Fragments ProjectArticle Written:
We were invited to work with The Potteries Museum (Hanley) and Wessex Archaeology to create a female version of the Staffordshire Hoard.
The original Staffordshire Hoard is heavily aimed at men and masculinity, so Wessex Archaeology decided to get local women involved to recreate a more feminine Staffordshire Hoard.
We invited a group of our local, female residents to take part in the project and were transported by taxi to the Potteries Museum once a week for three weeks. All the ladies were invited to take along an item that meant something to them; it didn’t have to be an old item, just something that represented femininity to that person.
The age range of the ladies attending was from 50 to 85 years – some knew each other, and some hadn’t met before. It was an extremely positive experience to hear them telling each other about their chosen items.
Each item was different and had personal, emotional stories attached; handmade pottery, some beautiful belts, an MBE award, a Princess Anne doll, an old rag rug hook, a wooden sewing box and contents, Shaun the sheep, some lovely items from India, and some beautiful handmade clay flowers.
As well as talking about the objects and their meaning, the group also created a scrap book and a short poem about them. We took time to take some rubbings from the items and printed the images with rollers and ink.
We were also given the opportunity to have a look at the Staffordshire Hoard and learn the history behind it… some of the group had never seen the display and were amazed!
The items were put on display at the museum, next to the original Hoard (from the 28th of November) to encourage other women to view the objects and read the stories.
This project brought together local women of different ages who probably wouldn’t usually spend time together, and some of these ladies have stayed friends as a result of attending.