I would love to hear some feedback from you about your experience with firearms in museums. I've been a mountmaker for almost 20 years now and have been free lance for 15 of them, and a huge proportion of the work I deal with are firearms of all sorts - flint locks, pistols, heavy machine guns - you name it & I've probably laid hands on one.
I've lost count of how many times I have known or seen where a firearm was actually loaded in a museum. Sometimes they are brought in that way by a careless donor. And I'm finding that often registrars & curators do not check the weapons either. Scary! I always assume that any weapon is loaded unless I see for myself that it is not. And there are plenty of people who do not know how to check a weapon properly. Given the wide variety of firearms out there it can be hard to determine that too.
So, I would like to hear what your experiences are. If you are on staff at a museum, does your museum have policies in place for dealing with weapons safety? What have you done to educate yourself about weapons or have you felt the need to do so?
About 13 years ago, one of our Collection Managers inventoried all our firearms and, working with the Chicago Police, procured and developed the permits, paperwork and procedures for safely holding them. Any staff responsible for handling them had to hold a State Firearm Owners Permit. Powder, powder residue and firing pins were removed from all firearms. Firing pins are stored separately from the arms.
Ruth - Head Conservator at Field Museum.
I need to make custom mounts for rocks, #10/5kg and bigger, fast. What I need is a way to make a quick 'prototype' shape, that will mimic the rock, and that I can use to bend the steel to. The present rock is kinda diamond shape, 12”x 9” x 2” / 30x22x3cm thick, and of course need to balance on a corner, so the big flat face fronts. I am making a mount for it, but want to be able to do them ‘mass production style ‘ for lots of rocks, all different, sizes and balance points. I need to be at able to make custom yet fast
This is a commercial rock shop. No time to make ‘duplicate rocks’
They want steel mounts, it’s their preference.
Any and all ideas will be appreciated!
Hello all. Over the years I've had occasional mounts that required steel over brass. Because I don't have any welding rigs and am only using acetylene for brazing, I've always just brazed the steel. I've noticed that it takes a lot more time for the joint to flow properly with steel. My question is, what's the limitations when brazing is no longer enough? Can stainless be brazed? I'm wondering if it's time to expand and get a welding set up. Any recommendations on welding equipment would be welcome as well! Yours, James
For those of us that have been working with institutions their whole careers but have always wanted to break out on their own to avoid...certain politics shall we say, or certain salary limitations. Do the mountmakers here that are independent have any sage advice to offer such a person? Like me for example? I've been doing the side gig thing for 13 some-odd years now so I already have a good reputation and client base but I know there will be surprises and challenges coming up really soon. My last day at the museum is September 6th, so it's time for action man to take action. I'd love to open up some dialog on these ventures as well as the current state of institutions (i.e. protests and unionizing at major institutions lately). Love to hear from you all. yours, James Spark and Anvil