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Holy Loch Marina,

Rankin's Brae, Argyll, PA23 8FE

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Medals Galore

It was great to team up again with my pottery buddy Michaela (Seatree Crafts) to make this year’s batch of medals for the Inveraray Jail Break Run.

Each year the run begins outside Inveraray Jail Museum, then goes through the grounds of the castle before the route ascends 250m to Dun na Cuiche, a small tower overlooking the town. Then, having reached the top, it’s back down the hill to the start. I’ve walked this route, it is a beautiful walk and the views are incredible…but it was hard work so I can only imagine the challenge this is to run. Well, Michala and I are much better at pottery than running so we’ve decided to stick to making the medals.

Making medals starts off with a design, then we custom order a stamp to press the design into the clay. Sometimes there is an obvious logo, other times for other events we need to design the artwork. Our main tool is very technical – a scone cutter. (Do you know how tricky it was to find a scone cutter just exactly the size you need it for a medal?) So, once we have the stamp and cutter, our main problem is finding time between us to actually get making.

We have a routine. Clay is rolled out and small bits of wire are cut and bent to shape. Then one person stamps the logo into the clay, the other cuts them out with our very special scone/medal cutter, then we both smooth edges put in the loop of wire into the centre top. Someone also needs to keep count (usually not me, I’m not to be trusted with numbers!)

Once made, they need to be left to dry beween plasterboard. This keeps them flat and helps them dry evenly. It takes a few days of drying before they go in the kiln for bisc firing. 24 hours later they are out, and once cooled ready to glaze. Again, the diaries are out to arrange a time we can get together and glaze all 110 medals then get them back into the kiln for their final firings. After the glaze firings finished it’s a case of packing them up, get them off to Inveraray and cross our fingers the race goes well on the day.

You can see photos of this years race at www.facebook.com/inverarayjailbreak

For more information on our pottery workshops in Dunoon, commissions or anything else please do get in touch at seadriftargyll@gmail.com or you can visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/seadriftargyll/