Metalsmithing Artist-in-Residence Launches Hand Medal Project Honoring Health Care Workers
In April 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, friends and artists Iris Eichenberg (Metalsmithing Artist-in-Residence) and Jimena Ríos conceived of the idea to have artists, jewelers, students, and professionals craft medals to honor the service and sacrifice of health workers.
The hand shape of the medal was chosen to recognize the human hand as a weapon to be washed, sanitized, gloved, and also as a symbol of healing and connection. As of November 2020, more than 30,000 medals have been created by 1,584 jewelers in 66 countries and given to healthcare workers in more than 300 hospitals around the world.
Each medal has been registered with a number stamped on the back, allowing recipients to look up the maker of their medal on this website.