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The Scottish Maritime Museum on Irvine Harbourside celebrates the opening of two brand new exhibitions on Saturday 11 September with glass blowing demonstrations and talks and an expert insight into climate change. Visitors will also enjoy free entry and a peek behind the scenes of the Scottish Boat Building School all weekend as part of Open Doors Days 2021.

Announcing the weekend, Nicola Scott, Exhibition and Events Officer at the Scottish Maritime Museum, says:

We’re excited to announce that on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September we will open our doors od the Boat Building School for free for Open Doors Days 2021 with a great crafting activity and tours around the Scottish Boat Building School which is not usually open to the public.

“Saturday 11 September also marks the first day of our newest exhibitions, Glass Ships in Bottles and Ocean Posters Against Plastic Pollution and, to celebrate, visitors can enjoy series of great talks, tours and demonstrations throughout the day, ranging from glass blowing to climate change.

“Altogether this will be a perfect opportunity to come along to the Scottish Maritime Museum and get a feel for the diverse and innovative exhibitions and activities we have on offer throughout the year.”

The Museum will open the Boat Building School doors for free for the weekend to mark this year’s Open Doors Days. Visitors will be able to tour the Scottish Boat Building School and learn about traditional boat building. Pre Book tickets on the Museum website.

Visitors will also have free access the Puffers exhibition in the hull of MV Spartan. Built in 1942 by J. Hay & Sons of Kirkintilloch, Spartan is the only surviving Scottish-built ‘puffer’ in Scotland and representative of the steam-powered cargo puffers which were a lifeline service for Scotland’s remote coastal communities and islands for over a hundred years.

Visitors to the Linthouse can visit the Doors Open Day: Iconic Doors installation in the Museum reception hall and can make and take home their own mini ‘Scotland’s iconic door’ in a drop in crafting area. General admission prices apply to the main Linthouse Museum Building. Visit the Museum website to pre-book tickets.

Glass Ships in Bottles will feature a collection of 150 vintage glass ships in bottles and new glass artworks by Dr Ayako Tani, a glass artist and researcher specialising in the industrial and cultural history of glassmaking at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

On Saturday 11 September, Dr Ayako Tani will give a morning and afternoon Talk and Tour followed by glass blowing demonstrations by Robert McLeod and Ian Pearson from the British Society of Scientific Glassblowers.

Dr Tani will give visitors an insight into the remarkable story of ingenuity behind the exquisite glass ships on show, telling how, how faced with redundancy following the decline of heavy industry in the 1970s, highly skilled scientific glassblowers combined their experience making laboratory apparatus in an open flame with artistic flair to create a boom in glass ships in bottles.

Today, there are less than a hundred scientific glassblowers like Robert and Ian left in the UK and the skill is recognised as ‘Endangered’ by the Heritage Crafts Association.

The Glass Ships in Bottles exhibition also includes ‘Vessels in Memory’, an oral history and art project featuring filmed conversations with former scientific glassblowers who describe their work, and new artworks by Dr Ayako Tani, inspired by the heritage of glass ships in bottles and the skills of scientific glassblowing.  

The Ocean Posters Against Plastic Pollution exhibition will open with a talk by climate change expert Dr Jamie Toney, Director and a founder of The Centre for Sustainable Solutions at the University of Glasgow. Dr Toney will describe how climate change is impacting on the oceans.

The Ocean Posters Against Plastic Pollution exhibition, which was first shown at the inaugural UN World Oceans Day Conference at United Nations in New York, is the result of an international eco-poster design collaboration engaging more than 1,000 design students on every continent.

This is the first time that the touring exhibition curated by Professor Helmut Langer and Dr John Ennis has gone on display in the UK.

Some researchers have predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish. Through the exhibition, visitors will see a striking and poignant selection of posters giving voice to the youth of the world, who collectively call for us all to preserve the planet we live on.

Glass Ships in Bottles and Ocean Posters Against Plastic Pollution are both included in the Museum general admission prices

Up to three children go FREE with each paid Adult or Concession admission.

For more information, or to book a visit: www.scottishmaritimemuseum.org

Issued on behalf of the Scottish Maritime Museum by 

Joanna Harrison, Mobile: 07884 187404

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