Volunteers from the Museum of Cambridge come to Rowan

IMG_2846 smallAs a thank you for for our exhibition in the Museum of Cambridge’s Community Cases, we invited the Museum’s volunteers to come to Rowan and take part in a textile workshop led by one of our tutors Hilary Sugai.

We invited one of the participants, Kerry to write about her experience of the morning she spent with us.

“I have been working at the Museum of Cambridge for the last few weeks. I share the role of front of house with other volunteers and my duties include welcoming visitors, taking admission fees and giving a little background history of the museum. The building dates back to the 17th century when it was originally a coach house and it houses a wide range of objects and collection of objects dating back to the 1600’s.

IMG_2852 smallThe Museum also has a gift shop which anyone can visit. It sells cards, toys, jewellery and other gifts, some of which are made locally including prints and cards from Rowan. I recently made a sign for the gift shop, though all the letters have not stuck to the window well, as I noticed recently while cycling down Castle Hill, it read ‘Gift hop’!

Our visit to Rowan was arranged by Sharon, the Museum’s Administrator as a treat for volunteers. We were greeted by Rowan’s staff and learning-disabled students. Bridget showed us around the studios that include textiles, ceramics, mixed media, wood and print.

IMG_2854 smallI know from experience how the creative arts can be healing and a bonding group activity and the students we met at Rowan were proud to show us the things they had made. Currently students were working on personalised sketchbooks, ceramic cacti, printing leaves and projects in wood including ambitious commissioned pieces.

We then spent a relaxing and productive morning in the gallery, helped by students and Hilary the textile tutor. We sewed a cover for a book we brought, sifting through fabric remnants, and wrestling with sewing machines.

Rowan is soon to expand, the refurbishment will improve and increase the studios, creating more space for more learning-disabled people and the wider communities of Cambridge.

I plan to visit Rowan again, during Cambridge Open Studios and may volunteer in the print room.