The Herbert Museum and Art Gallery
The Group has been working on a variety of projects, some ongoing and some new, the older ones including making bespoke padded coat hangers for dresses and coats in the Costume collection and repair of items in the ‘hands on’ collection. As a continuation of their work in the Natural History section, they have been block mounting birds. The decision had been made to take all the exhibits out of their boxes and have them free standing on shelves. To ensure a minimum of dust they had previously made curtains for each shelf. Apparently, their knowledge of birds has been greatly enhanced by this – but they are not sure that they will remember it!
The newest venture of the Group is to make items to support the pre school Museum Experience Group. This is a project that aims to introduce young children to the familiarity of being in a museum whilst providing valuable sensory learning experience. Stories and poems form the basis of this programme and to this end they have made a large Hungry Caterpillar – from the story of the same name – together with food with which to feed him. First reports claim that he is hugely popular.
At present the Group is working on a grey sensory blanket with an array of pockets. Each pocket is made from a different fabric and has a different fastener that the children can explore. The pockets will contain interesting items for them to discover.
A future project that is being contemplated is for the Transport Museum. They require a portable wheel to represent the size of a penny farthing bicycle together with a model leg! They will be used to demonstrate to children how high the bicycle is. These need to be foldable and fit in a backpack. The Group is still trying to get their heads around the practicalities of this!
They comment that "At a time when funding is constantly being cut for museums, we hope we are providing a useful and supportive service for their friendly, hardworking staff", which I am sure they are.