The Medals Project – First Year Sculpture and Environmental Art – Glasgow School of Art – 14th November 2011


This year SEA are taking part in the Student Medal Project, a competition run by The British Art Medal Society (BAMS). We are running it as a project for our first year students, and opening it up to students and staff from around the School.

Bill Woodrow

The (BAMS) Student Medal Project encourages and promotes the art of making medals throughout art colleges in the United Kingdom. Each year over one hundred student medals, from as many as fifteen art colleges, are submitted for judging for prizes and selection for exhibition. The Royal Mint and the Worshipful Company of Founders are among the institutions that support the project, and the British Museum sometimes purchases particularly meritorious student medals. It is a great forum for students to view the work made by their contemporaries, to join them at the annual conference, and to participate in an international project. Each year an academy from outside the UK is invited to take part. A catalogue is published, which includes entries for everyone who takes part.

Marcy Leavitt Bourne from the British Art Medal Society will be presenting a lecture on medals and the (BAMS) competition on Tuesday 1st of November at 12:30 in the Barnes Lecture Theatre.

Cliff Bowen

The First Prize presented by the Worshipful Company of Founders (£750, plus £100 to pay for casting one copy of the winning medal for the Founders’ Company Collection) is for the very best use of the medium of the medal, taking account of all its aspects. The Second Prize (£500) is presented by Thomas Fattorini & Co. There will be a special prize for the “Best Guest” from a foreign academy, which this year is from Tehran. There will be a selected exhibition of student medals at Glasgow School of Art, planned for summer 2012 to coincide with the International Congress of Medallic Art, in Glasgow. The British Museum will display a selection of the prize-winning medals.

João Duarte

There are two specific prizes: one is for The Best Political Medal; the other is being given in this Olympic year by the Twenty Twenty Gallery in Wenlock, for the Wenlock Olympian Society. This medal will be purchased by the Gallery and presented to the Society, and therefore they are looking for a medal that Celebrates Sport. This can be representational or abstract.

Rosie White

The Brief

Things to consider: modelling; lettering; construction; use of the edge; the relationship between the two sides; surface; patination; content; context; relationship with the hand.

The medal must be able to be held comfortably in the hand, and not exceed a kilo in weight, preferably less. Ability to keep the medal from becoming too thin or too thick is important.

During this project you are asked to think about what is a medal? Within the limitations of material, process and dimension, how can the medal transcend its commonly understood function and become a little ‘artwork’ for the hand or the pocket? How might it present itself as sculpture and/or aesthetic, social, political intervention? Through its materiality can it traverse all these states and become a ‘slippery’ object as Nuno Sacramento alluded to in his lecture this term on the history of Portuguese Medals.

Bill Scott

The Process.

In order to cover some costs incurred to the Department, SEA will be charging students £10 and staff £20 to take part in the project. For this you will receive some small sheets of wax from which to make your medal. And, if nothing goes wrong in the firing and pouring process at least one medal. ( If you are able to provide 2 medals in wax, this will help considerably to limit the possibility of losing your medal!).

You will be able to enter the project and pick up your wax by paying Moira Thomson in the SEA Office, Barnes Building or Helen Kilmijn in the Casting Workshop, Haldane Building. (From the 7th of November)

For those who have not worked with wax before we will be running short introductory workshops on Monday 14th of November, in our 1st year studio in the Barnes Building to bring you up to speed with how to work with this material. Times to be confirmed.

We will need your submission by Monday 21st of November to allow enough time to prepare the wax medals for casting. (Return to Moira or Helen) The medals will then be taken to theScottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire to invest and cast in bronze.

There will be an exhibition of the medals in the Barnes Building at the beginning of the second term (date to be announced). Only 15 medals can be put forward for the competition, all participants will help select those medals during this event.

One Response to “The Medals Project – First Year Sculpture and Environmental Art – Glasgow School of Art – 14th November 2011”
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