Welcome to the National Museum of the Royal Navy blog. A great way to keep up to date with the latest news and developments from around the museum.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Community Art Project launched

Bring out the buttons, man the sewing machines and make ready those knitting needles! At the National Museum of the Royal Navy we are re-establishing the Department for Knitted Garments for the Royal Navy! We are starting a community art project which involves getting the Navy and the nation knitting, sewing and felting! The Museum together with the Arts Stop Café’s Guerrilla Knitters, naval personnel and the community aims to create a huge seaside themed ‘yarnscape’ for the Family Area at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

The project was created in response to discovering 1940’s patterns from ‘The Department for Knitted Garments for the Royal Navy’ in the collection along with wool pictures created by sailors in 1850’s, embroidered slippers, naval collection of mascots and even toys made by the sailors themselves for their children. There is a long history of crafts in the Navy and the project is a way of drawing people’s attention to this cultural heritage. One of the aims of the project is to continue this tradition by asking anyone who is currently posted on a ship to knitting or crochet a sea creature for the artwork.

Everyone can get involved

Anyone can be involved in the project no matter their age or location. If you love arts and crafts then get in touch and we will send you a pattern showing you how to make your sea creatures or flower to add to our Portsmouth Seaside ‘yarnscape’. We want the project to reach as far and as wide as possible, so if you have any relatives abroad please pass the patterns on to them to make the project truly global!

As part of the project the Arts Stop Café’s Guerrilla Knitters will also be going out into the Community with museum staff to encourage schools, WI groups, brownies, church groups, residential homes and people across the area to participate. Free drop in sessions will also be run at the Museum in September and October if you don’t know how to knit or crochet or need a refresher don’t worry as the artists from the Arts Stop café will teach you.

We’re also looking for businesses to sponsor or donate materials and will be pleased to hear from anyone who can give us beads, threads wool, needles or buttons.

The aim is to have a finished piece for the Family Area at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and HMS Victory by January 2013.

If you would like to be involved, know someone who would be interested in making something for the project or have any materials that they can donate please call Jo Valentine, Community Engagement Officer on 02392 727595 or email jo.valentine@nmrn.org.uk and she will send you additional information and the patterns you will need to create your art piece.

Here's a pattern to get you started - downloadable from our website soon - watch this space!

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