The Inveraray Jail Break Medals

Those of you who completed the Inveraray Jail break will now be proud owners of the unique ceramic Jail Break medal. These medals were made for us by local ceramic artist Pauline Beautyman of Sea Drift Argyll in Dunoon.
We thought you might be interested to know how much time, care attention and love went into making the medals, so I asked Pauline to give me an overview of the process that is involved.

The artwork for the medal is our new Inveraray Jail Break logo, which was designed by Carole Buchanan of Stirlingshire marketing and design agency Tartan Ink. The design was sent to Sea Drift Argyll. Pauline suggested a couple of modifications to make it more suitable for the casting process

This is how Pauline describes the process

“They were made by myself and fellow potter Michaela Goan. It's a job for 2!
After we got the artwork through from Fee we then sent it to off to get it made into a rubber stamp.

The stamp used to make the impression of the medal design

Once we had a rubber stamp with the artwork and a cutter of the right size we started our preparations. Firstly we rolled out slabs of earthenware clay to the thickness we wanted then left it to dry out slightly for an hour or so. In the mean time we cut short lengths of special wire which are put in the medals for attaching a ribbon later.

The wire we use can be fired to the high temperature of the clay without melting. It's a fiddly job to cut the right lengths and bend them all. After that we made the medals. We stamped the logo stamp into the clay and used a cutter to cut the shapes. Then we neatened edges with a finger or damp sponge, put in the wire loop and left them to dry out completely.

Medals cut with the wire loop inserted.

It took 4 hours of work to get the Inveraray medals to this stage. We need to leave them to dry completely over the next couple of days and then they are ready for biscuit firing. This firing takes the last of the moisture out and makes it ready for glazing.

The medals, after this first 12 hour firing are now hard as any ceramic cup or plate you use every day. To glaze the medals we covered each of the medals with 2-3 layers of glaze then after that was dry, put them back in the kiln for another 12 hour firing. In this firing the glaze melts and becomes shiny.”

Different coloured glazes were tested. The final choice being made by Fee

One further step that was required was to add the ribbons. The ribbons, appropriately in the yellow and black colours of Inveraray, were purchased from event suppliers Running Imp.

As Pauline Correctly says,
“It is a time consuming process but it makes a race extra special to have a handmade medal from a local supplier and we know folk appreciate them! We've done medals for Cowalfest before also, for their 5K and 10K trail runs and the mountain bike challenges.”
We hope you treasure your medal, along with your memories of your achievement.