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.




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’.

An Investigation into Medals & Coins

war medal

Abyssinian War Medal, 1869

The Abyssinian War Medal was awarded to those involved in a 1867-1868 expedition to Abyssinia to secure the release of British labourers sent to the country at the request of King Theodore, but imprisoned on their arrival along with other British representatives. Though 43,000 men were involved in the campaign (only 14,683 being soldiers) and vastly outnumbered, total casualties were only 2 killed and 27 wounded, and the King committed suicide when the city of Magdala fell to the British.
This medal was awarded to Able Bodied Seaman T. Simpkin, whose vessel, HMS Spiteful, despite only being a paddle-steamer single-handedly quelled piracy in the Arabian Gulf during the campaign, in a month’s cruise in 1868 in which she captured 6 vessels and rescued 200 slaves. Simpkin was presumably part of this effort, and Lester Watson purchased the medal awarded for it at some point before 1928.
The Museum is glad to acknowledge the help of Mr G. M. Stein with the history of this medal.

bronze medal

Back to gallery page

Medaille Commomorative des Dardanelles, 1926 (Great War)

After Germany’s diplomacy successfully induced Ottoman Turkey to join the Great War on Germany’s side in late 1914, a substantial naval force was amassed by the Allies against Turkey. Key to its operations was control of the Dardanelles Strait between the Aegean Sea and Sea of Marmora.
A large naval force was assembled to open the Straits, but heavy losses necessitated a change of plan to an infantry assault over land on the Gallipolli Peninsula to take control of the Straits. A force principally composed of Australian and New Zealand troops, supported with British home units and French marines, was landed and held on on the Peninsula for ten dogged months, mounting numerous ineffective offensives while naval support dwindled. Turkish resistance on all fronts proved more solid than had been anticipated and the troops were finally withdrawn in October 1915 when Bulgaria joined the war on the German side. Those who remained in the theatre became part of the Arme d’Orient at Thessalonika, for which they were awarded a separate decoration.
French troops who survived combat in the Dardanelles, in which French forces took nearly as many casualties as the Australians, were in 1926 awarded this medal. The piece is unnamed, and the identity of its recipient thus unknown. Lester Watson purchased it at some point before 1928.


Silver Cross (Canadian Memorial or Widow’s Cross), awarded in memory of Pvt. C. Smith, 1914-1919

Silver Cross (Canadian Memorial or Widow’s Cross), 1914-1919

The Silver Cross, now known as the Canadian Memorial Cross since the introduction of a similar award by New Zealand in 1960, was instituted in 1914, and was issued to the mother and/or widow of any Canadian serviceman killed in action during the Great War of 1914-1918. The initial award was concluded in 1919, but a new version struck in 1940 for Second World War service deaths and it has remained on issue since that time. In 2006, indeed, the first award was made to a widower in memory of his wife, who had been killed in combat in Aghanistan.
This cross was awarded to the next-of-kin of Private C. Smith, of the Royal Canadian Army. As the cross bears the monogram of George V, his fatal service must have been during the Great War, but no more is known. Lester Watson acquired the cross at some point before 1928.

victoria cross

Victoria Cross, awarded to Sgt. E. J. Mott, 1917

Victoria Cross, 1917 (Great War)

The Victoria Cross is the highest award for gallantry that can be made by the United Kingdom. Instituted in 1856 to recognise deeds done in the Crimean War, reportedly at the suggestion of Prince Albert, the new medal was to be given “for valour”. Even today this simple statement justifies the medal’s award. The first medals were legendarily struck from bronze from the captured Russian guns of Sebastopol, although it is now believed that the metal came from older Chinese cannon that were found in the Arsenal in 1857. (These weapons may however have been captured from the Russians during the Crimean campaign.) The design was entrusted to the London jewellers’ firm of C. F. Hancock & Sons, Holborn, and it is there that the Victoria Cross is still made when it is awarded today.
The fighting on the Somme during the Great War of 1914-1918 is still regarded with horror as one of the greatest bloodbaths ever permitted during modern combat. British casualties at Ypres and on the Somme from 1915 to 1918 outnumbered the entire British casualty list for the whole of the Second World War. Despite the questionable strategy of the Battle, however, this was obviously a place and time where opportunities for deeds of heroism were rife, and thus many medals were awarded during this campaign. This is one of them.
On 27 January 1917 the 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment, in company with the 1st Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers had orders to attack a section of the enemy position south of Le Transloy, known as Landwehr Trench. An artillery barrage of 96 eighteen-pounder guns, with support from 30 Australian howitzers, preceded the attack which began at 5:30 a.m. along a 750-yard front. By 7:00 a.m 117 prisoners had been taken and the first and second objectives had been captured with light casualties. Consolidation on the flank however proved difficult because of the frozen ground, enemy shelling and pernicious sniping. It was here that Sergeant Edward J. Mott became the Border Regiment’s first VC of the War. The citation from the London Gazette for 9 March 1917 records his actions as follows: `No. 9887 Sergeant Edward Mott, 1st Bn Border Regiment. For most conspicuous gallantry and initiative when in attack, the company to which he belonged was held up at a strong point by machine gun fire. Although wounded in the eye Sergeant Mott made a rush for the gun and after a fierce struggle seized the gunner and took him prisoner, capturing the gun. It was due to the dash of the non-commissioned officer that the left flank succeeded.’
This medal forms part of what Lester Watson’s catalogue lists as Group 2, and its provenance is discussed in the page for that group.



coins 2


Taken in The Commercial Rooms (Wetherspoons) in Bristol, I thought this was beneficia l research for my BAMS project and I found it inspiring to observe closely and read. I took this photograph before leaving.

Investigating various war medals, medals of honour and coins is beneficial towards developing my concept and designs for the live brief of BAMS. By furthering my investigations, I am building a clearer understanding of how each side of a coin or medal correlate to each other. This will aid my developmental stage immensely, as a better understanding of the relationship between each side of the medal will speed up my progress of starting to design an outcome.

I am planning a trip to one of the local museums in Bristol for Friday, to further develop my investigation into the process of medal and coin-making. I am positive by creating an extensive research portfolio, will help increase the inspiration and ideas for this live brief. I aim to start designing my concept before August is out.

BAMS: Investigation.

Before I start my investigation into topics that pique my interest, I have been investigating the BAMS website for inspiration. Below are previous medals that stood out to me and feel inspired by:

Not a Day without a Line By: Peters, Camilla and Wood, Rob, 2005 Medium: bronze, alabaster and white ink Size: 80 x 122mm Cast by: constructed by the artists Issue: The Medal, no. 48 (Spring 2006) Edition: 20
bams 2
To Forgive the Unforgivable By: Stephen Morris, 2003 Medium: cast bronze Size: 89 x 69mm Cast by: Silas Tonks Issue: The Medal, no. 43 (2003) Edition: 32
bams 3
To Forgive the Unforgivable By: Stephen Morris, 2003 Medium: cast bronze Size: 89 x 69mm Cast by: Silas Tonks Issue: The Medal, no. 43 (2003) Edition: 32
bams 5
Past and Present £124.00 By: Rob Wood, 2001 Medium: bronze, steel and magnets Size: 78mm Cast by: the artist Edition: 40
bams 4
Past and Present £124.00 By: Rob Wood, 2001 Medium: bronze, steel and magnets Size: 78mm Cast by: the artist Edition: 40
bams 6
Alas By: Deborah Sadler, 1994 Medium: cast bronze Size: 112 x 84mm Cast by: Bronze Age Issue: The Medal, no. 25 (1994) Edition: 10

I have invested time into my summer coursework for the live brief of BAMS and I have been mapping out general ideas for themes that I would like to incorporate into my BAMS medal.


These topics are my starting line. I am going to consider each topic of interest, create a research file for each of the topics and progress from there. At the moment, I am already working on a research file for Galaxy and Sea with Voyagers. I am investigating the relationship between galaxy and sea, and the use of nocturnal instruments to navigate waters by starlight.

The Finalisation of Outcomes.

Applying titles to mount board for Exhibition.

The titles of my work have been carefully chosen and once printed out, I set to applying them to mount board, ready to exhibit my work for my deadline today at 4pm. This was the halfway stage, as I was finalising the titles and moving onto my assessment form and artist statement. All of these are now successfully and neatly applied to mount board and in place.

hitler 2

When I was investigating World War 2 headlines for my Lazertran experimentation, I thought of this visual aesthetic to incorporate into my work and started sketching out a layout for a newspaper article.

hitler 4

After experimenting with the layout, using blue tac to ‘pin’ images to the black drop, I started to play around with different titles, events and topics that were present during the 1939-1945 timeframe, primarily focusing on the middle point before WW2 ended.

field board
The Inside Layout of Display Board for Field.
field board 2
Arduino, Breadboard and Power Supply.
field board 2
Layout of Neopixels

field board 3

The arduino is set up, supplied with a power-supply and works with the interactive features as planned, written in the programming and coding. I thoroughly enjoyed setting this up, as it has finally been finalised and no longer a stress for me (the programming took large quantities of time). I am exceedingly pleased with this outcome and it has demonstrated a development of new acquired skill-sets and concepts for myself as a maker.