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Creating VC Awards 2024 – Bath Spa University

Student creates Vice-Chancellor's Awards 2024


Student creates this year's Vice-Chancellor’s Awards to celebrate the stars of BSU

Friday, 17 May, 2024

It’s award season at Bath Spa University, and we’re celebrating the outstanding work of BSU students and staff with our annual Vice-Chancellor’s Awards.

On Thursday 16 May 2024, BSU hosted this year's Vice-Chancellor’s Awards ceremony at our beautiful Newton Park campus.

Run in partnership with the Students' Union, the Awards recognise outstanding individual and team achievements at Bath Spa University. Staff and students are nominated by their peers, and a panel decides on the winners. 

To mark the occasion, a BSU student has been commissioned to design and create the awards up for grabs. Ellie Fellows, second-year student in Creative Arts Practice, has crafted this year’s prestigious awards. 

person standing up in an audience smiling

“It’s such an honour to make all these wonderful and talented people awards and to be a part of this amazing event.” Ellie reflected. “I truly hope everyone likes the award and is proud of themselves for the achievement!” 

Coming up with the heartfelt design

Specialising in 3D design, Ellie has created ceramic bowls for each of the winners. The heartfelt design features a decorative scheme designed to spark child-like joy and pride in winning the award. Talking about the design, Ellie said: 

“My main point of inspiration was from golden star stickers that I would get as a child. I remember the joy I would have when achieving a tiny shiny sticker.

"I hope when the winners look at the awards that they remember the child in them and how proud they would be with how far they have come.”

A decorated ceramic bowl, featuring gold stars and the BSU logo, for 2024 VC awards.

Feeling the support of a creative community 

In delivering her largest commission to date, Ellie’s course has played a big part in preparing for this opportunity. It helped by broadening her technical knowledge of ceramics, but also Ellie explained: “It has brought so much confidence to my work and to myself."

"The technicians, my lecturer Aimee and my classmates have all supported me with advice for the awards and also have offered help if needed. I have also sat down with my lecturer many times discussing design ideas along with durability.”

Ellie’s family has also played a part in the commission. “My grandpa helped me out massively" Ellie said. "I come from a very talented family and my grandpa, who is an amazing craftsman, carved out stamps in different star shapes. […] It means a lot to me how passionate and proud my family are of me for this commission.” 

Embracing challenges along the way

As with the journey from a childhood gold star to higher education and beyond, there have been challenges to overcome and learn from during the process.

“A key part in this commission process was the failure of the first design I made.” explained Ellie. “This was quite a hard lesson to learn as at that point I had built all the awards.” 

With resilience and support from the creative community surrounding her, Ellie “made a quick recovery and started up making the moulds for the awards the same day.”

Celebrating outstanding achievements this year 

Both in design and the journey to the final product, this year’s awards celebrate hard work and determination, finding joy and moments of reflection, and the unwavering support of the community at, and surrounding, Bath Spa University.

In a wonderful evening of celebration, each of the winners took to the stage for their gold star moment. Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Find out more about this year's Vice Chancellor's Award ceremony

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