|A fertility doll, a food cover, and a fox… © Pitt Rivers Museum|
Friday, 19 September 2014
Friday, 29 August 2014
|Need Make Use Workshop © Pitt Rivers Museum|
This new workshop aimed to get students thinking about human creativity and ingenuity, and how people design and make what they need from the materials they have around them.
|Object Handling Table © Pitt Rivers Museum|
Students had to consider how to design and make an object so that it would do what it is meant to do. But they also had to think about how the design would be influenced by factors such as materials, environment and identity. Each scenario was created by students choosing an identity, an environment, and a need from three different pots.
One group selected a chief from a mountainous region who needed to design a mask to use in a ritual that would help the community deal with a difficulty. If this sounds like a really tall order, Marlborough School rose to the challenge in an ingenious way. They decided that the problem the community had was making money so they designed a mask made out of goatskin and leaves marked with the symbols and colours of success - red, gold and money signs. The students felt that this should be a bright cheerful mask used to round up the community to creative positive vibes, get people networking and talking about how to make life and business more prosperous, so they could sell more mountain goat products like cheese, milk and things made out of hide.
Another group designed a fierce animal mask that a ten-year-old boy could use in the forest to help him prepare for his first hunting trip. They felt that masks help us transform ourselves, so the boy could pretend to be a fierce hunting animal and then feel brave and strong ready to join the men on the hunt.
|Annotated student design © Pitt Rivers Museum|
Having fun and being imaginative and creative was the order of the day. Well done Marlborough school for coming up with so many fantastic creative designs and standing up in front of everyone to explain them.
Friday, 8 August 2014
Over lunch we quizzed her about some of her highlights and she said the project she was most proud of was Toys for Smiles. This was a project done in collaboration with The United Nations Refugee Agency, Aviation Without Borders and the International Scouts and Guides Federation which encouraged local families to donate toys which were sent to a Syrian Refugee camp in Za'atri, Jordan. The aim was to connect local and international children through the common medium of toys. Over 2,200 toys were collected from local families and packed into 114 boxes which were sent to Za'atr.
This moving short film shows some of the very toys packed by Simone and her colleagues being distributed to children:
We asked Simone what key skill her successor would have to have and she said strong arms to put all the tables up! Diplomatically she also said that the best thing about the job were the people she worked with. The nature of her post meant that she worked with a lot of volunteers and she was well known for giving them her favourite biscuit - a jammie dodger. So of course one of her presents had to be a jammie dodger cushion!
|Simone and the Jammie Dodger Cushion © Pitt Rivers Museum|
We wish Simone a fabulous time at the Museum of London but we are going to miss her good cheer, superwoman efficiency and creativity enormously.
Sunday, 3 August 2014
|Susan Griffiths and Nicola Bird © Pitt Rivers Museum|
We also discussed how the museums and the Outreach Service can help support them to use the museums and their collections to work with their clients. The afternoon was then free for the artists to work on their own professional practice, using the museum as inspiration for their own artworks.
|Artwork inspired by Pitt Rivers collections © Martha Evans|
|Art Therapist Professional Development Day © Martha Evans|
|Poisson Beware © Martha Evans|
Friday, 18 July 2014
|Dream team of mask makers© Pitt Rivers Museum|
|2.15pm selfie © Pitt Rivers Museum|
As well as the making activity we also had a range of handling objects to further the faces theme and to widen the audiences knowledge of our collections, including: Javanese dance masks, a horse’s skull and fossilised dinosaur poo - a real hit with the young ones!
|Trying on Masks © Pitt Rivers Museum|
|Faces of Oxford © Pitt Rivers Museum|
Our visitors were also encouraged to use the carnival board painted by Charlotte Orr at the Pitt RiversMuseum. A brilliant way to get people to be ‘part of the collections!’ These are 'Faces of Oxford’ after all…
Overall it was a super successful day. I speak on behalf of the trainees when I say how pleased we were with how it went. We were satisfied with our decision to keep the craft simple so there was a fast turnaround with the masks made. A brilliant day, full of fun, crafty people in the surroundings of the bustling Cowley Road."
|Simone shelters from the rain! ©Pitt Rivers Museum|
From the Pitt Rivers we had brought a Kenyan Milk Bottle (great for all the senses!), a Chinese Tea Brick and a Tibetan Fire Striker. Add this to plenty of other objects from the Ashmolean, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Museum of the History of Science and the Botanic Garden and Arboretum as well, and we were a very popular stall indeed! Families enjoyed working out what the mystery objects could be, and working together as a team to come up with the answers. They could even take away some craft activities and colouring sheets, along with some information about our upcoming activities.
Friday, 11 July 2014
"Hello all, I just want to explain what I will be up to in the next few months. I am one of six trainee museum education and outreach officers in the HLF Skills for the Future Project. During the traineeship each of us will spend four months in three of the the following museums and collections: Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Museum of the History of Science, Joint Museums Office, and the Botanic Garden & Harcourt Arboretum. This provides an opportunity to experience working with three diverse collections and with lots of different audiences. My first placement is here at the Pitt Rivers Museum where I will be working for the next four months.
| Hannah prepares for the Cowley Road Carnival
© Pitt Rivers Museum|
I hope the traineeship will help to give me the extra skills and experience needed to become a museum education officer and I am really looking forward to getting stuck in and being involved in the exciting projects at the Pitt Rivers."
Hannah has only been with us for three weeks so far but she has already helped to run mask-making workshops at the Cowley Road Carnival, taught primary school children on their First Visit to the Museum and helped deliver an Under 5s workshop on Shadow Puppets. We're loving having her as part of the team and look forward to sampling her infamous cake baking skills...