These past few weeks I have spent quite a few days at the museum, using the downtime that is "Slow September" doing further training in different fields. The tourism season hasn't quite kicked in yet, so we are using our time to deepen our knowledge and upskill ourselves.
For example we have had a couple of sessions with a curator from Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet in Paris, around the subjects of Chinese writing, and ceramics. I surprisingly enjoyed immersing myself in all things pottery, stoneware and porcelain. So I really took the opportunity to absorb all the in-depth information and detail the curator had to share. One thing she covered was all the different glazing, by for example using these Tang dynasty funerary figures, so called mingqi to illustrate the Sancai glaze:
We also learned more about this green coloured celadon glaze on different pieces of stoneware; and we looked closer at this blueish-white incense burner with red decorations, made with copper oxide.
On the theme of ceramics, we were also invited one afternoon into the Conservation Lab at the museum, to get an introduction into their work. Currently they are working on restoring a plate from RAK, and we got to know more about that process. Really, really interesting - and I look forward to having this plate back in the galleries eventually, as it will so much more fun to talk about it having seen the restoration happen in real time!
Finally we have also been building on our soft skills, having had some training on how to mediate the school tours. This was done both theoretically but also in the galleries with some role play - always fun!
Now I can't wait to welcome both students and other visitors to the museum. I am so excited to bring all these new skills and new knowledge into my tours, in all the different ways!