Written by Melangeli Penrhys
Day 8 of the school started very early in the morning for Nedi and I. We had been asked to appear on national breakfast television on the programme ’7 pa 5′ and had done the 5 hour drive from our day drip on Sunday afternoon up to Tirana in readiness to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at the TV studio on Monday morning! After being plastered with orange face make up they decided I was ready to face the cameras. We were asked questions about the conservation school and the work of Heritage without Borders and Cultural Heritage without Borders. The question that amused me most was ‘Is textile conservation a profession that only women should do?’
It was a relief when the 10 minutes was over, and we hoped we did ok. Charley was glued to the screen from her hotel room back in Gjirokaster and took a little video for posterity.
We trawled back down to Gjirokaster just in time for the end of lunch and to find that the rest of the trainers and all the participants had been working so hard that there was nothing left to do. (Only joking!) Great progress was being made on all the projects, padded boards and Velcro support systems were nearly complete for textiles to hang on the walls and the textiles themselves were much more presentable.
In the dining room the creepy crawlies were being hunted down and disposed of, and all nooks and crannies being investigated. The store room team had surveyed and cleaned objects and created new storage solutions such as padded hangers and lining wooden trunks with Tyvek.
There’s a feeling of focus and enthusiasm in every workspace to achieve as much as possible in the time left. We are very fortunate to have our man on the ground, Nedi, scouting out local craftspeople to help with our improvements and commissioning a hand made garment rail and wood and rope stanchions which, amazingly they say can be ready in two days.
We are pretty tired though and after signing off here we will all be tucked up in bed pretty soon.