Artificial spider silk fibers

Artificial silk is also called


CCC exhibition logo cropped lo resColours, Community & Chemistry was a 17-week exhibition at the People’s History Museum on the Salford-Manchester border in Northwest England.

22, 571 visitors saw the exhibition and took part in events between 8th October 2014 and 18th January 2015. Collaborators, participants and visitors came from Australia, the USA, the Midlands, London, and from right across the North of England.

A collaboration between regional artists, archivists and scientists, anyone was welcome to share their stories. Read Jenny White’s blog about her Big-Up Female Boffins banner (hemmed by Oly Bliss) and some of the visitors’ craftivist creations here.

Camilla and Alison phm 3 medARTIFICIAL SILK made a series of short audio recordings called Stories of the North during the exhibition.

William Grundy speaking: Rochdale wool in a cotton town

The Colours, Community and Chemistry exhibition had five events in Manchester Science Festival 2014:

1. Big-Up Female Boffins – 26th October
2. Macromolecular Marvels – 29th October
3. Blue Pigment Spectra – 29th October
4. Making North – 1st November
5. Colouring Art and Science – 2nd November

Photo of 2 girls and MumCamilla and Alison launched the exhibition in 2014

Camilla Mørk Røstvik gave a talk about women in science. In the UK, only 13% of scientists and 17% of professors of science are female. At the CERN research centre near Geneva, women represent 17% of the total number of scientists.

Young children and their families and other visitors interpreted Camilla Rostvik’s data on women in science through vinyl shapes, colours and glue (and a few irresistible pompoms).

Jenny White speaking: A story from Kathleen Ollerenshaw about Manchester’s Shirley Institute for cotton research

Students and families took part in experimentation by Dr Frank Mair (University of Manchester). The chemist made artificial threads in the Community Gallery and analysed a filament of blue pigmented 1970s Lancashire artificial silk (also called viscose, and rayon) with a spectrometer. Artificial silk is made from the pulp in the wood of fir trees.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 14.25.31 Macromolecular Marvels 29.10.14 crop small blue rayon spectro Rayon spectra B6dmS-oCQAINqQW copy


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