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Gloucester Cathedral Girl Chorister Medals

Gloucester Cathedral Girl Chorister Medals

Here are the finished pair of chorister medals for the head and deputy head girl choristers at Gloucester Cathedral. The left-hand one depicts St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, and the right-hand one depicts St. Kyneburgha, who founded Burh Abbey.

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Initial designs for the chorister medals

Initial designs for the chorister medals

After some time the customer and I came up with these designs for the medals. The actual construction of the medals was still a bit unkown at this stage. The customer wanted something that would be robust but yet elagant. My initial thoughts were to adapt the watch case I'd made before.

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Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers entries for 2018 exhibition

Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers entries for 2018 exhibition

Here are my entries for the 2018 Royal Miniature Society exhibition. I've been busy with all manner of different things so I've just not managed to enter anything since 2013. Hopefully I'll get these five through the selection process!

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Cutting out Elliptical Plaques

Cutting out Elliptical Plaques

I got a commission to do some paintings onto an elliptical enamel plaque. The major and minor axis of the ellipse are to be 150mm by 90mm, respectively. The paintings are to be of a house in each of the seasons, so four paintings in all, and each one is to be inset into the seat of handmade bar stool.

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Making a dial (part 1), making a forming die

Making a dial (part 1), making a forming die

I've got the beginnings of a watch case but, as of yet, no dial that I'm prepared to drill a hole in. I'm not going to put a hole into the cloisonné enamel frog!

My starting point is to create domed dials, this is because enamel miniatures typically require several firings and a domed dial will minimize warping. From fitting into the watch point of view, a flat dial would be easier but in the long term a domed dial will far superior for enamelling applications.

Warping is less of a problem for cloisonne (although still an issue) since the wires and counter-enamelling give the piece a greater thickness and structure that help to control warpage. However, I found a domed surface gives more interesting light reflections, it's more difficult to bend the wires over a domed surface but I got plenty of practice when I made these set of enamel doorknobs.


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Making a watch case (part 14), cutting the back watch section

Making a watch case (part 14), cutting the back watch section

Now the ring is made it needs to be fit into the middle section.

In this case I'm cutting the inside of the ring first, to get this fully concentric, and clamping the outside. There is no particular preference or benefit of doing the inside or outside first since both should be near circular from the hammering.

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Making a watch case (part 12), putting in a gasket ring

Making a watch case (part 12), putting in a gasket ring

The watch is going to need some sort of protection against water and dust. I'm not planning on making this a diving watch but some sort of gasket mechanism needs to be put into place.

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