I chose the BAMS brief because I was excited to learn how to bronze cast as it was something I have always been curious about. I enjoyed working with wax and learning to understand its properties when casting with it. However I came across many challenges during this stage, which made the process tedious and repetitive at times, but overcoming these problems proved to be extremely rewarding when you can see your hard work paying off. Due to the intricate design of my piece and the small details of the font I had a big problem with trapped air bubbles, which obscured the detail in the lettering and made it hard to read. I tried a few techniques, firstly by painting liquid wax directly onto the mould then filling and sandwiching the two halves together. I attempted this several times with little success. So decided to try the pour method. As predicted air bubbles being trapped whilst it was being poured was a big problem. So I added risers. It took many trials, each time cutting a little away from the mould to help the air be released. At this stage I became very frustrated with the process and couldn’t see how I was ever going to get a smooth cast out. I experimented with hotter or cooler wax, slower or faster pouring. Nothing seemed to help. So I tried filling half of the mould with liquid wax and with a paint brush I pushed the wax into the crevices of the mould and pop the air bubbles. It took a few more attempts but proved successful! I had become extremely exasperated with the process, but once I was I conquered the problem I felt a huge wave of accomplishment.
I found doing a live brief exciting and challenging at times due to the short time frame. Working to a tight specification was challenging, having to go back and edit my design as I realised through material exploration that it was either to large or intricate etc proved very frustrating at times but I feel i’ve learnt a lot about my own abilities.
Over all I am really happy with my design outcome as I feel it conveys the message of togetherness and community really well. It evokes the sentiment I wished to be conveyed and I reminisce about all the good times and hard work that has gone into BEARDYFEST when I look at and handle it. If I had more time i’d revise the design and add something to the edge of the medal in order to hit the specification better. Once I have made the bronze cast i’d like to experiment with colouring the bronze by soaking it in different acidic liquids such as vinegar. By rubbing back the colour it would leave the lettering coloured and reveal the bronze for the background. I think this contrast will really add definition the the design and be the finishing touch it needs.