Author Topic: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer  (Read 11279 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2014, 07:45:36 PM »
Q. From 2007 to 2011 you held the even more prestigious position of Head of Design at the Royal Mint. Give us a taste of your experiences and innovations in that role.

A. In 2007, the Mint was going through some major re-structuring, and the idea of having separate heads of design and Chief Engraver fell out of favour. The role was melded back into one, and I was lucky enough to pick the job up. During that period, I was involved more on the strategy side of things. As Chief, I’d had to balance my managerial duties with helping out on the tooling and engraving front, as we couldn’t afford to lose a team member from the workbenches. Once I became Head of Design, that had to stop, as the workload was simply too great, and I was making more and more mistakes. My time was taken up with team management stuff, and forward planning for the department. I hardly touched a pencil during that period, and did almost no creative work at all.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2014, 07:48:35 PM »

ALDERNEY, 5 POUNDS, 2010.  ROYAL ENGAGEMENT.

Q. Let’s come now to the controversial part – what the press said about your Royal Engagement design of William and Kate, on the Alderney 5 pound commemorative coin of 2010. My own honest opinion is that it wasn’t your best design, but I see a problem with portraying Kate effectively on a “white” coin when she is known for her raven black hair!

A. The royal wedding design was a challenging project. As I’m no longer employed at the Royal Mint, I can set the record straight - I produced the initial layout, but the model wasn’t my work at all. However, part of the role of Chief Engraver is to stand in account for the creative work of the team and the business.

The engagement and wedding coins for Will and Kate were produced well in advance of any official announcements - not uncommon in any business that capitalises on current events. Sometimes it’s better to take the risk of producing tooling on the off chance, and writing off the cost if the event doesn’t pan out as planned. In this case, it made life difficult because without official photographs to model from, the only available option was to source images of the couple from the internet. This means low resolution images, and photos caught ‘mid-action’. The combination of these two factors, along with Kate’s lack of defining ‘modellable’ features (and I mean that in the nicest possible way), almost guaranteed that the portraits were going to cause difficulties. If a subject has smooth unblemished skin, then high quality reference photos are essential to get the underlying form of the face right, as it’s the only integer of recognition present in a coin sculpture.


 
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 08:33:09 AM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2014, 07:49:32 PM »
Q. In 2011 you left the Royal Mint. What inspired you to take that step, and how did you feel about leaving that august institution?

A. It wasn’t an easy step to take - there’s a lot of kudos to being Head of Design at the Royal Mint! However, I’d been there nearly 16 years at that point, and was pushing 40. It began to gnaw at me that I was running the risk of staying too long, and institutionalising myself. The nature of the business was changing, and so was my place within it.

I’d had a couple of bad years, both professionally and personally, and some things needed to change. It’s always good to know when to pick up your chips and leave the table.
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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2014, 07:50:28 PM »
Q. Though we on this forum are primarily interested in your coins, you are much more than just an artist. Tell us about your current role, and also something of your interests outside work.

A. I’m back in the thick of design and modelling now. After a year out of the industry, I went freelance, starting out focusing on design, but rapidly shifting into modelling. Actually, what happened was that someone rang me up asking if I could make a digital sculpture of a particular head of state. I said yes, and then set about trying to figure out how to do it! Digital modelling now accounts for about 70% of the work I do. The beauty of it is that its organic - modelling in plaster is a static process - restricted by the physical requirements of the material (casting time, drying time, etc.). The digital sculpting process can be trimmed and adjusted. Last week, I read an article about the CGI monsters from the latest Godzilla movie, but came away with a couple of handy tips that shortened my own modelling process.

It’s an exciting time. I started out freelance just after my son was born. He’s 2 now, and due a sibling in the next week or so. We’re also coming to the end of an 18 month house renovation, which has nearly doubled the size of our home. It’s been chaos, but fun.
I don’t get a great deal of time to do things other than work, clean babies, or smash the house up, but there’s always the odd slot of free time to be made use of. When I get the chance, I run. I started running about 4 years ago, and trained up for the Brighton marathon a year later. It completely re-energises me, even if I’m exhausted, and offsets the time I spend sitting in front of a PC. I also like to sneak some time on the Xbox when I can (usually in the wee small hours, with a snoring baby to hand). I’ve not long finished the Game of Thrones novels too. I’ve yet to see the TV adaptation, but the books were great.

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Offline <k>

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2014, 07:58:00 PM »
My thanks to Matt for his insightful, informative and entertaining answers in this wide-ranging interview.

Thanks also to forum member eurocoin for providing additional research.



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Offline <k>

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2014, 08:00:54 PM »


Matt designed the series of 2 pounds coins commemorating the Commonwealth Games in 2004. Each of the four coins bore the same basic design but carried a different flag. Above you see the English version of the design, showing the English flag with the cross of Saint George.

 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 08:50:58 PM by <k> »
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Offline eurocoin

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2014, 09:06:03 PM »


Guernsey, 5 Pounds, 2013. 175th anniversary of the coronation of queen Victoria.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2014, 09:07:19 PM »


Guernsey, 5 Pounds, 2013. 175th anniversary of the coronation of queen Victoria - Queen Victoria and Culture.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2014, 09:08:26 PM »


Guernsey, 5 Pounds, 2013. 175th anniversary of the coronation of queen Victoria - Queen Victoria and the empire.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2014, 09:13:47 PM »


Guernsey, 5 Pounds, 2013. 175th anniversary of the coronation of queen Victoria - Queen Victoria and innovation.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2014, 10:45:28 PM »


Guernsey, 5 Pounds, 2013. 175th anniversary of the coronation of queen Victoria - Queen Victoria and prince Albert.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2014, 10:46:09 PM »


Saint Helena, 20 Pence, 2013. 60th anniversary of the coronation of queen Elizabeth II.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 06:15:16 AM by eurocoin »

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2014, 10:46:36 PM »


Guernsey, 50 Pence, 2014. First World War Centenary.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2014, 10:47:13 PM »


Jersey, 50 pence, 2014. First World War Centenary.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Matt Bonaccorsi, Coin Designer
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2014, 10:47:53 PM »


Saint Helena, 5 Pence, 2013. 400th anniversary of anglo-japanese relations.
Same design also used on a gold 50 Pence coin.