This post is by Anne Lane, an extraordinarily talented and experienced collection manager from the Charlotte Museum of History.

We’re not talking that irregular square of brightly colored knitted loops woven by your kindergartener. Nor that beautifully quilted and padded device you bought at the farmer’s market. Nor the high-tech square of silicone rubber that doubles as a trivet, capable of protecting your hands or your granite countertops from pots fresh from a gazillion degree oven.

 No, this is something much simpler. When you work in a history museum, you often have to handle ceramic containers. These have a tendency to be round. When you have to look at and photograph the bottoms of them, or look down their throats, you have to lay them on their sides. They show a distressing tendency to roll off the table. When you try to brace them with things laid to either side, the things either try to roll away or, if they’re heavy, they may mar your ceramic piece. What to do?

 Enter the potholder. This is so low tech, it’s embarrassing. You cut two lengths of polyethylene backer rod, a cylindrical foam material used in the building trade. You use some stout string or cotton tying tape and tie the two pieces together near one end.

You spread the two free ends apart and lay your pot between them. You bring the ends together below your pot and tie them together with another length of string. The pot is cushioned and it stays in place.

editor’s note:  Anne will be sharing more of her expertise on object storage and support solutions at C2C’s Box-Making Workshop at the Charlotte Museum of History on February 27th.


About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on December 2, 2011, in collections access, collections care, Connecting to Collections, guest bloggers, storage, workshops and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Anne thank you so much for sharing your invention. I too deal with pottery at my place of employment and have had an awful time trying to photograph them. I look forward to attending your box making work shop in February.

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