BAMS – Medal project – Finally, medals!

After literally months in the making, the bronze has finally been poured and my medals now physically exist in the world! I must say, I was having my doubts about them, the design, whether or not I even liked them any more, but now that I can see them and touch them I couldn’t be happier. This may well just be temporary euphoria, and I will most likely return to my critical self, but for the moment I am extremely pleased. It’s a very surreal experience having had an idea for so long, but having it only really exist inside your mind, and be able to demonstrate to people through drawings. While I did have physical objects in the form of the plaster and wax versions of the medals, it was still difficult to translate this into the idea of bronze, the weight, the colour, and it really demonstrates to me the inherent value of different materials. These bronze versions, although they are very rough and unfinished, are inherently more interesting and impressive to me, and it would seem to other people. Perhaps it is because both bronze and wax, while they are not things that most people would know how to work with or create, can understand the general idea and process of creation, whereas bronze is not something that people would ever consider using in day to day life and it is generally something that is reserved for industry built objects.

I had four medals on my wax tree, two pairs of medals (two male hand medals, two female hand medals), and thankfully this meant that I came out with one good pair. Although I did also end up with one “bad” pair where the tips of the fingers for some reason have not fully formed, resulting in them looking strangely stunted, this does at least mean that I have a pair to practice on without fear of ruining the final pieces

stunted male hand

stunted male hand

stunted female hand

stunted female hand

Frustratingly, I think the imprints on the backs of the “bad” medals came out better than on the “good” pair, but this is not as important and I’d much rather have a pair with fully formed fingers.

Back of stunted male hand

Back of stunted male hand

Back of stunted female hand

Back of stunted female hand

And here is the final “good” pair together!

female hand and male hand medals

female hand and male hand medals

They certainly need a lot of cleaning up and work put into them still, but I am very happy with their general form. The detail on the skin has come out very well, although unfortunately there are quite a few small marks, but hopefully I can either get rid of them or they will be small enough to be overlooked once they are finished.

One thing that I have found, and was surprised by, was the way in which they stand on their own. Because of their weight, and the thickness of the rings they stand very well on their own, but slightly lean towards one another. This is absolutely perfect and really encapsulates how I always imagined them to be presented, and the fact that they do it naturally without any assistance makes it even more striking. You can even pull them back to stand in a more upright facing position, but they will just roll back into place under their own weight. To me this very strongly expresses the sense of attraction and closeness between the two people, and the desire to touch, which was what I was aiming to express with these medals. More than anything, I am very glad I made the decision to make these medals as a pair, and not purely as my own hand which was my original intention. I think that what I struggle to express with these medals (the idea of intimacy and touch) is largely (although not entirely) alleviated by the pair, and the imprint on the reverse is given context by the other hand’s presence.

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