Nicola Kerslake (b. 1994) was introduced to the art of medal-making in 2014, the year she was awarded the prize for a ‘cutting edge medal’ for her entry in the BAMS Student Medal Project. Throughout the rest of her degree course at Falmouth University she continued to experiment with casting and to develop her printmaking skills. On graduating in September 2015, Kerslake became the BAMS New Medallist, during which year she experimented with medallic art. As part of this project, she spent a month in Bulgaria working under the tuition of Bogomil Nikolov and was also able to create a medal using computer-modelling software at the UK’s Royal Mint. In September 2016 Kerslake attended the FIDEM congress in Ghent, Belgium, having received a FIDEM scholarship to attend. Since then she has continued to make medals, receiving tuition from Ron Dutton. Alongside medal-making, Kerslake is a practising printmaker. Her work is included in the Guild in Falmouth and she was recently commissioned to take part in the b-side festival’s Weather Station Part II exhibition in Portland, Dorset, in September 2016.
Kerslake’s BAMS medal refers to Swanpool, near Falmouth, and relates to the experience of the b-side festival commission. She writes: ‘The Weather Station gradually disconnected me from the outside; sounds were distorted, communication was limited, and my breath rasped within the airlock. I could not forget the danger of a limited air supply, and the possibility of being carried out to sea. Soon I was transfixed on the churning waves as they continually broke upon the shore. I began to follow them, back and forth, inside the transparent vessel. Slowly I started to trust the Weather Station, safe from the icy water, wind and rain. However, condensation formed by my breath began to cloud my vision. It became difficult to predict the pattern of the waves, and at points I was unable to outrun them. The foaming water lifted me off the sand; I became unstable and often tumbled. Dizziness elevated to the point of seasickness. I was not able to withstand the force of the tide.’