Today’s post is written by Sarah, the curator for We Made It:
Museum exhibitions are carefully constructed projects that take years of preparation. This often surprises people as they only get to see the finished product and rarely get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. One of the most important and exciting stages of that preparation is the mount making. We’ve just started working with our team of mount makers for the We Made It exhibition and they’ll be working at Thinktank until January 2013.
But, what exactly does this involve? To put it simply, their job is to make objects look their best and to mount them in a way in which people can more easily understand their uses. To use a recent example, one of our cases will include a selection of 19th-century pen nibs. Now, we could simply leave the nibs flat in a box, but it’s much more engaging for our visitors if we use a bit of imagination!
The mount here shows the pen nib in its most natural position and once the mount is painted to match the case interior, it will give an illusion that it’s floating in midair. The lid also, has been mounted so that it looks as if it’s in midair giving the impression that the box is being opened. The mount making is a creative process that will dictate the ‘look’ of the exhibition which is why we are producing ‘mock-ups’ of every case. These mock-ups are based on the exact case dimensions, and by doing this we can ensure that all the objects fit perfectly. That way, there are no surprises when we come to installing them next year.
All the mounts are handmade on site by the excellent team of mount makers. Take a look at some of the images below to see some of their other work and when you visit We Made It next year take a minute to admire their craftsmanship!