Friday, February 8, 2008

A tale of two housings

The museum has been very lucky to have three dedicated interns this quarter. One of the interns, Rachel, has been working on our collection of arrows, bows, and similar things. She's taken some well intentioned custom housing and transformed it into modern, safe, and really lovely housing.

This is the original state of the arrows (click to see larger versions):

Old arrow housing

The arrow stand had short pieces of plastic tubing which held up the arrows. The tubing was originally clear, but is now yellowed. When we took the arrows out of the tubing, we found it was often difficult to do so while not scraping the tubing against the shafts and to do so while properly supporting the entire shaft. It seemed clear that continued use of the old arrow stand would not suffice.

Rachel first did some research and catalogued the arrows. Our records indicate that these arrows are from the Barama River region in Guyana. We think that they were used in fishing. They seem to resemble spears, but have feathers and a nock so look to be used with a bow. The tips are made of wood, not rusted metal, as it might appear at first glance. In short, these are really cool looking objects.

After much planning, discussion, and work, Rachel has created custom housing for the arrows which is much much better.

New housing

We had no boxes long enough, and even our plain cardboard was too short to use, so Rachel had to MacGyver a solution out of what we did have. The box is made of two different boxes, cut and glued together. The supports are ethafoam with cotton tape ties. The boxes are thrifty and effective!

Ties close up

And don't those arrows look excellent!


I'd call that a job well done.


Allyson Lazar said...

Awesome! I love seeing properly rehoused objects. Kudos to you and your intern!

Rachael Arenstein said...

I wanted to let you know about a new web resource STASH has been created to allow for the sharing of storage solutions. I hope that you will consider submitting an idea.