Every evening, after the show, a group of us would meet for dinner. Two evenings, we met with Bernhard Bakat and his wife Elizabeth.
Bernhard had a booth at the Show where he sold flats distinct to his company at www.inZinn.de. You can probably find a flat on almost any subject, but Bernhard had a concentration of flats with a biblical theme.
I wrote to him:
1. How did you get involved in the world of flats?
In 1985 my wife and I visit on vacation the “Railroad Exibition” in Nürnberg. It was the event of 175 years railroad in Germany (“Adler” Nürnberg – Fürth). In this time we also visit Kulmbach and Plassenburg for the first time. I was fascineted by the flats. And I was looking for an new hobby, because I gave up collecting stamps. And I thought: That´s great. The flats are small (30mm) and the take no room. And I bought my first flats (3 pieces – with the “Adler”, the Kulmbach series of 1975). Later I also willet to learn to paint the flats. 1989 I went to my first painting workshop to Kulmbach on the plassenburg.
2. To what extent are you involved? Are you an editor? It looks like you have figures that no one else sells unless they get them from you.
Living in the world of flats there formed the desire for creating an own mould. So I looked for an new idea in flat. And what should it be? The answer is combinated with your third question: something with my conviction. And some time on visit in Berlin I saw the picture i looked for – it was philip an the ethiopian. And I thougt, if it`s my first flat, i have to get the best engraver. I asked Vladimir Nuzhdin for drawing and engraving. And he did it in the best way. Dreams come true. So I could present my first flat at Kulmbach 2007. This was the beginning to be an editor.
3. Can you tell us why many of your flat are religious or Christian in subject matter?
I´m a baptist and therefore I want to share the religion: what`s important in my life. And look into the Bible for conclusion in the New Testament. So started the series BB (Bernhard Bakat or “Biblische Bilder” (topic of the bible). All series of my own inspiration started with an “B”. And I`m happy to find so good engraver for my flats!
Here are some of the flats Bernhard manufactures. Can you figure out what Bible characters are represented in these scenes?
Painted by Philippe Fourquet
Answer: The first flat of the chariot is of Philip and the man from Ethiopia. The story is found in the New Testament, Acts 8. The second flat is of Mary Magdalene. The third is represents the Pharisees who would draw as much attention to themselves as possible when they made their contribution for the purpose of being seen of men. The third one is titled, “The Smug.”
I have had my eye on the first one for a while, but the complexity of it is a little intimidating. Let’s take a look at how it has been painted by various artists. The first one (below) was painted by Norbert Heyse. It was not entered in competition, but was painted for Bernhardt.
The next rendering of “Philip and the Man from Ethiopia” was painted by Wolfgang Blum and won a gold medal in Kulmbach 2011.
The next one was painted by Michael Jänicke and won a gold medal in Kulmbach 2009.
The last rendering of the flat was painted by Chuck Smith. For more on Chuck’s painting of this piece, click here.
Bernhard’s wife, Elizabeth, makes beautiful glass beads and strings them together into necklaces.
Or order tin figures or jewelry from Elizabeth, send Bernhard an email provided on his website at www.inZinn.de.