Just a quick follow up to the last posting - which was of course a portrait commission. Well so was this.
This portrait is on the obverse (front) of a medal - I am a medallist as well as a full 3D sculptor - but you will know that from my very first posting which is of my medal 'The Song of the Thrush'.
It was just by chance that i got roped into the wonderful world of medallic art. I was in my third year of Art college (oh such a long time ago now!) and my tutor (I was doing sculpture through foundry) got an invitation for his students to take part in the Student Medal Competition for the British Art Medal Society or BAMS as it is abbreviated - in fact here you can go have a quick look at their website too http://www.bams.org.uk/ if you wish.
Well I entered two medals and one of them won a prize. It was quite sweet really, a little hand reaching out of a curling shell. It was a bit more like a little sculpture, but actually that is pretty much what a medal is anyway.
over the years of course I have refined my ideas and knowledge about medals and have discovered that there is more to them than that. Medals have a back and a front - reverse and obverse - and a rim. These three parts can be cleverly combined to tell a story, so that when you pick the medal up and look at one side, you then turn it over to find the second part of the idea - a complement or a contrast or a complete surprise - sometimes the rim is used to make the idea flow from one side to the other - that is in fact something i am working hard at - I have not yet quite used it satisfactorily - well at least not to my satisfaction anyway. But that is always exciting, when there are still challenges.
You could compare medals to miniatures or jewellery.
What i really love about medals - or very tiny works of art - is the fact that you are literally drawn into the work, you have to get right up close and personal to look at it.
A medal should be picked up and handled too i think - like any good sculpture which calls out to the viewer to touch and caress it.
But as usual I am off on a bit of a ramble. Just you ask my beloved what i am like. He will just roll his eyes and sigh, but i think he is getting a bit used to me now. Sometimes he indulges me but other times he reminds me to get to the point - gently - and i really quite appreciate it because then the story actually has a conclusion.
Unlike this one which just seems to be going on and on and i never even spoke much about my medal for 'Brid'
But as i must go and check on the dinner I don't have time right now, however, i will just say that this photo is taken of the wax - very cunningly photoshopped to look more like bronze. I did get it cast in bronze, but am not sure if I have a photo of the bronze edition. Something else to put on my 'to do' list.