Tag Archives: bronze

· Miel-Margarita Paredes ·

The irrepressable Miel-Margarita Paredes is a gift to us all, hailing from Wisconson.  Her repousse and fabrication ingenuity have resulted in pieces that are as suited to gallers walls as they are to craft museum displays.  Anyone familiar with repousse will instantly note the quality, skill and difficulty of the projects gives have life to – what we are observing here is a prodigy, able to produce work that takes many years of practice for others.  In particular, her functional items are displays of skillfully finding the imaginative plasticity of the metal, such as her “Ruminant Pillbox”,  her exquisite bird and octopus teapots, her toys, and her “Luna Moth Tea Infuser”.  Fortunately, this artist’s career is just beginning, and her energy (a vital component of a metal worker) promises much more to come.

Artist’s Website:  http://www.mielmargarita.com


I have yet to uncover any biographical details of this Swiss family name, other than to discern that during the turn of the 20th century medal sculpting must have been a family affair. Henri-Édouard seems to be the most productive. I primarily wished to share this work for their purpose is today rather novel – these are awards for accomplishments of basic living, decorated with humanistic deities and nymphs – the progress and mere existence of modern living standards would appear to have reached near spiritual proportions of celebration. It was a peculiar combination of social-realism and erotic tokens that somehow describes the marketing zeitgeist of the burgeoning industrial age.

In artwork, the rise of science and technology was frequently paired with fanciful illustations of ancient metaphor; this neo-classical rendering was perhaps an emphasis of Newtonian triumph.  The early scientists worked under significant repression from the church, something that was freshly in mind during these times, leading to a popular sense that science had uncovered a more authentic ‘divinity of nature’.  This created a cultural connection between the wisdom of ancient, previously suppressed philosophers, their myth-making imagery, and modern progress.  A curious juxtaposition that captures the sense of excitement during a brief window in history.  The wonder of human invention would lose much of its glamour as the world wars approached.

It just makes one contemplate how things have changed. This was spurred by my mother discovering in a box of things a little gold medal I had won once for extemporaneous speaking. I admired the coarse ‘realness’ that it had compared to computer drafted engraving goods these days, and the little blank ribbon waiting for my engraved initials. As with this family of medalists, in addition to commissions for governments and institutions the artists regularly produced blank trophy items – agricultural scenes for market shows, family scenes to celebrate weddings and childbirth. These items would be hand engraved with names, inscriptions and dates. Hand engraving was an art, and a few decades before this period comprised a major part of independent jeweling.


Students graduating from the Marseille School of Decorative Arts were awarded with a medal of a woman removing her blouse ribbon.


Electricity, a common medallic theme in this time period, here celebrated with a floating nymph whose diaphanous shroud is pulled away, entangled in the new power lines.

A flowing toga on a victorious goddess is used to illustrate prudence.

I am guessing this is a brewery.

Here a goddess of progress, indicated by her Amazonian height, is showing the scientists around the labratory.

The hydroelectric dam.

Hospitals, symbolized by a goddess of health in scanty nightwear with a dish of fresh fruit.

Neptune himself attended the ceremony for stormdrain installation in Bern.

Maurice Delannoy – Medalist

The first in a series of select art medals in the Art Noveau and Deco styles.  Fortunate to have a shot of Delannoy here woking his trade, sculpting directly into a large plaster disk that will later be reduced by a pantograph (reducing machine).  The plaster sculpting method was used for all manner of precision modeling for metalwork, from industry to jewelry, until the mid 20th century.





La Chaleur du Soleil


Mater Dolorosa