On Sunday 20 November, the Queen’s Baton for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games was unveiled: see http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-20/queens-baton-unveiled-2018-commonwealth-games/8037826
Tim Mosely leads the Print Program at Queensland College of Art as well as the College's research focus on artists books. He was commissioned by Designworks, the company engaged by the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation to design and build the Queen’s Baton. Tim's expertise was used to make the paper on which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will write Her message; a symbol which unites, inspires and connects the Commonwealth.
An advanced spinifex nanofibre additive, made by the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, was mixed in with the paper.
“The spinifex additive has yielded a paper with haptic properties noticeably stronger than ordinary paper. It is extremely tough, with high tensile strength and tear resistance, and it also has excellent foldability,” Dr Mosley said.
He added that “flecks of spinifex have also been added to the paper to give it an aesthetic quality that people from other developing Commonwealth nations can recognise and readily relate to as a plant that they could find in their own land”.
Her Majesty will place Her message, written on the spinifex paper, into a special compartment on the side of the Baton at the Queen’s Baton Relay launch from Buckingham Palace on 13 March 2017. The Baton will then travel to all international Commonwealth nations and territories before arriving in Australia in late December 2017. At the Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, Her Majesty, or a representative, will remove the message from the Baton in front of the athletes, spectators and a vast international television audience, and read it aloud to officially open the Games.
The paper is the first significant creative research product from QCA’s new hand paper-making mill.
- Paul Wright