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In her first year as master student Tamara Marbl Joka wins the 'Oscar prize` of jewelry – The Herbert Hofmann Prize.
In her first year as master student Tamara Marbl Joka wins the 'Oscar prize` of jewelry – The Herbert Hofmann Prize.

The Oscar goes to …

The Herbert Hofman Prize is considered the 'Oscar of jewelry awards' and is granted every year in March. This year Tamara Marbl Joka, a first-year master's student at KHiO won the 'Oscar'.

At SCHMUCK the world's most important exhibition of contemporary jewelry the Herbert Hofmann Prize 2023 was awarded as part of the SCHMUCK special show held in Munich.

Tamara Marbl Joka winner of the Herbert Hofmann Prize 2023With the Herbert Hofmann Prize, the Trade Organization awards goldsmiths whose work is exemplary. The participants in the special show are selected by a curator changing every year. Among more than 600 applicants Joka was one of 67 artists handpicked by this year’s curator British Caroline Broadhead. The Herbert Hofmann Prize's Jury was composed by Markus Eder, Georg Dobler, Renate-Luckner-Bien, Chequita Nahar and Cornelie Holzach.

– Every artist working seriously in the field of art jewelry dreams of one day getting on this podium and receiving this award, says Jorge Manilla Navarrete, Professor of Metal and Jewelry Art and subject area coordinator. He comes from a family of Mexican goldsmiths and engravers and holds a PhD from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp Belgium.

– In the world of crafts, it is one of the most renowned and recognized awards at an international level. And today we are very happy that Tamara got this award. She wins it in her first year of master's degree, leaving her name in this exclusive list of winners and positioning her directly in the international professional scene.

The second week of March 22 students and teachers brought their work to Munich Jewelry  Week. They presented their work in the group exhibition KHiO Displaced - Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo.

– Recognized as the largest international event for art and objects jewelry, this event represent a great responsibility for our specific area from the preparation of the pieces, the logistical and economic organization as well as our presence and performance in Germany, Jorge Manilla Navarrete explains.

– We had a huge number of visitors, which allowed students to develop in this field, explaining the works, promoting the school, making new contacts and networks.

– I gave myself the task of inviting specific people such as collectors and professionals and the result was that some collectors bought pieces from a student, placing this in private collections. We also had many proposals for collaborations at institutional level in South Africa, Germany, Spain, Greece and other places. Parallel to this we got to participate in a discussion forum for a big audience with our colleagues Camilla Luihn and Olaf Tønnesland Hodne in the launching of the magazine The Vessel produced by Norwegian Crafts. Hodne also participated in an exhibition together with wellknown artists. The week was a very good experience in many ways for all of us.

Winning the Oscar

Sunday March 11 the last day of the exhibition the Herbert Hofmann Prize 2023 was awarded. More than 200 jewelry artists, museum curators and gallery owners were present at the award ceremony.

This year’s winners are Tamara Marbl Joka, Jutta Kallfelz and Neke Moa.

Pressrelease SCMUCK: Herbert Hofmann Prize 2023

– I didn’t understand I won the prize at first. The speech was in German, so I didn’t get what was being said, but I suddenly heard my name, says a happy Tamara Marbl Joka.

– I was very happy receiving the prize, but I didn’t feel prepared for entering the stage to receive it, she recalls.

– Now after returning to Norway I have learned I am the first Norwegian to receive the prize! People are calling me, sending E-mails and asking for interviews, so there’s a lot going on. More than I would have thought.

Tamara Marbl Joka Winner Of The Herbert Hofmann Prize 2023The three winners of the Herbert Hofmann Prize 2023. From left Neke Moa, Jutta Kallfelz and Tamara Marbl Joka. 

Tamara Marbl Joka won the prize with her brooch “The Mirror of the Past” made of concrete, silver and steel. Joka was born in the former Yugoslavia and her personal experiences are reflected in the material and form of her brooch.

– By exploring textures and using the material as memory, I study the challenges within the medium. My process is a direct result of inner dialogue and contradiction. These occur between the head and the heart, as well as the material and the sensual.

 – The ground, like the foundation of an urban landscape, is an essential element of my work. For me, the ground is all below us - what we had, what we have, and the potential of future development. I have witnessed an earthquake, a war, a long migration process, and death. What does it mean to be a human being when the ground shakes and disappears? I express these events through concrete and metal - thus creating objects based on physical experiences, and distinct phenomena in my life. Using sandblasting, I emphasize the contrasting values of darkness and light, while emphasizing shape and depth in the process. I create a mixture of organic formations and man-made infrastructures.

– Each piece is, for me, an individual slice of a terrain suspended in space. The unknown story of a unique, rusty picture of uneven earth crust. Suddenly, parts of the horizon divides and new forms arise.

– The silver chain is located inside the concrete like an armature which holds the concrete. Even invisible fragment of my vanishing memory, it is significant because this "armature" keeps the most important memories alive.

Universal stories

Jorge Manilla Navarrete has followed Joka’s development from her first Bachelor year, being her supervisor.

– Tamara's work is personal and intimate, it represents fragments and memories of a place that does not exist today, Sarajevo, which was her hometown in the former Yugoslavia. She manages to universalize these memories and through simple shapes and materials like cement and silver, she translates these stories into a poetic moment.

– At first glance, the winning piece seems simple, it is a circular cement brooch that shows some subtle cracks, these cracks make the viewer feel a tension and a kind of nostalgia, just like that moment when everything can be totally fragmented.

– It has been a pleasure to follow Tamara through her studies here at KHiO, says her second supervisor Camilla Luihn. She recently was employed in a permanent 50% as Associate Professor of Metal Art and Jewelry. Autumn 2022 she received the Art and Craft prize from The Relief Fund for Visual Artists.

– I was Tamara's supervisor during her Bachelor and it is a wonderful experience that she received this prestigious award in Munich. We in the subject area were overjoyed on her behalf. It is a great honor and recognition and, not least, a testimony of the high level we now hold in the subject area of ​​metal and jewelry art at KHiO.

Manilla says Joka’s artistic performance has been very relevant for the specific area of metals.

– Since her first year she has demonstrated an unstoppable search for materials and an artistic and personal language. During her studies, she has gone through complex moments such as the pandemic, which creates a great impact on her generation. She is always looking for a balance between metal and other craft techniques and materials such as wood and textiles. As well as the development of a personal language which has been of great relevance.

– In her third year she managed to understand the value of communicating something through her own expression and through a personal context, Tamara not only achieves aesthetically interesting results but manages to generate philosophical and social questions that concern many of us today: identity, migration, territory, home, memories, and the changes because of this displacement.

Catalogo Tamara

Understanding the needs of the students

Jorge Manilla Navarrete started his professorship six years ago and the subject area of metals and art jewelry of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts has been in constant change.

– The changes were necessary and urgent. My proposal as head professor was to offer students real situations, at all the levels from realizing how difficult it is to be a student in the field of arts to how to be an artist at a professional level and the responsibilities that this implies.

– Our focus in the professor teams has been on understanding the needs of the students, constantly reviewing our teaching system in our specific area, questioning ourselves all the time what is working and what is not, and being able, within the system of study programs, to adapt the teaching in the most efficient way for the students.

Jorge Manilla Navarrete teaching in the Metal Workshop

Professor Jorge Manilla Navarrete teaching in the Metal Workshop. 

– In the area of metals, we have an integral philosophy on what we consider necessary to be trained as metal artists. Internationalization is very important to us, and we consider it a wonderful proposal both at an Erasmus academic level, sending and receiving students to different institutions, and internationally in the field of jewelry or other events. One of my strengths and contribution to KHiO is my network of international contacts, and thanks to this we have work proposals in different countries, and we have been involved in different projects (some examples and links below). As a student you will learn to prepare work, travel, meet other people, and make your own network, understand, and apply all the aspects that an international exhibition demands.

– This work has been constant, exhaustive, committed, and we know and are aware that we still have a lot to do, but we have the right team, the desire, and a fully motivated group of students, and that fills us with pride and satisfaction.

– What Tamara has achieved is outstanding. Having obtained this award means an enormous responsibility not only for Tamara but for the metal and art jewelry subject area and KHiO as an institution. The event is an ideal platform to recruit new students and to further expand the internationalization of KHiO and have possible interesting collaborations. For the professor team, it motivates us to continue giving the best we can as educators and show us that patience and dedication are totally worth it. And for the other students it is very motivating and a great example to continue working. It confirms that we are doing things well and that this reconstruction to normality after the pandemic is giving us results full of satisfaction that we had almost forgotten.

– We have a unique student environment and great workshops, Tamara adds on being a student at KHiO. – And as students we are followed up closely by our qualified teachers. What more can one wish for?

The Herbert Hofmann Prize 2023

Tamara Marbl Joka and her brooch Mirror of the Past

The brooch is made of concrete, silver and steel. Tamara Marbl Joka studies at the National Academy of the Arts in Oslo, Norway. She was born in the former Yugoslavia. Her personal experiences are reflected in the material and form of her brooch: the artist questions the idea that concrete is stronger than the violence of nature or war. The deceptive hope for stability literally cracks and refers to the artist's personal biography. She has survived earthquakes, war and a long migration and knows what it means when the concrete beneath you starts to move.

Follow Tamara Marbl Joka

See her work at KHiO in the exhibition SCMUCK Tamara Marbl Joka March 23 – April 19 2023.

Instagram @tamartnorge

Apply to BFA in Medium- and Material Based Art application deadline April 3

Upcoming international events:

VI Bienal Internacional de Joyería Contemporánea y Arte Metalófono "METALófono: MEMORIA DE LUGARES" Museum of Applied Arts and Design está en Vilna, Provincia de Vilna, Lituania. News • Contemporary Metal Art Biennial (

Design without borders , participating professor Jorge Manilla Navarrete and two master students (March2023) 

Melting Point Valencia 2023 (28-30 .04, 2023) International Biennale of contemporary Jewellery and metal work  Valencia Spain 

1. Students and professor’s exhibition under the title Khio Dispalced

2. 5 selected students are invited to take part in an exhibition called “Crisis” international schools exhibition at the Art and Design school Valencia.

3. Inside outside duo exhibition Jorge Manilla and Agustina Ros

Silver festival in Legnica Poland, exhibition  with catalog offered by Silver festival (May 2023)