Meet the Volunteers – Lucy Lead

Today’s volunteer is Lucy Lead who works in our archives.

 I joined the Wedgwood Museum in June 2012 and stayed for the next three months primarily to gain further understanding of working within an archive.

I had such a fantastic time that when I went back to the University of Liverpool to complete my final year studying History that I knew it was something I really wanted to pursue further.

Six months later I began the application process for a Masters degree within Archives and Record Management. I approached the Museum to see if they would have me back whilst studying long distance from Aberystwyth – and very luckily for me they said yes!

So in July 2013 I returned to the Museum and the archives and not looked back. I am in two or three days each week and regularly get involved in assisting readers, giving talks, helping find information and generally ensuring the smooth running and maintenance of the archives.

It is a very rewarding experience and I enjoy it enormously – I would definitely say come in and see what volunteering at the Wedgwood Museum is all about!

If you want to get involved and volunteer at the Wedgwood Museum, there are plenty of opportunities from helping with the maintenance of the museum to running guided tours, and from helping out in the archives to assisting with education groups. For more information email june.bonell@wedgwoodmusem.org.uk or visit our wesbite.

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Meet the volunteers – Jennifer Brookman

To celebrate National Volunteers Week, we are speaking to the volunteers here at the Wedgwood Museum.
Today’s volunteer is Jennifer Brookman.
My volunteering began for the Wedgwood Museum back in December 2013. My main reason to volunteer was to gain collections based experience to add to my portfolio of museum experience, which I had built up over the past few years whilst completing a Masters degree in Museum Studies.
My work at the Museum involves carrying out a Collections Audit in the reserve collection before the it gets moved to its new home. The aim is to go through the cabinets object by object looking for the item’s identification number and logging the objects, and the identification number if it has one, onto an Excel spreadsheet. Every so often the object does not have a number so a temporary number is assigned to that object.
The work I do is great because it involves a lot of object handling which is great experience to add to my CV that can help me get my first museum job. Volunteering at Wedgwood Museum is great because you get to meet new people whilst gaining new skills.
One day I would like to become a Curator and the experience I gain at Wedgwood is a step towards that goal!
If you would like to volunteer in our collections or archive, email june.bonell@wedgwoodmusuem.org.uk or visit our website.

National Volunteers Week – Gina Hill

To celebrate National Volunteers Week, we are speaking to the volunteers here at the Wedgwood Museum about what they do – we will also be looking at some of the opportunities available.

Today’s volunteer is Gina Hill.

I’ve been volunteering at the Wedgwood Museum since September 2013, while I was in my final year at University studying Broadcast Journalism. 

I got involved with the Museum because I wanted to gain more experience in the heritage industry before I start my Masters Degree in Heritage Management in September this year.  

I started off helping with the Museum’s social media and researching ready to write a guided tour. Half a year later, I am now running my tours round the Museum’s galleries, managing the social media as well as creating videos for the website and running the blog pages. 

I would recommend volunteering at the Wedgwood Museum to anyone. There are so many opportunities to get involved and its a great place to meet new people and learn new skills. 

Fancy getting involved as a tour guide? Contact june.bonell or visit the website for more details.

Young Enterprise – the County Finals

The County Finals of Young Enterprise happened here at the Wedgwood Museum earlier this month.

The event saw stalls from all over Staffordshire from various schools and sixth forms.

The teenagers had been challenged to form a business and create, market and sell a product or service.

The winners of the night were Ignite from Alleyne’s Academy, in Stone, who created a portable phone charging stand.

They will now go on to represent Staffordshire in the West Midlands ‘Company of the Year’ finals being held in Coventry on 10th June.

Below are some images from the event.

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Art Exhibition opening at Wedgwood

A new art exhibition will be officially opening at our museum soon.

The show features work from eight Staffordshire University students and is inspired by designs from Wedgwood’s iconic pottery of the 20th century.

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Student Fiona Cox, 20, has produced tiles and jewellery boxes.

She said: “My tiles took around three weeks to decorate, but I am very excited to be able to have them on display.

“It’s such a big museum and such a prestigious company.

“It will be nice too to see what they public think as the ones who come here are interested in ceramics so they have their own idea of what they like and don’t like.”

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Sarah Betts, 29, has created jewellery featuring real ceramic pieces.

She said: “Some of the pieces have been made with real Wedgwood pieces, which I smashed up and then set into frames to make pins.

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“Their grounds are littered with ceramics and because they are planting at the moment I managed to salvage them.“The other pieces are made using found ceramics which I actually found at the Staffordshire University site.

“It’s nice to look at the pieces and think about its history. People have used these, chosen them and loved them in the past.”

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The exhibition will run at the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston until June 2014.

Stafford and Stone Young Enterprise

It was a fantastic night at the Stafford and Stone Young Enterprise awards, which took place at our museum last night.

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The event saw twelve teams from various schools and sixth forms across the Stafford and Stone area showcase their stalls.

The teenagers had been challenged to form a business and create, market and sell a product or service, and saw a range of items from cake stands with a vintage twist and accessories for smart phones and tablets.

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The winners of the ‘Company of the Year’ went to team Ignite from Alleyne’s Academy, in Stone, who created a portable phone charging stand.

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Katy Minshull, 17, managing director of Ignite told us: “I don’t think I can describe how I feel.

“All the hard work paid off, all the all nighters and early mornings and the eight hour trade fairs it just makes it worth it.

The team was made up of eight students from the sixth form – four of those,  Shaylyn Kent, Patrick Bell, and Ben Chaplin, joined Katy Minshull for the presentation last night.

Ignite will now go through to the County Finals, which will take place at the Wedgwood Museum on the 8th May.

Sarah White, 31, is a business advisor with the Young Enterprise. She said: “The students that we meet at the start of the process, are completely different to the individuals to the ones that we have seen perform this evening (3rd April).

“It’s about building confidence but it is also about developing a skill set that is recognised in the business arena.”