Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

Week 14

16 Dec 2008

The Standing rigging is now complete. The main challenge was the rat lines (the netting the sailors used to climb up the mast). Following are six images showing the technique I used to get the effect I was after. As I have seen many examples of well-made models that have been let down only by hairy unnatural rigging poking in all directions, one of my main concerns was to get the ratlines to loop down in a natural way.

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Week 13

09 Dec 2008

Things have been a little slow this week as I have had a bad head cold (and no, I will not make any sneezing/rigging jokes), but I have managed to make progress with the rigging.

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HMAS Advance, our Patrol Boat

05 Dec 2008

This topic came up on our first date, over a decade ago, and I think I thoroughly disappointed him when I confessed I knew of Skippy (though never watched it) but had certainly never heard of the other two programs.  He lamented that since arriving in Australia he hadn’t seen them either – odd when you think about it.

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Week 12

02 Dec 2008

This week I have made and completed the main masts and bowsprit.

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Frame restoration for the portrait of Sir John Franklin: part 1

27 Nov 2008

The frame came to the lab completely covered with an unsightly layer of bronze paint. The finish is dull and matt and does not complement the portrait. This finish would have been added as a quick fix to an aged frame- the bane of every frame conservator today.  In my opinion the portrait’s frame should be returned to its original surface finish, gilded and gorgeous!  After several tests and examinations, it was discovered that the object retained some of its original gilded (gold leaf) surface.

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Australian National Maritime Museum

War and Love

25 Nov 2008

This new exhibit tells the story of two Japanese women – Teruko Blair and Sadako Morris – who met and fell in love with Australian soldiers during the Allied Occupation of Japan. They made Australian immigration history, being the first significant group of non-Europeans permitted to migrate to Australia in the early 1950s while the White Australia Policy was still in place.

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