ahead of the forthcoming arts and heritage group meeting, i’d like to share with you so reflections about work done recently.


back in april i was finding my feet being on site at the silk mill and beginning the journeys at the other places i’m due to film in during the course of realising the work.


the main focus is the silk mill itself and recently the progress being made by everyone there is starting to be more visible.  in the off site stores preparatory works by both the collections team and model railway teams go on a pace too.

i’m getting up to speed as well.  the going to work at the museum of making during the renovation work is becoming more familiar and the going into the live site is becoming more second nature.  there’s been a transition from needing to have a guide everywhere i go to having a quick briefing in the office about where the unsafe areas are today.

for the good things there are some bad.  the 360 video thing is a bit too early doors so i plan to investigate 360 photos a bit more.  if you’ve watched the 360 footage of the crane you might have picked up on a the poor stitching of the two cameras.  it appears the unit i have has something wrong with it and i’m in a slow process to diagnose this with the company’s customer service in hong kong.  there may also be some small problems with some audio recordings due to some interference.  my best guess as to the source of this are the heaters in the portacabins.


as well as filming at the silk mill i have also begun the post production process.  on site i’ve bagged a space in the office to work.  going forward i think this is going to be a good thing as i’m already using what i’ve shot to inform where next to shoot.

something that i’m ok about sharing with you also is that towards the end of april early may i became overwhelmed a bit by the whole thing.  the faults i’d found with some of the audio began a domino effect that meant for a while i kept filming but my work in post halted for a while.  i’m happy to say i’m very near to catching up now.

for the arts and heritage meeting i’m going to prepare something to share with the group.  at this early stage it might have to be a simple collection of clips from the different areas i’ve filmed in so far.  part of me wants to also share some early sketches of a user interface for the work.  i need to be real about what actually is needed at this time.   is introducing where i’m filming enough for the conversation to begin?



in the life of this commission there are going to be some days where a special one off event takes place.  this week saw the first of these – a crane on site to lift steelwork into the second floor.



this event inspired me to take the plunge into researching 360 video.  from chats with the site manager i knew in advance where he would permit me to be during the lifting.  one thing i have learnt in my short time on site is just how important safety is.

the site has a state of the art fire alarm system that is all radio connected and linked to mobile phones, i have no idea how it all works.  there was a false alarm this week, i stood outside with kim while the source was investigated.  all ok.


i’m becoming more familiar with the people on site and how things are on site.  this in turn is making me more confident in being on site.  today i’ve been into the mill to capture some footage of the steel work and other things of interest while the site was quiet.



from my bus home i get a great view of the outside of the mill across the river.



earlier i mentioned my beginning to research with 360 video.  first impressions are that it presents some interesting challenges and considerations.

after only one other test filming i threw caution to the wind and used the crane on site as a focus for some 360 filming.

the camera i have makes the filming process relatively straight forward.  as with all processes i’m experiencing the learning through making the teething problem mistakes.   today i over looked switching into video mode so have 360 photos from the inside of the second floor, not really what i intended to create.

on the day the crane was there i did mange to create some video footage.  in the afternoon and evening i created a short edit and uploaded it to you tube.

when uploading 360 video to you tube – don’t forget to wait for the 4k file to become available.  while i learnt this i experienced disappointment at the low resolution quality of the video.  fortunately there is a high res version available now.

as a result of the high resolution video file i have learnt how having a really fast internet connection helps when watching the 360 video.  i saw the difference in video quality when i showed the video on my phone in the office at the museum and art gallery the next day.

as this is my first 360 edit i’m not putting it fully out into the public domain – the video is unlisted.  what i am going to do is share the link with you below so you can see it.

the video will give you a sense of being in the site compound near to the crane and those working near it.  i’ll be interested in you feedback, comments and general observations about 360 video.







the collections are central to the museum of making.  they act as an inspiration for making today and for makers of the future.  with the building being refurbished all the objects are being stored offsite.  today i’ve visited one of the stores.

earlier this week i was at the first meeting to discuss the recant of the objects.



in the room were the design company, the collections team and volunteers.   we heard about the storage plans and rapid prototyped how it might be to recant objects into the second floor accessible storage gallery.  i love the rapid prototyping approach because it cuts through all the distracting conversations to the core of what the needs are and what might be needed to meet these.

i filmed and have begun to assemble an edit.



the store i visited today is a base for the collections team, the midland railway research centre and museum volunteers.  i learnt how with very little space the work of the collections team continues in preparation for the recant of the objects.   i saw how the 3d scanning work is on going and look forward to adding more footage of this process to go alongside shots from t2.



i didn’t realise the range of opportunities the collection management provides.  from what i can remember form the many conversations today, there are different volunteers in 4 days a week.



friday is the day for the model railway volunteer team to meet.

there has been a model railway at derby museums since the festival of britain and in the refurbished museum of making the model railway is to have much more prominence with a  connection to the midland railway research centre.



chatting with the team i got insight into their current challenges.  one of these is the creation of water – both courses and areas of.  it seems where ever i go within the project everyone has multiple challenges and these are being met with great humour and determination.



i include myself in that too – i’m finding i have an increasing number of questions all needing an answer.  the timeframe for this need is variable.

connecting with the physical elements of the project is helping me to build a mental picture of the timescales.   this  probably needs managing in some way !

… reaches for sketchbook and pen.




arriving home tonight i can still feel the excitement at being on site at the museum of making for the first time.  that is – the first time at the museum during the refurbishment work.

after receiving my site induction including getting into the site, safety video and being issued with my ppe, i accompanied the site manager on a tour of the site.  we topped out by looking at the roof !



i learnt some details about this roof and these will help me in the coming weeks.  at the height we were at the river took on a curious quality giving an impression of the silk mill elegantly moving forward through water – like a cruise ship.



at the other end of the mill we’d been up to the third floor.  still holding onto memories of what used to happen in these spaces i explored and started to ponder the nature of the progression in my attitude towards the spaces – as i get more familiar with the plans i hope to start to learn the working titles of the spaces and what is planned to happen there.

i’m asking many questions including how to talk about areas of the mill to help navigation.

chatting with the project manager has helped me a little with this.  the main mill parallel to the river is the italian mill.  the back section at 90 degrees is the sowter and the bit between these two – according to the architect – is the knuckle.


today has been very exciting.  being in the mill, seeing the fully exposed  areas and starting the familiarisation process with regard to the plans.  i need to work quickly this week to get some footage of certain areas as they are soon to be worked upon.  i’m in new territory and everyone i talk to onsite are so helpful and understanding.   i feel immediately involved and part of this amazing project.


if i were a runner i think today has been like my first major run – i’ve enjoyed it so much and from here i’m going to look to improve upon it as i get deeper into the project.