Derby Museum Volunteering, October 2016

So October  has been a pretty busy month. Mylo has started school and has settled into his first half term. It’s given me a chance to take stock and re-involve myself in a number of projects at Derby Museums and further afield as well as picking up Lunar21 once more.

Firstly, I have been developing a series of volunteer badges with other makers at the trust.

The museum and art gallery have long suffered expensive and often fragile badge designs that did not really do justice to the collection or reflect the ethos of the Trust well. By contrast, the Silk Mill’s hackspace and maker studio produce outstanding and unique designs for each of the events that they host.

Volunteer badges tweets, October 2016
i wanted to try and find a low cost solution to enable volunteers to pick from a series of designs that not only represented their interests, but also the broad nature of the Trust’s sites and collection. The brief was to be a conversation starter, create interest and be visible from a reasonable distance.

I created some prototypes with maker Graeme Smith.  As these were well received, I took the project forward to the next stage. Working with Super Nature volunteer Andy Thornton, we have created a series of originally designed images that represent the Museum Trust’s collection. Currently we are at the stage where we have completed a first round of laser cut samples, working across the size and shape to make them consistent. We hope to have the final range completed for approval at the end of November, when I will complete a post for the projects section of the website.

Volunteer badges tweets, October 2016
The small reveal we did on Twitter generated loads of interest and positive comments, so I am hoping that this means we are heading in the right direction on the project.

I’ve also become involved with the Audience Development work at the museum. I was lucky enough to help facilitate a tactile tour for partially sighted visitors. From this came reams of really valuable information. The hope is that we can go on to develop a kit for this audience segment and run a similar experience for the Silk Mill building. At the time of writing these things are very much in consideration, but I am hopeful to be able to continue with this work as it interests me greatly, and perhaps even go on to work on accessibility and engagement for other niche audiences such as those on with ASC.

Volunteer badges tweets, October 2016
Work to develop engagement with the ceramic collection has taken a digital turn. Working with Culture 24’s Pintrest boards, I am about to begin photographing the re-interpreted objects as well as the interventions that are on display with the more traditional Derby ceramic and porcelain objects.

The last thing I have managed to help with was a call out on the Volunteer newsletter for citizen journalists to write about their experiences within the DMT. I sent across a couple of my blog pieces to Gemma, our lovely volunteer coordinator, and she thought they might be of some use to her in the future.

Last but not least, I have also been appointed to the Museum Computer Group Committee to assist with marketing and communications over the coming year or so, which I am mightily looking forward to. Watch this space for more information.


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