Medal Process – Why no bronze for Formative

Initially when we were told at the beginning of the term that we will be having a formative assessment before we break up for the Christmas holidays, and that we will be expected to have a finished piece to show, when asked what I would be presenting my response was that I would have one medal finished by Christmas. I had decided from quite an early point in the project that I was aiming to create a set of medals for my final piece, most likely 5 (it is widely held that when creating multiples they work more effectively in groups of odd numbers), which would come together as a group to create the final piece but equally would stand on their merits as individual objects. Because of this, it made sense to aim to have one completed bronze medal out of the set prepared for Christmas.

However, I found that designing the medals took much longer than I had anticipated. Having done bronze casting in both the first and second year, especially last year during the BAMS project, I am very aware of what a long and involved process creating a bronze medal is, from conception to completion. Given that I have barely conceived a clear idea of the design of the final medals themselves, it seems over ambitious to aim to have a bronze medal for the Christmas assessment.

While I could potentially still get a bronze out for the Christmas assessment, it would take an awful lot of time and energy to be invested into the process, and I would need to start now which would mean working with a design that was nowhere near up to the standard I want it to be, and has the potential to change in almost every aspect by the time it gets to the final piece. Although I’m sure that having a bronze medal for Christmas would be of some use, especially in investigating the use of patination, it would be largely the same process I went through last year and so very little new would be learned from it.

In light of this, I feel that a much more achievable goal is to have a pewter cast of a medal for the Christmas assessment, as this only involves having a sculpted version of the medal (in wax or clay), then casting that into silicone and from that pouring in the pewter, which is a much more straight forward process. I will then have a physical and solid representation of the medal, which has more integrity and quiddity than simply a wax or an unglazed clay sculpted version.

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