London 2012 Olympic medals designed by British artist David Watkins.
The Olympic medals disk circular form is a metaphor for the world. The front of the medal always depicts the same imagery at the summer Games – the Greek Goddess of Sport – ‘Nike’ – stepping out of the depiction of the Parthenon and arriving in London.

Turns out that our family friend, and very talented artist, Davis Watkins, was selected from among 100 artists to design the medals for this year’s Summer Olympic Games. For the Olympic bronze, silver and gold medals, Watkins developed a striking geometric design, juxtaposed with imagery on the front of the medal, which has since 2004 depicted Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, stepping out of the Parthenon. His design for the back of the medal features a 3-dimensional emblem that suggests the built structures of a modern city, a background grid that radiates energy, a ribbon-like form representing the River Thames, and a square, to balance the circularity of the design. Get a behind scenes view of the design process at the Crafts Council’s web page: Striking Gold,, where Watkins and his student Lin Cheung, who designed the medal for the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games are interviewed. If you are in London, the medals are on display at the British Museum through September 9th

David Watkins, photo by Tom Grotta

With Wendy Ranshaw, Watkins is part of an art power couple (like Frida/Diego, Pollack/Krasner, and in our field, Stocksdale/Sekimachi, Rossbach/Westphal, Kobayashi/Kobayashi, McQueen/Mensing; Brennan/Maffei, etc.) If you get as far as Wales, you can see Wendy Ranshaw’s solo exhibition of jewellery and objects, Room of Dreams, at the Ruthin Craft Centre — also through September 9, 2012