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Alan's Master of Defence Collar and Medallion

I was given the opportunity to make the medallion for Master Alan's elevation to the Order of Defence. I was told the theme he was going for was based around the Mary Rose, and generally the Tudor period. It was also suggested to avoid a leather based collar, although that was the preference of the person sponsoring him.
Design Mary Rose During my preliminary research, I did some looking around the Mary Rose museum's website, since they have a small sample of their collection online. I briefly considered doing something based off a boatswain's whistle (image #6) they had in their collection, since their description said they were used more as a badge of office instead of an actual whistle. It was also conveniently on a white ribbon already to contribute to the proper regalia. However, I decided this would be too small to be a recognizable medallion, and while amusing, difficult to use in a melee due to the masks.

I also sent an email to their collections department asking…

Queen's Prize 2019: Refining Ultramarine

Note: This entry won the Judge's Choice vote.
Before we get to the doc, there were two sheets full of color samples I prepared from the pigment samples that I had sitting out on the table during the display, but did not include in the written documentation. Scans of both of them are below.


BackgroundUltramarine pigment is derived from the mineral lapis lazuli. The blue color in the stone is produced by lazurite, and it essentially always has inclusions of calcite, pyrite, and other trace minerals. The best specimens are a deep blue with minimal amounts of white and silver inclusions from the calcite and pyrite respectively, while less valuable samples will have a lighter blue and significant white streaking throughout. Unless treated, only the best pieces of lapis lazuli can make a passable pigment. Lesser quality stones will only produce a dull bluish-grey color.
Although lapis lazuli has a vast history of being used as a decorative stone, there is no evidence of it being ground for…