A grand re-opening of the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), Reading, was held today, to showcase the refurbishments and never displayed artefacts held in the museum walls.
During the re-opening MERL, I gave a helping hand in the print room. This is where families and friends who were visiting for the day could print, and take home, a unique piece of artwork. The original drawing was completed by Martin Andrews, a previous lecturer and student from the University of Reading. My role throughout the day was to ensure that each piece had a name, and was hung up to dry in order to be collected at a later time. Each person who created a print had a sense of awe, as they worked the 100+ year old printing press to create their piece. Over 70 prints were made throughout the day, and more paper had to be sourced before we ran out.
I ensured that Martin had enough ink throughout the day and help him with tasks such as setting up the print in the press and ensuring ink did not go anywhere other than the intended surface. I also had a role to protect the ink from prying hands as this would have permanently stained clothes.
This role has helped broaden my perspective of art within charities and the impact that it can have. I also now understand the processes behind the drawing, creating the ‘stamp’ for the press and the process of handling the printing press with the public, including adults and young children.