More on our museum explored events from your hosts

By visitor services on 14 Sep 2011

Hello everyone, Giusy here again from the Museum’s Visitor Services Team. I hope you read and enjoyed my last post on Ed’s mail making. You are still on time to catch up here if you haven’t!

In this post I focus on the workshops developed by my colleagues Stephanie and Joanna.

Stephanie has run a Victorian object handling workshop which has looked specifically at objects found in the kitchen and to do with food and drink, for example butter pats and toast forks.

During the session she used pictures to illustrate how kitchens have changed over the time and she loved to talk about different technologies and appliances that you find in the kitchen. For the kids to take home, she has offered some examples of Victorian Recipes to try.
She has enjoyed a lot doing this workshop, because it allowed children to actually handle real Victorian objects. One of her tricks was not to tell the kids what the objects were so to make them guess. It was nice I am sure to see their expressions when discovering what the objects were used for, for example when it came to a very unusual bottle opener.

She also enjoyed doing the workshop, because the Victorian period is one of her favourite periods in British history and she definitely loves cooking! I can testify to this as the great quantity of cupcakes frequently baked for the Hosts team made their way to the staff room straight from her kitchen oven!

Joanna’s workshop is called “The Glassmaker Apprentice” and focuses on families with children aged 3+. Her workshop is based on the long and fascinating history of stained glass work pieces, with a particular focus on windows.

She told me that the very first examples are from ancient Egypt, later Greece and Rome, but its most height of fashion was during the dark medieval times.
Nowadays this fashion is coming back usually in smaller forms like elements in doors or art works in public buildings, galleries, churches and very tiny forms like window decorations and sun catchers.
On the workshop day Joanna and the families work at making sun catchers.


There are several shapes to choose from and they use brightly foils to imitate glass. To begin with, children and parents are encouraged to draw a flower or other designs on a black cardboard and then they cut off all the holes. For younger children Johanna offers already made models. The following and easy step is to glue various pieces of coloured foils to the back side of the sun catcher and finally attach a string so to be hung in a window. Have a look, I love the dove one!

You can join Johanna’s  next  workshop on Sunday 13 November.  I hope to see you there!

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