Behind the Scenes – Recycling props

Here in the exhibitions team, we’re a whizz at recycling things. Obviously, we use the museum showcases and plinths frequently but did you know we’re good at recycling lots of other props that we make in-house too, and nothing goes to waste.

Let’s take a trip back in time to re-visit a few of our past summer exhibitions –

It was in 2009 in our Magnificent Minibeast Safari exhibition when we first designed and constructed 4 huge grass columns to immerse our visitors in to the world of a minibeast…

Magnificent Minibeast Safari, 2009

In 2011, our Award-winning Once upon a Time exhibition saw the columns transformed in to 4 giant turrets – 2 for Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and 2 for Cinderella’s Castle…

Fast forward to 2014 and when it was time for our Beside the Seaside summer exhibition all that was needed was a lick of yellow paint for them to become huge sandcastle turrets…

Beside the Seaside, 2014

In 2016 they re-appeared as large building blocks for our colourful Animal Alphabet exhibition…

Animal Alphabet, 2016

And in 2017 the photo below shows them during construction being transformed by our talented Technical Support Officer, Andy, into a wonderful Chinese pagoda to set the scene for the Willow pattern story for our Mini Museum exhibition.

Mini Museum, 2017

Those of you who are old enough, may be able to recognise the bridge in the background… all this needed a new front to transform it from the Grand old Duke of York’s hill in our 2008 Nursery Rhymes exhibition (below) to the Willow pattern bridge (above).

Nursery Rhymes, 2008

There are lots of other things that we also recycle, and this is only a snapshot of some of the amazing summer family exhibitions that we put on here at The Potteries Museum.

How many of our Summer exhibitions can you remember and which one was your favourite?

And, in case you’re wondering when the columns will next make an appearance, you won’t have to wait long, as this summer they’re going to form the structure for the rose garden in Alice’s Adventures in a Museum Wonderland.

Their transformation journey continues…

Helen Cann,
Design Services Officer
The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Written by Helen Cann (Design Services Officer) - Modified by Joe Perry (Curator, Local History)

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