Inside the Collection

Mystery object

September 29, 2010

Debbie Rudder
This week's mystery object had me guessing. It is quite striking at 600 mm tall, with a timber drum, curved ironwork and highly ornate gilt maker's plate. Is it a: a) machine for making gear wheels for clocks b) machine for cleaning knives c) portable darkroom for developing rolls of film d) portable agitator-type washing machine

Beneath the Streets: the Tank Stream

September 27, 2010

Erika Taylor
The object above is actually part of the Tank Stream sewer, and surprisingly one of the most significant objects in our collection. The Tank Stream started as an actual naturally occurring water source and was one of Governor Philip's formative reasons for choosing the site for the Colony's first settlement in 1788.

High, higher, highest: skyscrapers

September 22, 2010

Charles Pickett
Two recent happenings in New York City set me thinking about skyscrapers. One was a small controversy about the Empire State Building. The other was the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre towers.

Fabric designer- Georgia Chapman, Vixen

September 20, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
What is “The Vixen Look”? In this post, we feature a video interview with Georgia Chapman, fashion and textile designer (including screen printed and digital textiles) and owner of Vixen Australia.

60 years of Caroma

September 17, 2010

Angelique Hutchison
This year Caroma is celebrating 60 years of manufacturing in Australia. While we may associate the name with toilets and bathroom fittings, the company has been a leader in plastics production since the 1950s.

Dinky Toys

September 15, 2010

Margaret Simpson
When we asked our blog readers what topics they’d like to have more posts on, a number of you asked for Matchbox. So, in response, I’ll post a series on die-cast toy cars. I thought I’d start the toy car story off a bit earlier than Matchbox with the famous pre-War Dinky Toys.

Jewellery designer- Blanche Tilden

September 13, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
I’ve always been interested in how things work…I like the ambiguity of what is machine made and what is handmade. Blanche Tilden (b.1968, Australia) is a contemporary glass and jewellery designer.

The finer details of textiles storage

September 10, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
This week staff from the Museum’s curatorial, registration and conservation departments took part in an object handling refresher focusing on the Museum’s vast textiles collection with Registrar, Sarah Pointon and Conservator, Suzanne Chee.

Tutorial: How to make a simple paper wig

September 8, 2010

Erika Taylor
This method of making wigs for display mannequins has been used in museums for over 20 years. It is a great way for small museums and fashion students to create elegant wigs cheaply and easily. We have used white paper for our tutorial, but you could use anything you liked; ribbon, fabrics, unusual papers.

Mystery Object (go on…have a guess)

September 6, 2010

Erika Taylor
This week's mystery object is one of my favourite objects from our collection. It is about 10cm in diameter and quite solid. Is it...? a) a hairball from the stomach of a bull b) an early golfball carved from stone c) a fossilised coconut d) an early croquet ball made from resin The answer will be posted on Friday!

Celebrating History Week (4-12 September)

September 3, 2010

Anni Turnbull
To celebrate the 2010 History Week theme of ‘Faces in the street’, I have decided to look at some of the methods used to record peoples' faces — from celebrities to lesser known identities — before the era of Facebook and Flickr.