Composite Medal

For the 2020 PSTOIC dinner, the theme was “Something Blue”. Each year I make a medal for the dinner for the person who brings along the most interesting thing that fits the category. I like to use this as an opportunity to experiment with a different technique or material.

Finding a suitable blue material was a bit of a head-scratcher. I didn’t want to go for a simple acrylic medal like in 2018, so was looking for an alternative material. My initial thoughts were blue slate or some kind of mineral. But then I stumbled upon some blue glass beads and that gave me an idea.

The first step was to create a vector version of the logo for this year. I used a model from a 3D printed badge from a few years back, updated the year and converted that to DXF in OpenSCAD by using the projection() function. this was then imported into Inkscape and printed out. I did have a few challenges there with the machine locking up so I first saved as PDF and then printed that. It took a few attempts to get the right scale but hopefull I’ve ended up with a medal about the same size as the previous ones.


The next step was to stick the blue glass beads onto the paper using PVA. I did get two different shades of glass but was looking for more contrast. Instead, I used white rocks that were left over from when we had a fishtank. Resin was then poured over the medal and quickly put under a UV nail lamp to cure which takes a few seconds. Once the rocks and glass were bonded together the medal was washed in cold water to remove the paper and once dry was flipped over so more resin could be added to the back.

To finish, a hole was drilled (I had left a gap but the resin filled it) and the medal was sanded with a 1500 grit paper and lots of water. Finally, it was polished with a car paintwork restoration polish.

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