Shop ’til You Drop

Shop ’til You Drop has seen us working with Year 10 GSCE Graphic Products students. The students were presented with a live brief, which asks them to research and produce a product which can be sold in the Museum’s shop, using Windermere Jetty as their client.  Following an introduction to the Museum, students were able to talk through the brief for the project, including:

  • the target audience, children aged 6-9 years old
  • where the product will be sold, in the Windermere Jetty shop
  • product price, pocket money priced items
  • the materials required to make the product

Following an introduction and time to do some initial research, the students came to Windermere Jetty for a site visit.

Each student has researched what other museums sell in their shops, generated ideas of what they would like to develop and have chosen two products to focus their attention on. You can see examples of the group’s work below.

The project is now coming to a close as we approach the Christmas holidays. The group has  shown a high level engagement with the project and the school is planning on running the project as part of the next course starting in September 2017.

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Fragments of Luxury

The steam launch Britannia, built on the Clyde in 1879 for local landowner Col. Ridehalgh, was the largest private steam yacht on Windermere. Ridehalgh’s previous steam yacht Fairy Queen had been the largest until he had Britannia built to replace it.  This passion for ostentatious boats earned him the nickname ‘the king of the lake’.

Britannia’s interior was as luxurious as the finest private houses. Descriptions in the press at the time of her launch give us an idea of what she must have looked like; ‘overhead lights of stained glass, one of Windsor Castle, the other of Her Majesty’s Highland residence…woodcarving in which the rose is intertwined with the thistle to form a suitable setting for the windows…panelling in polished Hungarian oak and walnut surmounted by a rich gilt cornice…crimson velvet cushioned couches round the apartment.’[1]

The single surviving skylight, which is now in our collection, gives an idea of the quality of craftsmanship on board.

When Britannia was broken up in 1919 the skylight was rescued and used in a greenhouse, before being installed into the ceiling of the old museum building.

The skylight is made of teak and glass.  Many of the panes of painted glass were missing or broken. The surviving original painted glass is being restored by Lancashire Conservation Studios, and the missing panes will be replaced with replicas.  Old joints and repairs to the timber frame are being replaced with teak in keeping with the original.

The entire structure will be supported on a steel frame to be suspended from the ceiling in the new museum building so that once again visitors to Windermere can be impressed by Col. Ridehalgh’s taste for luxury.

[1] Westmorland Gazette, 28th June, 1879

A Great Yarn

Annie Garnett: Spinning the Colours of Lakeland is still on at Blackwell, make sure you visit before this beautiful show closes.

 

Annie Garnett was as colourful as the textiles that she produced at her Spinnery in Bowness on Windermere. Born in 1864 she was not sent to school along with her brothers but still formed a passion for painting, colour and design. When her father made the acquaintance of John Ruskin she became inspired by his philosophies and decided that she would like to start creating beautiful textiles using traditional methods.

The exhibition, which is now half-way through its run, looks at the life of Annie Garnett and the textiles that she produced. Spinning the Colours of Lakeland also looks at the inspiration that Annie took from nature, both from the Lakeland landscape and from her three acre garden.

Annie Garnett’s textiles are often vibrant and bright, but we have been able to bring more colour to her story in this exhibition through the discovery of some very rare Autochrome Lumiere plates. This early form of photography used coloured starch grains to produce positive colour images which would have been viewed by holding them up to the light. Annie Garnett used this expensive process to capture the colours in her garden that meant so much to her. The Autochromes, which can be seen in the exhibition, allow us to see the colours that Annie Garnett saw, and the petals that she would send direct to her dyers to match.

Don’t miss this show, which runs until 29th January and is a great chance to find out more about one of Lakeland most colourful characters, there are also lunch and Garnett tour packages available in December. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to hear first about upcoming shows and exhibitions.

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