Otto Künzli attended the Schule für Gestaltung in Zürich, Switzerland from 1965-1970, where he took the metals course. In 1970, he had his final apprenticeship and became a goldsmith, working at various workshops in Zürich and Bern. From 1972 to 1978, Künzli studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München (Academy of Fine Arts Munich) in Munich under renowned German jeweler Herman Jünger, taking further classes in the goldsmith’s craft. In 1975, he moved into his current residence in Munich, and established his studio.
Still working in Munich today, Künzli has become well known in the world of art jewelry for his minimal and conceptual pieces filled with wit and irony. His work has received many awards, including the Grand Prix of the Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (Swiss Confederation) and the Ring of Honor from the Association for Goldsmiths’ Art. His work is featured in many public collections, including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Royal College of Art Collection in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. Künzli is also well known as a teacher, holding a 20-year position at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München as the Chair in Goldsmiths’ Art. He has lectured at various schools and jewelry and metalsmithing programs around the world.