Somehow it is already the penultimate day of the course - time flies when you’re having fun (and working hard too, obviously). The participants started the day with a written exam testing them on what they had learnt over the last 11 days, and after a little break to recover, went straight into starting on their final practical projects.
The Organics team have two pairs working together, one pair have been given a drum to work on that was previously on display but has suffered from pest damage and the museum were keen for us to have a look at it as it was the only one in the collection. The other pair are working on a leather bag that was found down a mine in the mud during the Yugoslavian era, and donated to the museum in 1952, which has shrunk over time.
The two members of the Textile team are working on a beautiful traditional crib cover, which has also suffered from pest damage.
The Ceramics team has three people all working on a large Roman food storage pot with a number of cracks and pieces missing, as is often the case with Roman pots.
The most popular team this year was Metals with five people working on artefacts from the weapons collection, including a French sword from 1871 and bayonet from the end of 19th century, a Russian bayonet from a semi-automatic gun dating from the beginning 20th century, and a decorative sword which would have display inside the house in the men's quarters.
Working with their team leaders – Alex (Organics), Sophie (Textiles), Pieta (Ceramics) and Besfort (Metals) - each group is undertaking an initial assessment, basic clean and then looking if simple repairs can be undertaken. Obviously whilst fully documenting the process! We are then discussing whether there are options for improving how they are stored or displayed in future, such as rolling textiles, creating supports and also simple dust covers. The projects are a great chance for them to work with some wonderful objects in the Museum’s collection, assisting the museum with their work whilst also pulling together everything they have learnt from the last two weeks. It is great to see the enthusiasm of the participants as they get stuck in.
Tomorrow they will be continuing on with their projects, and will have to put together a presentation to share with the museum, us and also members of the local community what they have been up to.