Monday, 3 August 2015

A Tongan Fishing Net

The Tongan fishing net collected by the Forsters is 8m long - too big to be displayed in its entirety.  We needed to find a way to display a part of it, while keeping most of it rolled.

When I first worked on the net, I sewed it to Tyvek, an inert non-woven fabric, so that it could be rolled for storage.  We hoped that by rolling the net and mounting the roll vertically, just the last 50cm or so of the net could be displayed, hiding the roll behind the case structure.

Chris and Al, the technicians working on the Cook-voyage re-display, made a tube for the net to be rolled around.  The indentation at the bottom was to accommodate the rocks, used as weights on the net.  The tube was made from inert polyethylene piping and zero-formaldehyde MDF, and was covered with synthetic felt.

The roll, covered with synthetic felt

The fishing net was unrolled, still attached to its Tyvek backing, and the backing was trimmed.

The fishing net unrolled in a Museum corridor

The backed net was rolled onto its new tube, leaving a short section free at the end.

The Tyvek backing was then sewn to the covering of the tube through all the layers to keep the net in place when it was mounted vertically.

This is the structure of the mock-up of the case, ready to receive the net:

The case structure ready for the mounted fishing net.  The ends of the roll will be held by the brackets at top and bottom.  The end of the net will feed through the slot and be mounted on a panel

The net was mounted in the case, and the end fed through the slot.

Feeding the end of the net through the slot in the case

The end of the net, once through the slot, was mounted on hooks which supported the rocks and the twigs used as floats.

The roll will be hidden by a panel once the display is complete