Friday, November 09, 2012

Striking gold

When Karl Fritsch was offered an exhibition at the Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus in Hanau, he decided to take advantage of the fact that one of the local businesses was a gold smelter. The company was responsible for melting down unwanted jewellery into bars of gold and other metals and alloys and Fritsch saw an opportunity to get some raw material. Peering into a huge bin of jewellery of all kinds Fritsch immediately wanted to start working with it and to reconstruct the old rings into new works. Unfortunately that wasn’t on. The foundry was legally obliged to render all the material that was sent to it. Security around the gold bullion was also very tight so when Fritsch eventually asked to borrow a kilo he didn’t have high hopes of scoring. Turned out he walked out of the foundry with a kilo of gold in a plastic shopping bag. The end result of Fritsch + gold + hammer was three beaten bowls, one sold, one on hold and the third to escape being melted back into ingots by taking pride of place at the smelter who intend to use it for display at fairs. As a quid pro quo Fritsch is thinking of making a bigger gold bowl by taking his shopping bag along to fill up with 5 kilos of the stuff. 

Images: the raw gold ingots in store. Bottom, Goldene Schale by Karl Fritsch