It was lovely to see our wool out on display in the newly reconstructed Jorvick town, as examples of dyeing and on a two bar loom to demonstrate weaving. We are also looking into doing some skill-sharing work with their staff and volunteers, and returning to visit the Coppergate textile finds in the York Archaeological Trust stores.
Some fascinating objects on display in the new museum gallery, including a lovely naalbinded sock and some recordings from our friends at Ancient Music.
We have made a range of items for museum handling collections. These have been made to show ancient crafts and creative techniques. Being able to hold and use something can really bring archaeological artefacts to life for students. They can also represent the mass of organic objects which haven’t survived, to supplement museum objects. The objects are resiliant enough to be used and handled by groups, and being modern, are easily replaceable.
For Wallingford Museum we have supplied hand-made ceramic-weighted spindles. These will be a part of their handling collection for school visits and other groups. The spindles are very similar to some archaeological examples which the museum has on display.
For the Ashmolean Museum we have suppied a range of items for their new Bronze Age education sessions.
For their handling collection: Birch bark containers, lime bark cordage and nettle cordage.
For an activity or demonstration: the base plate and willow withys for wattle weaving.
For the Pitt Rivers Museum, we have supplied a range of natural dyestuffs and dyed cloth for a matching game, part of an education session on light and colour. This is part of the Need Make Use / VERVE project at the Pitt Rivers.
Dyes and Pigments matching game for the Pitt Rivers Museum.
Another delightful week at Salisbury Museum. We have created a new partnerships with Ancient Music, so alongside them, we varied the activities from last year. The schools got to experience a wider range of anient crafts than ever before: Fire-lighting, spear-throwing, natural dyeing, natural paint-making, using quern stones to grind wheat, spinning wool, weaving and experiencing the fantastic Wessex Gallery of the museum. Over the week we worked with 5 classes, both primary schools and a group of college students with special educational needs.
A lovely one-day local event for us, with plenty of crafty activities for families, including Martin Way, a brilliant re-enactor. Everyone we met, visitors, staff and volunteers alike were very interested in our demonstrations and extremely helpful.
To celebrate the new Wessex Gallery, the Salisbury Museum held a day of events for the public. We had a wonderful spot on the front lawn, which was great for displaying our rainbow of natural dyes – especiually as it was a very good dyeing day, with many of the colours working better than expected. It was great to be able to show how loom weights and spindle whorls are used, as there were archaeological examples of them in the new gallery.
Our first week-long event! It was very hot all week, and the tents which we brought in case of rain were used for shade instead. We were showing the story of cloth and teaching practical fibrecraft skills to primary school groups (years 3 to 6), a college group and a group of “the stitchers”, who volunteer for the museum making childrens costumes. A highlight of our experience was to be able to work with such a great group of museum volunteers over the week, who looked after the schools very well indeed, and helped our busy days run smoothly.
On the afternoon of the first day, we were given a sheep, which has been in one of the museum galleries for about 20 years, and they wanted to get rid of her! We’ve named her Gladys. She was very useful explaining to children where wool comes from, and we’ll do our best to give her a good home.
It was also great for the visitors to be there for so long, as we had time to set up some of the more complicated secondary coloured dyestuffs, which the groups visiting on Thursday and Friday really appreciated.
We’ve been asked to help Ufton Court design a prehistoric village for their Education department, to help them deliver the new Primary History curriculum, which focuses significantly more on prehistory than previously.
On a gloriously sunny spring day, we planted a living willow Viking longship as part of their new archaeological village. Soon there will be also an Iron Age roundhouse and a Saxon house for school groups to use too. Look out Saxons, there may be some Viking invasions!
A delightfully friendly craft fair in the most wonderful of settings – the galleries of the museum itself. This fair was ideal for the early christmas shopper, and had some brilliant local craftspeople displaying and selling their work. We look forward to being involved with the museum more in the future, after their redevelopment.