Wytham Woods 10K Run and Fun Run 11

Updated: Mar 13

10th October 2021

Twice as many runners this year - so twice as many medal! The Chicken Run Studio one-woman band was up for the challenge!

Wanting to prepare well in advance, organiser Andy Goodwin came to me with a new medal design. No year date this time; with Roman numeral ll instead. This made sense - a global pandemic meant maybe the race wasn't going to happen in 2020.

Nick Holmans planned the new medallion stamps. Using his 3D printer, he printed out a tree for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placement medals, and made the participants’ medals with the Roman ll rather than a year date.

'The marathon of a process to make the medals began. But it was now lockdown and so there was time. Just me on my own as I couldn't invite in help.'

The Making

  • Rolling out the clay was easy I had bought a large hand-rolling machine for the 2019 run.

  • Dusting the clay with flour meant that it wouldn't stick to the stamps - and any residual flour would burn off in the kiln firing.

  • Then, using the stamps I impressed in the clay as well as a separate ll, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd on the winners' medals.

  • Next, I placed a cutting ring to make each individual medal.

  • Then I made the hole through the clay for the string.

  • And then I placed The Chicken Run Studio maker's mark on the back.

  • Drying each medal completely (in the airing cupboard overnight) was vital.

  • Wiping off any excess bits and discarding any faulty medals (with clay to be reused) was also important.

  • Once dry, I stacked them in the kiln ready for firing.

  • Bisque firing at 1000 degrees Celsius for 24 hours (including cooling-down time) next.

950 small medals and 40 large medals took four bisque firings!

  • Glazing came next, followed by painting in the Siemens and Healthineers (sponsors) colours with a fine paintbrush on each medal, and wiping between colour applications.

  • Last check as the medals are placed in the kiln for the final glaze firing, ensuring they are kept apart so there are no glaze transfers (otherwise, the medals might fuse or end up with colour where it shouldn't be!).

  • Firing to 1235 degrees Celsius for 24 hours - and a little more to cool down. I did at least 10 firings that were predominantly medals.

  • The next job was threading the neck loops. (This is one part I didn't do!)

Each runner will receive an individually-made medal. Running Wytham Woods is a tough challenge. The medal will be well-earned.

Meet me in person at the event.

I will have a gazebo showing how the medals are made, and I will have some of my ceramics on display.

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