Woolcrafts at The Wool Shed

Street entrance for the Wool Shed Museum complex. The museum is housed in two historic Wairarapa wool sheds that were trucked into Masterton's CBD, close to the Aratoi Museum. The Wool Shed is New Zealand’s national museum of sheep and shearing, set up in 2005 in Masterton’s CBD, in two relocated historic historical woolsheds.

Street entrance to the Wool Shed complex, now effectively New Zealand’s national museum of sheep and shearing. It was set up in 2005 in Masterton’s CBD, in two relocated historic woolsheds.

A couple of years ago I offered voluntary services to the The Wool Shed museum in Masterton, to help tidy up their printed display panels and captions. Originally, when the museum was set up in 2005, I did the panels, captions and some of the general design, on a professional contract. After that, given a very tight budget, they had to carry on without me. The panels and captions got pretty tatty. Displays got added to and updated on an ad hoc basis, with not enough consideration of style and consistency.

My offer to help tart things up for no fee was accepted and for my sins they also made me a museum trustee!

The displays are looking better now, but there’s still much to be done when finances permit. Print costs for large panels are high. Many of the original panels have faded or had colour changes, due to a combination of originally incorrect types of lighting and printing ink. So we need to replace as well as add.

Inside the museum. At left is the entrance which includes a woollen goods shop and the Golden Shears Hall of Fame. On the right is a replica shearing board and a shed hand throwing a fleece.

Inside the museum. At left is the entrance, which includes a woollen goods shop and the Golden Shears Hall of Fame. On the right is a replica shearing board and a shed hand throwing a fleece.

Recently I was able to clear an area for a display of historic spinning wheels and general information about spinning. To pay for the display production, we decided to seek commercial sponsorship.

I’m working up a sponsorship proposal now and I want to demonstrate the museum’s continuing involvement with woolcrafts. Since it was opened, the museum has been home to the Wairarapa Spinners and Weavers Guild. Guild members spin, knit, weave and felt. They also help in the institution, especially womaning the front desk.

I wanted the sponsorship proposal to show Guild members in action, and last week I took a few photos. They’re a great bunch of women (there are a couple of men), who range in age from fifties to quite elderly. The atmosphere is friendly and there’s much yakking, cooperation and mentoring. Some come from farms and some from towns. They include my wife Liz, who is Guild secretary.

Here they are:

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The Wool Shed is on Facebook.

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This entry was posted in Museums, Wairarapa, Woolcrafts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Woolcrafts at The Wool Shed

  1. maryinnz says:

    Those are great photos!

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