BAMS: A Timeline of Progression.


My interests for a subject matter piqued around a variety of different topics and to get an idea of where my interests primarily lied, I created one (of many) mind maps to get them down. The concept of time and space came from my interest of Voyagers and the concept of being able to use the constellations of the sky to navigate the seas. The idea of combining navigation with time was what piqued my interest the most. Time, structure and navigation are personal to me and that is how I managed to decide on a concept idea for BAMS.

During the summer holidays, I ventured into Cardiff city centre for a day to explore the museum. There was only so much information I could absorb through the internet and wanted to see if there was anything I could find in real life to contextualise my concept.

I found a collection of monetary coins that were going rustic and I thought the rustic nature of the objects made them appear worn, used and dated. The fossil, unfortunately I can’t remember what it is taken from as my phone at the time of this photo with the data stored on it, had a circuit board failure and I lost the notes I made on this. But I loved the detail of this object and how tactile it looked. If it wasn’t in a glass cabinet on display, I definitely would have felt the texture of the object.

From this starting point, I went into the library and took out books on Astronomy, Time, Constellations of the night sky, and Cosmology. From this in-depth information I was fed from the books I read, I started to work into my sketchbook, being very interested in the Constellations. The Great Bear (Ursa Major) was a big starting point for my concept design in BAMS.

drawing bams

This series of investigation into those topics sent me in a new direction during the remainder of the summer holidays. I still had an interest in Voyagers and this is when I discovered the ancient artefact of a Nocturnal Horologium. I immediately became obsessed with its shape and function and from there, I was able to create a visually aesthetically pleasing design.

Upon return into term time, I immediately got to work. I knew I wanted to choose BAMS and I stuck with my decision. I began to do further research, to broaden my horizons and started to create maquettes out of cardboard to get a grasp on sizing that fitted into the palm of my hand. By doing this, it enabled me to further develop my design, concept and ideas. From the cardboard maquettes, I started to take it into clay. I chose clay because it is malleable and is easy to carve into, to mould and model into.

They were then sent down to Ceramics to be fired in the kiln. That was a waiting game and I did lose a good few days of mould-making whilst I waited for my medals to ‘cook’. Once they were out of the kiln, I took them straight into a one-part silicon mould.

fired medals

Once my silicon moulds were set, I took them into the next phase of the process: wax casting. I’m now able to start working on my wax trees tomorrow afternoon with Dallas to be ready for the coating of Melochite stage.



Objects in Social Settings – Week 1 Lecture + PDP Task.

Summary of Lecture:

Our first lecture with Dr. Ashley Morgan covered two theorists:

  • Arjun Appadurai – The Thing Itself
  • Miller – What is Materiality

Arjun Appadurai’s theory and belief is that objects do indeed have a social life and that nothing is permanent – everything, both human and object – have a lifespan or life cycle. There is also discussion about the illusion of permanence as Arjun Appadurai states:

“It is not just the materials from which art objects are composed that threaten to break through the illusion of permanence. It is the very action of the artists, the craftsmen, the builders, and the framers that is always waiting to show its hand. The tear in the canvas, the crack in the glass, the chip in the wood, the flaw in the steel are not just signs of homo Faber, but of activity that art both conceals and celebrates.” – Arjun Appadurai.

In this paragraph, Arjun basically states that nothing is permanent as anything can be broken or ripped, torn, slashed etc. This theory to read and try to understand was difficult and it took breaking it down line to line to understand.

Miller discusses materiality and how in his point of view, we should not simplify the meaning of materiality. It is a very expansive and diverse term.

“A volume that spans topics as diverse as cosmology and finance cannot afford to rest to rest upon any simplistic definition of what we mean by the word material. It needs to encompass both colloquial and philosophical uses of this term.” – Miller.

So the way we describe and analyse an object in easy or difficult terminology. Miller discusses the things or objects that we do not see that surround things – but they are only missed when they are removed from our social settings because we realise how they affect our lives and comforts.

This lecture has taught me about the life cycles of objects, objects in social settings, how to analyse their placements and symbolic meaning in our world and how materiality is a constant.

PDP Task: Prague (Orloj) Astronomical Clock

prague oldest clock ever yohoho

I chose the mediaeval Astronomical clock in Prague because it is the third oldest clock of its kind in the world. Therefore it is a historical landmark. Aside from landmarks, timepieces are evident in our day-to-day lives as they provide structure and stability to daily routines. We are so accustomed to timepieces ticking away in the background that if they were to be removed from our lives, where would structure be? For example: Your lecture starts at 11am but your mobile phone no longer demonstrates the time or your wristwatch has been removed. If timepieces were to be removed from our social settings, everyone’s lives would probably be unorganized chaos.

Learning To Know About Objects: An Introduction.

Disobedient Objects: An Introduction.

Synopsis – Disobedient Objects

Project Leader: Paul Granjon

Disobedient Objects was the title of an exhibition in the V&A in September 2014. The exhibition examined the powerful role of objects in movements for social change. It demonstrated how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design.

This Field project will combine a reflection on the disruptive potential of objects. The notion of disobedience will be explored in two main strands:

  • as a stance against authority, where the object or its use challenges established order and power structures, facilitates expression of protest, contributes to social change or disseminates ideas.
  • as a feature of the objects, where the function and functionality is not what would be expected from the object, the gadget rebels, the connected gizmo is irreverent.

The disobedient objects in the V&A exhibition share a DIY aesthetic, they were often made in urgency on a shoestring budget, compensating low-tech quality with high inventiveness. Similarly, the objects that will be constructed during the field project will be largely made from recycled and cheap materials, with a “quick and dirty” approach.

Paul Granjon and Jon Pigott both make active objects using a combination of techniques that include programmable electronics. Although not a compulsory aspect of the project, you will be supported to use DIY electronics and open source coding using the Arduino (a non-commercial, community-driven set of technologies designed for people from all backgrounds, not only for engineers).


The sessions will mostly take place in the FabLab where you will be able to access laser cutting, 3D printing and other digital manufacturing technologies.


Overall we will encourage upcycling, recycling, lateral thinking, reverse engineering and dirty hands.


Expected Outcomes/Deliverables:

The participants in this project will work in small teams and make one or more disobedient objects that will be demonstrated at the end. First they will be asked to identify a situation that needs addressing, an imbalance that needs balancing, a voice that needs to be amplified, a force that needs to be resisted, a design thet needs to be laughed at. They will imagine, design and build an object, set, or device to put things right or break things even more using a wide range of hand-made technologies ranging from gaffer tape to programmable LEDs to crisp wrappers to servo motors.


Throughout the project an open, critical, sharing and questioning attitude will be required.


Participants must be prepared to work in small groups (4 to 5 students).


Technical demonstrators will provide fabrication and programming support throughout. A series of short thematic lectures will delivered by the academic staff.


You will be encouraged and supported to include Arduino and open source programmable electronics in your object. You will be equally encouraged to used found and recycled/upcycled materials and adhoc construction techniques.

Recommended reading and resources

Flood, C. and Grindon, G. (ed) Disobedient Objects, V&A Publishing, 2014

Klanten, R. and Hübner, M. (ed) Urban Interventions, Personal Projects in Public Spaces, Gestalten 2010

Arkhipov, V. Home-Made, Contemporary Russian Folk Artifacts, Fuel, 2006

Thompson, N. and Sholette, G (ed) The Interventionists: User’s Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life, MASS MoCA Publications 2005

Debord, G. The Society of Spectacle, Zone Books 1994 (originally published in 1967)

Freyer C., Noël, S., Rucki E. Digital by Design, Thames and Hudson 2008

Thwaites, T. The Toaster Project, Princeton Architectural Press, 2011

Kurzweil, R. The Singularity is Near, Duckworth 2009

Shiffman, D. Learning Processing, Morgan Kaufmann, 2008

Dunne, A. and Raby, F. Speculative Everything, MIT Press, 2013

Bichlbaum, A. The Yes Men Fix The World, Dogwoof, 2008 (DVD)


Today we had a BAMS PDP at 11am with Ingrid Murphy in our level five meeting area. This PDP was beneficial but did take an hour out of our making time for BAMS. The idea was to gather around the table with our maquettes, prototypes, design boards and sketchbooks and if anyone was a lot further on, then their moulds and possibly their wax trees. Everyone had interesting concepts and extremely complex, ambitious designs. It was good to gain an inside perspective on my fellow cohorts designs and also to gain feedback on my own.

Ingrid appeared to be pleased with my concept and definitely was pleased with my development of sketches (I never use to sketch or use a sketchbook!) that demonstrated a thorough, thought-through idea process before progressing onto actual making. For me, it was beneficial to gain a critical sort of feedback and I always feel I develop well under Jon or Ingrid’s critical feedbacks as opposed to other types of feedback. If anything however, I really do feel that this PDP should have taken place the first week into the BAMS brief, instead of about 2 or 3 weeks in, when everyone has already progressed into plaster, clay, moulds, wax etc.

Welcome to BAMS – Start of New Term.

Part of Level Five is following a Live Brief and the first 7 weeks of term are focused on this.
We have successfully run the British Art Medal Student Brief for 4 years with increasing student success. This year is their 25th anniversary and the exhibition at the end of the competition will be even more special. It is a great chance to work in bronze, to learn a new skill, make a handheld artefact on a theme of your choice and submit it for a live competition.
You will have a choice of Live Brief when you come back – but even if you are not thinking of making a medal through choosing the BAMS brief – the task for everyone over the summer is to research and prepare for this brief.
So please bring considered and rich designs that answer the parameters outlined on the You Tube PPT that can be moved into modelling and a wax within the first week of term!
o It’s a fast but focused process and requires good time management.
o It is a great chance to make a small artefact in a new medium.
o It is stressful at times – but has so many benefits!
Module Title
Subject: Create
Module Number
ADZ 5111
Assignment title
British Art Medal Society Student Project Live Brief
Project Leader
Philippa Lawrence
Assignment Due Date
Formative: 7th November 2017
Oral presentation, artefact, design sheets and blog.
Formative: A 5 minute oral presentation. Weekly blog. A professional standard idea or design sheet or series of drawings, a refined piece or resolved maquette, a min. 500 word summative reflective journal (blog) entry to cover skills, context and ideas as outlined in the Subject learning outcomes in this document. Sketchbooks etc.
Look at the Art Medals in the gallery pages, on the link below and explore in depth gallery pages for inspiration reading about the makers AND watch the BAMS PPT on You Tube.

This outlines the brief that is set and the directives include:
• not too thick
• fits in the palm of your hand
• not a squashed sculpture
• works in relation to both sides and the edge!!! etc
Themes: are varied and wide – the PPT outlines them.
So, enjoy – think of a design, sketch and be ready to take a design into wax and a mould ASAP on your return to Maker in September.
Any questions – just email.
The work detailed needs to be completed and submitted by the 7th of November.
Completed BAMS submission form with sketch and text– (it is on Moodle).
o its meaning,
o what it suggests,
o how it came about,
o why this theme,
o whatever you want to say about it
PLEASE ALSO STATE: How is the medal related to your other work/ or not?
COMMENT on making the medal, and the process, such as its size, constraints, etc.
(What you write will be used as the basis for catalogue entries).
Week 1: fabricating, moulding or carving your idea in clay, wax, laser cut wood or plaster.
Week 2: have made a mould of your ‘object.’ And got your waxes made
This week you have an introduction to the process of shell casting and making a tree on Wednesday 4th October 10.00. All to attend.
Week 3: Waxes made into a tree & the shell casting process – dipping & drying
Week 4 & 6: Burn out the shells …and pour
Week 6: Cleaning up/finishing
Week 7: Formative/patination/hand in
Remember the shell casting process needs you to work on it twice a day over the course of a week. Aim to stick to the schedule – as not everything will necessarily go smoothly if it slips at all – it can only be by a week to make sure you have time to go through the process.
Learning Outcomes:
o Demonstrate an ability to extend material understanding and application of process
in the origination and execution of work
o An ability to identify professional contexts, including contemporary environments and
locations such as manufacturing, the craft studio, and galleries.
o Have higher levels of autonomy in their studies through self-directed and
collaborative practice and evaluation
o Have thorough knowledge of the main methods of enquiry relevant to practice, and
to critically evaluate where their work is situated in relation to contemporary art,
design & making.
o A sound ability to scope and locate their own practice within contemporary and
professional environments.
o A confidence in taking risks, and developing challenging, yet appropriate ideas.

Time: An Introduction and Its Importance Within Concept Design.

Absolute, true, and mathematical time, in and of itself and of its own nature, without reference to anything external, flows uniformly and by another name is called duration. Relative, apparent, and common time is any sensible and external measure (precise or imprecise) of duration by means of motion; such as a measure—for example, an hour, a day, a month, a year—is commonly used instead of true time.  — Sir Isaac Newton

I am going to break this post down into three sections:

  • Definition of Time
  • Time and Timelines
  • Time in Space

Definition of Time:


Time and Timelines:

Upon my investigations into time and its timeline, I discovered these videos on YouTube. I found the breakdown of knowledge resourceful as it gave my brain time to process the information. With this new information in mind, it will further enable my understanding of time and will therefore inspire my concept design for BAMS.

The importance of understanding time and timeline is crucial to the development of my design, as my concept is related to time.

Time in Space:

I have discovered that I observe information more efficiently when it is broken down or thoroughly explained in videos. With this in mind, I am going to use YouTube videos to demonstrate my investigations into time in space. Space and time are fused together in what is known as ‘four dimensional structure; space time’.