My plans for the day were as follows
- Museum on the Mound - History of the Bank of Scotland
- National Museum of Scotland - which now had the Natural History Museum which was closed for the renovation 15 years ago
- Dovecote Studio - a weaving and tapestry studio which had an exhibition on wallpaper
- Tartan Weaving Center
Next up the National Museum of Scotland. The shop elf and I were at the National History Museum 20+ years ago and loved the Mineral hall. When we had a chance to go back we found that the museum closed the day before for a major 5 year renovation, expansion and consolidation into the National Museum of Scotland. My plan was to go to the mineral hall to get some pictures for the shop elf and to then go into the Kingdom of the Scots hall which covers the history of Scotland. Sadly to say the Mineral hall is no more, it was replaced with The Restless Earth which investigates the geological processes that constantly shape and reshape the planet. The few minerals they did have on display were poor; OUR collection has better specimens. As I left the hall I wandered into another named Making and Creating and there were modern items - vessels, jewelry, sculpture, etc. made of ceramic, glass and metal that I loved looking and one I recognized right away - a piece by Myra Mimlitsch-Gray who I took a class from when I was at Haystack.
Next up and not far away was the Dovecote Studio. When searching for things to see I Googled "weaving studio" and this places was in the results. It's is an actual tapestry and rug studio with an exhibition hall. The current exhibition was on William Morris Wallpaper. To be honest I really didn't want to see an exhibition on wallpaper at a weaving studio but I do like some William Morris textiles and of course the Arts & Crafts movement but was I surprised as the exhibition was more about the development and making of wallpaper which I found so much more interesting. I saw massive woodblocks; hand embroidered, hand painted, hand applied gold leaf wall papers; and leather and paper embossed papers.
The last thing I did was walk up the road toward the castle where they were setting up the bleachers for the Festival and the Tattoo; my goal was the Tartan Weaving Center where you could (note the tense) walk above the weaving floor and see the looms at work. It's not a weaving center anymore there are no looms just floors of woolen knitted or woven goods for sale and lots of cheap tourist souvenirs. I was horribly disappointed. I did not take a single picture.
As I headed back down the street I passed an antique jewelry and silver shop so I stopped in for a look and WOW was I glad I did. There was a case of gold and silver items that were amazing. I asked the shop keeper about them and asked for permission to take two pictures one of the gold broach and the other of a silver tray which he agreed to but not of the rest of the shop for security reasons. Note: I have found most will give person for pictures, I explain I am a part time metalsmith and chaser; they appreciate being asked before taking the pictures so they know that I am not there casing the place. This certainly was a bonus thing to see.
I then slowly wandered back down another close on my way to my hotel and decided to get dinner in a Nepalese restaurant. It was wonderful but it was time to get a good night's sleep since tomorrow I was heading home.