Home' The Canberra Times : See Canberra Autumn Contents For a glimpse behind the scenes, the newly
refurbished RAM includes obser vation
windows inviting the public to look
down on the factory floor where coins are
made and where you can catch a glimpse
of one of the world 's strongest robots,
the Titan. e theatrette presentation
explains the process of coining in detail
and there are early, rare and historically
significant coins on show.
"And because it's three-dimensional
fine art, you shouldn't have to dissect the
parts and explain it on paper -- it should be
understood, even if it takes a bit of study. "
e design generally starts as a rough
sketch on paper, which can then be scanned
into the computers and worked on digitally.
"I am given some material, I read up on
the subject and I study it very, very deeply
before putting anything on paper," Wojciech
Once the image is approved, the designer
then commences the lengthy process of
creating a plaster model, sometimes for each
side of the coin. e designs of these plaster
models are later converted into metal 'dies'
that are used in presses to 'strike' the coins as
we see them.
e plaster models, which are much larger
than the final metal die, are cast back and
forth in positive and negative, repeatedly
manipulated by hand to create a precise
depiction of the image. e technology then
condenses it, accounting for the mind-
boggling level of detail.
Wojciech stresses he is by no means alone
in the process -- from concept to creation
'making' money involves think tanks and
numerous designers and engravers. e end
result is a small, round legacy for its creators,
though for Wojciech, it took a different
form to what he had envisaged in his early
years as a sculptor. Like many coin-makers,
the progression from sculpting to coin
making seemed a natural one.
"For many years I thought of myself as a
freelance sculptor and rather than making
commercial things I wanted to create my
sculptures with the hope that after maybe
twenty years had passed, I would be big in
the art world," he said.
But for Wojciech, his path leaves no room
for regret, especially in light of his recent
exhibition at the Mint, which in a way
validated his life's work.
" e exhibition confirmed that I hadn't
wasted the time in my work here," he said.
"It's the first time we've exhibited the
coins as the object of art -- not for it's
monetary value, but for it's artistic value.
"You could see the level of artistic
input I was allowed. is was never a
disappointment, it's a pleasure and more
than this... it's a privilege."
GOULBURN VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 201 Sloane St (opp. Belmore Pa rk), Goulburn
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CELEBRATE AUTUMN IN
Share the city you live in ... Autumn 23
The Royal Australian Mint
Where: Denison Street, Deakin
When: Monday to Friday
9am-4pm, Saturday, Sunday and
public holidays 10am-4pm
Phone: 6202 6999
CREATIVE LICENSE: Wojciech Pietranik, coin designer for the Royal Australian Mint.
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