2017 Pforzheim / D

2017 Pforzheim / D

A review of the International HammerClub Meeting in Pforzheim

From Friday May 5 until Sunday May 7, participants of the HammerClub had a great meeting in the German city of Pforzheim. The days were wonderful with nice weather (only rain at night) and lots of fun. This year’s HammerClub group counted over 90 peoples coming from Germany, Belgium, Danmark, the Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland and the United States. The community of Pforzheim celebrated the 250 years jubilee of its gold- and silversmith industry and the HammerClub 2017 Exhibition in Schmuckwelten was part of the jubilee activities.

Friday 5 May 2017
The first day started with the registration of the participants and a visit to the exhibition in the gallery for design Schmuckwelten Pforzheim. Since the HammerClub Meeting was one of the festivities, the theme of the HammerClub Exhibition 2017 was ‘JUBILEE’. Some 40 silversmiths applied for the show and sent one or two exhibits. The participants of the HammerClub could vote for the three best object. Every participant received a copy of the HammerClub Exhibition catalogue. And with the support of the Deutsches Goldschmiedenhaus Hanau a copy of the catalogue of the 18th International Silver Triennal was added.

Due to the large number of participants, Friday afternoon the first group of twenty participants could visit the Schmuckindustriemuseum (Technical Museum of the Pforzheim Jewellery and Watch Industry).
Meanwhile, in front of the Schmuckwelten on the Leopold Square in the pedestrian area, the first strokes were given to the sheet of fine silver that had to cumulate in the common bowl. This year’s hammering knew an interesting complication. The Pforzheimer fire brigade didn’t allow open fire. Therefor every now and then someone had to go to the goldsmith school uphill in order to anneal the object.

At 7 PM the HammerClub Exhibition 2017 was officially opened, together with a show on gold in the exhibition rooms of the Sparkasse Pforzheim/Calw. Peter Schmitt held a speach, and on behalf behalf of the HammerClub Achim Heinkel thanked the City of Pforzheim and the Sparkasse for their support and sponsoring. The opening was followed by an informal reception with drinks and finger food. During this gathering everyone could give extra attention to the exhibits and discuss the used techniques. After visiting the exhibition, balloting for the HammerClub Awards 2017 and nice talks, a large group of silversmiths gathered in the typical German baiting place Schloßkeller Pforzheim. In a relaxed atmosphere we changed stories and ideas, meanwhile adding some extra kilojoules (liquid or solid) to our bodies.

Saturday 6 May 2016
Saturday morning started with a breakfast in the cafeteria of the Goldschmiedeschule (goldsmith school). The participants met and had their coffee, tea and sandwiches.

After everyone was satisfied, we joined in the central hall of the school, where school director dr. Kiefer welcomed us. This was also the location where a school project in which five vocational schools had committed to participate, was presented. Every school received a kilogram of silver with the assignment to create a collaborative work. All objects hang from the ceiling.

After a lecture about mokume gane with silver and a technical presentation on guilloching by Frieda Dörfer of EMMA CreativCentrum, everyone was able to experience this technique on one of the guilloche machines of the school under the guidance of Steffen Wolf.

The afternoon was reserved for four interesting lectures in the lecture hall of the Sparkasse Pforzheim/Calw. First prof. Andi Gut of the Hochschule Pforzheim (University of applied sciences Pforzheim) gave ideas for the preservation and reinterpretation of manufactural special knowledge under the title Pf Revisited; As before, but different. Subsequently prof. Christine Lüdeke associated to the same school told about her experiences in the development of an aircraft seat and prof. Robert Eikmeyer explained how a multinational furniture company (IKEA) honours John Ruskin’s and William Morris’ promises. Finally gallerist Paul Derrez of Galerie RA Amsterdam gave a report on his own silver work and artists represented in his gallery.

The cycle of lectures was closed by Andreas Decker, who gave a brief presentation of Hanau as host for HammerClub 2018. London as hosting city in 2019 was announced ounce again. In the year 2020 the gold- and silversmith school of Schoonhoven in the Netherlands will celebrate its 125 year and therefor launched the idea to host HammerClub that year. Finally Thomas Raschke from Stockholm announced to investigate the possibilities to organize HammerClub 2021 in Sweden. Meanwhile in the square, it was a coming and going of participants who joined in to hammer the common bowl.

The evening of the HammerClub dinner started with a welcome and reception by Sparkasse Pforzheim/Calw in the Gasometer Pforzheim. After been treated on ‘Sekt und Fammenkuche’ it was time to be informed about the Gasometer and the panorama op Rome 312 AD. Some participants had been busy this day or drank to much sekt and were fighting their fatigue. After the lecture we were finally invited to visit the exhibition. First we had to climb a tower or take the elevator to the highest point. We saw Rome in the time of emperor Constantin by night, but as we were walking around sun rose and it became daytime. We experienced Rome as it could have been 1700 years ago. The show repeated three times. Meanwhile cooks, waiters and waitresses were busy preparing the setting and food for the HammerClub dinner that followed.

During the dinner the winners of the HammerClub Awards 2016 were announced. The top-3 was as follows: the third prize of 400 grams fine silver was won by Tony Dumontak, the second prize of 600 grams fine silver by Carsten From Andersen, and the first prize of 1 kilogram of fine silver was won by Achim Heinkel. The ceremony came to an end with the presentation and offering of the common bowl to the Sparkasse Pforzheim/Calw. The rest of the evening was used to make contacts and chatting.

Sunday 22 May 2016
On Sunday most HammerClub participants paid a visit the Schmuckmuseum. The English tour was guided by the former director dr. Fritz Falk. The morning was concluded with a visit to the newly opened Technical Museum.

The HammerClub Meeting in Pforzheim was an unforgettable experience: we all enjoyed it, and we are all looking forward to see each other again next year in Hanau.

click here to go to all pictures
I would like to thank everyone who sent me pictures for the website. The number was so big that I had to make a selection. A most interesting one, was the picture I received from Stadt Pforzheim (community of Pforzheim) depicting me behind the stirring wheel speeding 6 km/h to fast…