David Pickup also forwarded this Royal Mont blog article on the design and designer of the Mint's 2014 Remembrance Day coin.
In the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, The Royal Mint has released a beautiful and touching 2014 Remembrance Day coin that
pays tribute to the brave service men and women who were lost in conflict. This year’s design builds on the iconic poppy image, with an evocative
‘falling poppies’ representation by Royal Mint Engraver, Laura Clancy. The design is also a further advance in The Royal Mint’s range of coloured
coins, following the release of the ‘Portrait of Britain‘ collection to which Laura also contributed.
Laura’s Remembrance Day coin design is enhanced by the packaging, created by Royal Mint Designer, Dominique Evans, which builds on the falling
poppies effect and the simplicity of the coin design.
In an interview with Laura we’ve gone ‘behind the design’ to get to know a little bit more about her and to find out more about the coin, the
design and her inspiration.
Tell us a little bit about you…
I’m 36 and I’m from Cardiff. I studied for a 3D Arts degree at Brighton University, graduating in 2000. The degree involved woodwork, metalwork,
ceramics and plastics, but I specialised in metalwork and plastics. I began work at The Royal Mint six years later, in 2006, as a Trainee
Engraver/Designer. I saw the job, by chance, in the paper, and I thought ‘That is the job I’ve been looking for. That is perfect’. My training period
lasted 18 months, but I was given my first ‘live’ project after six. It was quite an exciting one – it was to model the winning design from a
children’s competition to design a medal for Her Majesty The Queen’s 80th birthday, which would be presented to her. I even delivered the medal to
How did you feel about designing such a symbolic coin?
Several years ago, I designed a 65mm coin, for the Solomon Islands, and the title I was given was Remembrance. My design showed a large poppy, with
an extract from the poem ’For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon, overlaid. I was fortunate enough to visit France and Belgium with The Royal Mint, as
part of the research, to visit war sights, memorials, graves, battlefields and museums. It was a truly inspirational trip. So, it was great to be
asked to do the 2014 Remembrance Day coin design because, having done the research before, I still had ideas from my previous poppy designs to
explore. I still have ideas now, so I’m hoping they ask me again in a few years! It was a good project to work on, there’s lots of resource and lots
to think about. I’d love to do it again.
Going to France and Belgium made a big difference to this project. Hearing ‘The Last Post‘, having looked around all the museums for two days –
you’ve heard it before, you’ve done the two minute silence and you think about it – but suddenly you’re in the place and it all feels real. It’s very
emotional, it brings tears to your eyes. There’s more meaning to it now than there would’ve been before I went.
It is such an emotive and moving subject. I tried to think of the different ways to portray it, such as the cenotaph or a wreath, but the red
poppy has a such a strong association with remembrance – in a way, nothing else is needed. My job was to work with and add to that, hopefully in a
sensitive, moving and artistic way.
A co-worker recently returned from a visit to London where she'd seen the installation of
ceramic red poppies at the Tower of London by artist Paul Cummins. Each of the 888,246 hand-made poppies represents a British and Commonwealth
soldier who died during WWI. It's a breathtakingly sad sight. -Editor
To read the complete blog article, see:
Behind the design: Remembrance Day 2014
To read more about the poppy installation, see:
Tower of London poppies: Final poppy is 'planted'
Wayne Homren, Editor
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