Early last year, we received a call from Sharpes Pottery Museum in South Derbshire, asking us if we could help transform a currently under achieving space in the Museum into a new visually exciting display area.
We were keen to be involved in this project with Chris Jones, Director of Smith and Jones having close links to 'Swad' with his Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather both growing up in the area.
Further research revealed Chris's Great Grandfather worked in the giant Bottle Kilns in the area, helping to stack and fire the potteries.
Sharpes Pottery Museum is centred around a bottle kiln, with artefacts, models, film clips and imaginative computer interactives where people can explore the rich industrial and cultural heritage of the area.
The Museum wanted to join forces with The National Forest, telling the story of the local 'Swad' landscapes, damaged by the coal and clay industries and their more recent transformation into green open spaces, with increasing numbers of newly planted trees.
The interpretive themes were divided across the two floors of the space with the ground floor telling the story of the destruction of the landscape and the coal and clay industries. The first floor exhibits helped interpret the transformation of the landscapes back to green open spaces and the important work of The National Forest.