Research and the Enamel Research Centre at University of the West of England was invited by Juergen Boenig, curator at the museum to initiate Enamel Experience - International Badge Exhibition. This exhibition is collaboration between the Museum der Arbeit, in Hamburg, Germany, UWE and a group of internationally established artists.Twenty-three artists were invited from Germany, United Kingdom and the USA. Each artist was asked to create a group of 3 - 9 badges that are inspired by, and relate to, the museum's enamel badge collection.

The Museum der Arbeit acquired and installed an Enamel Badge Factory - Metallwarenfabrik Carl Wild - which was in production between 1901 and 1989, now part of the Museum's Everyday Life in the Industrial Age. This small firm was behind the facade of a residential house in the Hohenfelde district of Hamburg where, for over ninety years, Carl Wild's Metallwarenfabrik produced badges, medals and brooches of all kinds. Discovered by fortunate coincidence, this small company is typical of a number of moderately sized manufacturing firms hidden in Hamburg's industrialization. A specially built room within the museum houses the partially reconstructed workroom, allowing the visitor to see through glass screens insights into working routines, social relations, strains and hazards of this small enterprise. There is an extensive collection of the badges, medals and brooches produced by this small firm. To give a starting point for this exhibition, the artists were sent photographs of various categories of badges from the museum collection: military, commercial, aid/charities, and societies etc, as initial sources of inspiration. Each artist was asked to create a group of 3 - 9 badges that are inspired by, and relate to, this enamel badge collection.

The exhibiting artists are either academic/makers, or full-time makers, and have worked with the Enamel Research Centre as visiting artists or researchers, the majority of the exhibiting artists are included in the International Contemporary Vitreous Enamel Archive. There catalogue is funded by UWE and participating venues. It documents the museum's collection, with a general introduction to the manufacture and history of enamel badges, a statement and images from each participating artist and essays by Juergen Boenig and Marjorie Simon.


Exhibition venues:

Birmingham School of Jewellery, January 2010
IMPACT Conference September 2009
Loupe Gallery Montclair New Jersey USA
'Other Works' Gallery 303 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1-30 May 2009 – included in programme for Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference 2009 Philadelphia USA
Society of Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, 23 September 2008 - 3 January 2009
National Ornament Museum, Memphis, Tennessee, School of Art, University of East Carolina, Greenville
Kent State University, School of Art, Kent, Ohio
Velvet da Vinci Gallery, San Fransisco, 27 February - 30 March 2008
Museum der Arbiet, Hamburg, Germany

The International Badge Exhibition was Reviewed in:

Exhibition in Print 2009 , Metalsmith publication, (Juried)
Metalsmith Against War by Marjorie Simon Metalsmith Vol 29 No 1 2009
'500 Enamel Objects' - A Celebration of Color on Metal Lark Books 2009