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Kiitella Focuses on Award-Making Niche
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Saturday, May 6, 2023
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Those gold, silver and bronze medals you might have seen draped around ski racers’ necks at the 2023 Toyota US Alpine Championships?

They were custom made by metal artist Lisa Issenberg, owner and founder of the Ridgway, Colo., studio Kiitella. The studio was named after a Finnish word meaning to “Thank, Applaud or Praise.”

Issenberg has been creating custom awards for the US Alpine Championships in Sun Valley since they were first held here in 2016. Her process includes a mix of handcraft and industrial techniques.

Inspired by the Sun Valley Alpine Championships graphics, these gold silver and bronze medals are created from solid steel and brass plate, cut via jet-cutting, then satin-polished, said Issenberg.

“On the front, the copy part of the event graphics is metal-printed and riveted behind a window cutout. Each discipline and place is metal-printed and riveted to the back.”

Issenberg has worked in all metal disciplines from large-scale steel sculptures to small-scale jewelry.

She studied at the School of the Museum of fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston and San Francisco State, finally earning as Masters in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Her signature works have been commissioned by Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, the bear-resistant trash and recycling receptacle committee for Telluride and other organizations.

She founded Kiitella in 2012 to focus on the niche of award-making. She also makes trophies, plaques, recognition walls and functional awards, such as hatchets.

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