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Michael Guilfoyle, coin designer

Started by <k>, March 15, 2013, 08:05:07 PM

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<k>



Michael Guilfoyle is a Welsh artist, engraver and graphic designer. He was born in 1963. The photo above was taken in Dublin in April 2008. It shows Michael Guilfoyle on the right. On the left is Minister Noel Ahern T.D. (member of the Irish parliament), and in the middle is John Hurley, Governor of the Central Bank.
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<k>

In Mr Guilfoyle's own words:

Although my grandparents were Irish, I was born and brought up in South Wales. My first job on leaving school was as a Student Engraver at the Royal Mint. This is where I developed my interest in coin designs and learned the traditional engraving and modelling skills. My mentor was Marcel Canioni, who succeeded Hubert Elsässer as Chief Engraver.

My engraving apprenticeship ran from January 1982 to January 1986. At the end of my apprenticeship there was not enough work in the engraving department, so I transferred to the Marketing Department. I worked there until September 1990, when I left to study for a graphic design degree. During this period I was commissioned by Hubert Elsässer on a freelance basis to create a few plaster models for coins. I then concentrated on graphic design exclusively (mainly coin packaging and promotions for the Royal Mint and other overseas mints), until I was again commissioned by Marcel Canioni to designs coins between January 2003 and January 2007. Since that time I have designed coins and medals for Ireland and the Royal Dutch Mint. Since 2008 I have had an ongoing association with the Westminster Collection.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#2



A few years ago Mr Guilfoyle was kind enough to answer some of my questions about his work on the Mozambique 2006 circulation set, illustrated above.


Q. I wonder how you felt when you realised that your designs were circulating throughout Mozambique? It's in the nature of things that few people will get to design even a single standard circulation coin, never mind an entire set.

A. I am very proud indeed, particularly as I had been unaware that the designs were actually used. I have decided that I will try to obtain examples of all of my coin designs, and my quest will start in Berlin next year.


Q. Given that you were being asked to design a nation's new coinage, were you given any special briefing? Did you meet any of the Mozambicans to discuss their requirements, or was that left to the Royal Mint Advisory Committee?

A. I didn't meet any Mozambique representatives. That would be the responsibility of the 'country manager'. He would have taken the brief, noting any specific requirements or designs requests. I was briefed by the Chief Engraver.


Q. Were you shown the previous Mozambican set of the 1990s?

A. I wasn't but I always do my own research, and I refer back to Krause 'World Coins'.


Q. Some of your designs are of the same themes as in prior sets. Were you given any special instructions about handling these?

A. The brief specified what subjects were to be featured, although as far as I can recall, not specifically linked to particular denominations. I prepared a number of alternative arrangements of designs and denominations.


Q. Of all the designs, the "woman student reading", which originated in the 1980s set, was carried down, in almost the same form, to the 1990s set and your own. Again, were you given any special instructions with regard to this design? Were you more or less requested to copy it as nearly as possible, and if so, did you consciously make any minor modifications? 

A. Of all of the designs, this was a straight reworking of an older design. Actually, this denomination wasn't part of the original brief. It was briefed separately a couple of years later (2005), as was the 10 Meticais.



Q. It is often the case in such situations that more than one artist is contracted to create designs, and then the RMAC and the client choose among them. Were you aware of, or told of, any other artist submitting designs?

A. No, as far as I am aware, I was the only designer working on this project. I may be wrong though.


I finished by thanking Mr Guilfoyle for answering all my questions and congratulating him on producing such a marvellous set of circulation designs.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#3
Here are Mr Guilfoyle's designs for the reverses of Mozambique's current circulation coins, first issued in 2006.





1   centavo.     Rhinoceros.
5   centavos.   Cheetah.
10 centavos.   Man on tractor ploughing field.
20 centavos.   Cotton plant.
50 centavos.   Kingfisher.
1   metical.      Female student.
2   meticais.    Coelocanth.
5   meticais.    Timbila.
10 meticais.    Central Bank building.

Reverse designs by Michael Guilfoyle.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#4
Skellig1.jpg


The reverse of the Sceilig Mhichil 10 Euro Coin, Ireland, 2008, designed by Michael Guilfoyle.

"On Monday 21st April 2008, Minister of State Noel Ahern, T.D., launched the 2008 10 Euro Silver Proof Coin and the 2008 20 Euro Gold Proof coin at the Erin Room, Dublin Castle. Both of these coins celebrate European Cultural Heritage. The design of these coins features Skellig Michael, the UNESCO heritage Site located off the coast of Kerry."
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#5
Skelling2.jpg


Here are some of Mr Guilfoyle's initial sketches for the Sceilig Mhichil 10 Euro Coin, Ireland, 2008.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#6
Ireland 15 euros 2009.jpg

Ireland, 15 euros, "Gaelic Athletic Association", 2009. 

Design by Michael Guilfoyle.


In Mr Guilfoyle's own words:

My association with the Central Bank of Ireland goes back to 2005. The Bank announced a coin design competition in the Irish Times and called for artists to submit samples of their work prior to being shortlisted for the competition to design a commemorative coin for William Rowan Hamilton. I was selected for the shortlist of ten artists and attended the designers' briefing at the Central Bank in Dublin. My design was chosen as the winning entry by an independent panel and this was probably my proudest moment as a coin designer. 

Winning a competition is always more rewarding than a direct commission, as my design was judged against many other quality designs. I have been shortlisted every year since then for the annual Ireland commemorative coin and been fortunate enough to win on three occasions (Hamilton 2005, Skellig 2008 and Gaisce 2010). The Gaelic Athletic Association coin of 2009 was a direct commission.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#7
Brendan.jpg

Ireland, 10 euro coin reverse, 2011.

Brendan the Navigator.  Designed by Michael Guilfoyle.
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<k>

#8


Ireland, 10 euro coin, 2012, honouring the artist Jack Butler Yeats.

His brother was William Butler Yeats. Designed by Michael Guilfoyle.
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<k>

#9
BosniaandHerzegovina.jpg


Mr Guilfoyle also designed the dove that appears on the reverse of the Bosnian 2 Konvertable Mark coin of 2003.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#10
text.jpg


ships.jpg

Ship  designs for Guernsey, by Michael Guilfoyle.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#11
Ireland10 Euro2010.jpg

Ireland, 10 euro coin, 2010: 25th anniversary of the Gaisce award, designed by Michael Guilfoyle.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#12
Guyana $1000 2005.jpg

Guyana, 1000 dollars, 2005.  40th anniversary of the Bank of Guyana. 

Reverse design by Michael Guilfoyle.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#13
Guyana $2000 2007.jpg

Guyana, 2000 dollars, 2007. 

Commitment to sport. Reverse design by Michael Guilfoyle.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#14
New Zealand $5 2003.JPG

New Zealand, 5 dollars, 2003. 

50th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.