Welcome to the collections’ blog of the Museum Centre of Turku! The blog’s background image shows how objects were displayed in room 84 of Turku Castle, back when the museum was still young. Against the backdrop of this black-and-white photo from 1909, this blog will tackle a number of colourful themes. Col-lection Cuckoos! will address current topics and events through collection objects. It will start off with up-dates on the project ‘A Thousand and One Interpretations on Collection Objects’.
Stories of Objects Part 3: Skilfully Crafted Items and Tools / 工艺精巧的物件与工具 / 精巧工藝品與工具
Tools and everyday objects may at first appear as
something to take for granted, and their value is realized only when they go
missing. Without them, work becomes more difficult and slower if not entirely
impossible. What is special about everyday objects only becomes evident through
their stories. Profession and work can be important parts of one’s identity.
coconut grater is old and works very well. Modern graters made of steel are not
at all as good as this one because they become blunt.
The grater is placed on the edge of a chair so that
one foot presses the stem of the grater against the seat. This way the grater
stays put as one rotates a coconut half against the blade of the grater. Flakes
of coconut fall into a bowl that has been placed on the floor below the blade.
The grater has been brought from Vietnam.
patterns are very important in Iran, and my mother used to buy dishes with rose
This kettle has been manufactured in northern Iran,
and it was purchased over 60 years ago. The present owner brought one with her
when she came to Finland, her father having bought two of them originally. Now
it is only used as a decorative object, but it is still fully functional.
One can buy 2 kg of tomatoes with the brown note, and
ice cream with the blue one. For a mother with seven children, grocery shopping
and making food are among her many tasks. The brown note is worth 1000 Iraqi
dinars which is approximately 80 cents in euros. The blue note is 250 Iraqi
dinars, in euros approximately 20 cents.
These helically stemmed spoons have been used as sugar
and salad spoons. They come from Tartu, Estonia, where the present owner’s
grandmother is from. The spoons have been passed down from her grandmother
first to her mother, and then to her.
Somalian women may burn incense in a clay burner for
example when they are expecting guests and they wish to freshen up their home.
First the home is aired. The incense is burnt for only one minute, and the
burner is covered with a plate. The fragrance lasts for up to two days. The
incense itself is made of sugar and perfume.
The handles of these tailor’s scissors have been
covered by winding strips of cloth around them. This way one does not get
blisters on their fingers while cutting with them. Only fabric may be cut with
these scissors – not even thread – so that they stay sharp.
The owner of the scissors received them as a present
from her teacher who trained her as a tailor in her store. She spent seven
years learning her profession there, even though only one year was required in
order to begin work. In Vietnam, if they can afford it parents may wish to send
their children to get privately educated. The student stays with their
teachers, eating and sleeping on their premises. If the students has not
learned their craft upon graduation, the teacher’s reputation is at risk.
These chalks belong to a teacher who is originally
from India. She has worked as a kindergarten teacher in Vietnam where according
to her, teachers had to wear a traditional outfit or a uniform. Children also
wore school uniforms, and girls and boys sat on different sides of the
A woman from the Philippines studied as a hospitality
manager in her home country and funded her studies by modelling. This portfolio
is a keepsake from those times.
This piece of headwear is called lächäk, and it is
part of an Iranian woman’s national costume. A veil is attached to the back of
the headwear, but hair is left visible at the front. It has been sown by the
present owner’s mother, who decorated it with pastes. Mother made a lot of
clothes for her as a child and also for their neighbours.
Cambodian skirt cloths go by different names, such as
phamokng and chorbat. Both of these fabrics are raw silk and they have been
woven with a loom. The blue fabric has been embroidered with ornaments made of
silvery thread. The long cloth is worn by draping and pleating it onto the
wearer. The owner of these fabrics showed photographs of her brother and his
finely designed outfits. He works in theatre.