It has been a busy time since my last blog post Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice! I’ve spent a lot of time at the Petone Settlers Museum stores—those tales will come in Through the Collection Store – part 2.
In this post I wanted to talk about some of my creations over the last few months. Collections work is very hands on, but I’ve also had a chance to try some things outside of my internship.
Petone Settlers Museum hosted a raranga workshop a month or so ago; it was well attended and everyone left with bright smiles and an armful of their own putiputi (woven flax flowers). It was organised as part of Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori—Māori language week. Community Curator Arawhetu wrote about the workshop in her first blog post too, if it seems familiar.
This is me at the event caught intently inspecting my harakeke.
The session marked my first actual steps into my raranga journey, as before I had only read about the weaving art form, or viewed others people’s taonga. The teacher, Kody Loretz, was incredibly knowledgeable, patient and an all-round wonderful guide (even when faced with my very inexperienced and surprisingly clumsy self).
Though my creations were not the most technically perfect, I still love them, and I think they hold a certain charm of their own—they certainly brighten up my flat nicely! If you want to check out more images from the day, they are on the Petone Settlers Museum Facebook page (coincidentally a good place to follow for updates of upcoming events at the museum).
Nesting objects behind the scenes
Nesting in progress – Len Castle, Avian form bowl, The Pat Parker Collection, The Dowse Art Museum.
Not only have I learnt fun new skills outside of my actual internship, I’ve been learning new collections management skills too! This is an early in-progress attempt at nesting an object for storage.
Nesting, as I’ve learnt, is creating a custom built home for an object that keeps it safely stored and happy from outside influences, while minimising any damage in the event of an earthquake.
A successful nesting project provides a complete and strong surround for an object: not allowing it to move around too much, not putting undue pressure on any part of the object, and allowing the object to be easily and safely accessed when needed.
Hopefully I’ll be able to perfect my nesting skills for speed and accuracy, but, as an early attempt, I’m pretty proud of myself.
That’s a quick snapshot into what I’ve been making in my internship so far. In my next post, I’ll be back with interesting stories and objects from the collection stores as my journey continues!