Summer Success at Wheal Martyn

Nikita Brown is our Exhibition and Engagement Officer at Wheal Martyn. Read her blog about Wheal Martyn’s summer activities success below.

My role as Exhibition and Engagement Officer at Wheal Martyn is incredibly varied, but in a nutshell, it’s my job to encourage people to come to the museum and enjoy its collections in lots of different ways – whether this is putting on an exhibition or leading a workshop for all of the family to enjoy.

With lots of people enjoying learning about Arthur’s story as a Kettle Boy in Summer 2018, we decided to share more real-life stories this summer with the theme Rock (clay & geology), Scissors (tools of the trade & engineers) and Paper (end product & artists)! It was fantastic to share not one, not two, but three people’s stories in this year’s children’s trail. Those who completed the trail discovered the stories of Colin Bristow, a retired geologist who worked in the clay industry for 30 years; William Francis, an engineer from the 1890s to 1930s, and finally, Carol Weir who is Artist in Residence at Wheal Martyn. The trail will be in place for the rest of the year, so make sure you pop in to learn more about how the clay industry shaped their lives and careers in three very different ways.

We also had a range of activities on offer from animation workshops to paper-making to a Science Play Day. It was great to see so many of you there and I am glad to report that 1,219 people took part in our summer activities this year (an increase of 41% from last year). The firm favourite was pottery painting, with many people making beautiful creations by decorating bunny money banks, bird feeders, and bee houses.

There is lots to look forward to in the next few months, including a jam-packed October Half Term. On Monday 21st October get creative in our Spooky Pottery Painting and decorate your very own pumpkin tea light, mug, tea light holder or egg cup. There is a small fee of £1 to £3.50 to pay for the cost of ceramics. On Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 October, come to our FREE drop-in workshop and make your very own glow in the dark clay decoration to add to our Woodland Wonderland UV Experience during Wheal Martyn’s Celebration of Light and Clay event. I am also very excited to share that Jenny Beavan will be returning to Wheal Martyn on Wednesday 23 October and Friday 25 October and will be demonstrating how to make clay lanterns out of Cornish clay in a FREE drop-in workshop. All lanterns will be added to Wheal Martyn’s Light and Clay festival: keep an eye out on the light trail up to pit view for your creation!

The most exciting thing I am looking forward to in the next few months has to be Wheal Martyn’s Celebration of Light and Clay on the 5th, 6th and 7th December.  The celebration event will show Wheal Martyn’s museum collection in a completely different light (pun intended) and will include an impressive laser show performance projected onto Wheal Martyn’s clay pit, a beautiful light trail made up of lanterns made by the community and a Woodland Wonderland UV experience where you will get the chance to play with light. There will also be lots of surprises along the way, so make sure you book your space quickly, as there are limited numbers. The great thing about the event is that it costs usual museum admission and means you can return to the museum for FREE for the next 12 months – so plenty of time to explore Wheal Martyn’s collection further! These events have been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and from the Feast programme, which makes great art happen in Cornwall with investment from Arts Council England and Cornwall Council.

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