See how the new Waterstones Children's Laureate medal was made

Published on: 2 Mehefin 2017 Author: Emily Drabble

With a new Waterstones Children's Laureate about to be named, we find out how their brand new medal was made.

The medal is a very special symbol of the Waterstones Children's Laureateship - it was first made in 1999 by designer Charmian Harris for the inaugural Children's Laureate, Quentin Blake.

She wasn't alone, though - she had help from the then Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and Michael Morpurgo, who dreamt up the idea of having a Children's Laureate. The laurel design was inspired by a sherry bottle label that Hughes drew, while the book was an obvious addition for the centre!

A new medal maker for 2017

Harris went on to create all the Children's Laureate medals until this year, when she decided to retire. But she kindly gave her designs to our new medal maker, Thomas Lyte England, who make beautiful trophies and medals out of their workshop in Essex.

The medal for the Waterstones Children's Laureate 2017-19, which will be presented to the new Laureate on 7 June by outgoing Children's Laureate Chris Riddell, has been created by master silversmith Lee Bull. He's been a silversmith for 30 years after beginning his apprenticeship when he was 16, spending five years learning the trade. He later became a master silversmith, which means he now trains apprentices himself.

Hand-made and historical

The medal is hand-soldered and hand-rolled, while the gold leaves of the laurel motif have been meticulously cut out and engraved by hand. And some of the tools used to create the medal actually date back over 100 years!

The back - which we can't reveal in this gallery as it reveals the top-secret name of the new Waterstones Children's Laureate - has been engraved by Mark Taylor, and the medal has also been professionally polished by Colin Hines.

One thing's for sure - the new Waterstones Children's Laureate will be delighted to receive this stunning medal and will wear it with pride, as Chris Riddell has for the last two years.

See the Waterstones Children's Laureate medal being made

Play
Outgoing Waterstones Children's Laureate Chris Riddell puts his unique spin on the job - and the medal!
Charmian Harris made every Waterstones Children's Laureate medal until this year, when she retired and passed on the baton to Thomas Lyte England.
Here's master silversmith Lee Bull getting started on making this year's Waterstones Children's Laureate medal.
Here's the basic silver being used to make the Waterstones Children's Laureate medal - just wait until you see how it will be transformed!
Lee cuts out all the golden leaves of the laurel on the medal by hand, to make sure they're just right.
Alright, they may not look much like leaves now, but just you wait...
Some of the tools being used to make the medal are over 100 years old!
Here's Lee with the silvermark - it's all coming together!
Here's Mark Taylor, who is in charge of engraving the name of the new Waterstones Children's Laureate on the medal. (No, we're not going to tell you who it is yet!)
Colin Hines has the very important job of polishing the medal to make sure it looks as brilliant as possible for the new Laureate!
Every medal needs a lovely presentation box!
Outgoing Waterstones Children's Laureate Chris Riddell puts his unique spin on the job - and the medal!

Image 1 of 11

Charmian Harris made every Waterstones Children's Laureate medal until this year, when she retired and passed on the baton to Thomas Lyte England.

Image 2 of 11

Here's master silversmith Lee Bull getting started on making this year's Waterstones Children's Laureate medal.

Image 3 of 11

Here's the basic silver being used to make the Waterstones Children's Laureate medal - just wait until you see how it will be transformed!

Image 4 of 11

Lee cuts out all the golden leaves of the laurel on the medal by hand, to make sure they're just right.

Image 5 of 11

Alright, they may not look much like leaves now, but just you wait...

Image 6 of 11

Some of the tools being used to make the medal are over 100 years old!

Image 7 of 11

Here's Lee with the silvermark - it's all coming together!

Image 8 of 11

Here's Mark Taylor, who is in charge of engraving the name of the new Waterstones Children's Laureate on the medal. (No, we're not going to tell you who it is yet!)

Image 9 of 11

Colin Hines has the very important job of polishing the medal to make sure it looks as brilliant as possible for the new Laureate!

Image 10 of 11

Every medal needs a lovely presentation box!

Image 11 of 11

You might also like

Waterstones Children's Laureate

Lauren Child

Find out everything that's going on with the tenth Waterstones Children's Laureate, Lauren Child, as she takes on the job from 2017-2019.

Follow the Children's Laureate

  • RT @Scholastic: Children's book author Julia Donaldson shares her experience as the 2011-2013 Children's Laureate in the UK on our podcast.… 1 day ago
  • RT @toppsta: "In this story Leo especially liked the peculiar features Lola wanted her dog to have, that had him laughing out loud" says ou… 2 day ago
  • RT @NicoletteJones: Fantastic chance to buy beautiful original artwork by big name illustrators. For 16 works the top bids are still under… 4 days ago
@uklaureate

New books we love

Our favourite reads of the month

We review lots of new books every month, and here's where you can find the ones we liked best of all.