Devin Murphy and Paul Cox work on setting up the display cabinets that will house the displays. Photo Gerry Leibel

Musuem’s Haisla Heritage Collection nearly complete

Public welcome to see progress so far

The Kitimat Museum was a hive of activity recently during the first phase of the rehousing of the Haisla Heritage Collection.

Mount makers Karl Schlichting and his son Andreas spent a week preparing mounts for the exhibits that will form part of the collection, working for up to 13 hours at a time.

The duo traveled from their home in the Kootenays to work on the mounts, bringing their extensive collection of tools with them.

“We will have mounted about 70 pieces for the display when we are done,” said Karl. “We usually do that with stainless steel mounts that are held together with silver solder.”

While Karl and Andreas are on the road for most of the year, traveling to museums and galleries up and down the west coast working on displays, most of the work they do is for the Museum of Anthropology

in Vancouver.

Karl has spent 20 years specializing in producing mounts, while Andreas, who studied industrial design before joining his father, has only been in the trade for seven years.

Karl said some pieces can take up to a day to mount, while others can take as little as 10 minutes.

“Some of the pieces we work with are very fragile and we have to take great care when mounting them,” said Karl.

The duo also do ice carving for special occasions when they’re not working on producing mounts.

Musuem curator Louise Avery said the public can now view the Haisla Heritage Collection, which will have more features added to it before the end of the year.

“We are hoping to have cultural information panels done for the fall, as well as a photo mural,” said Avery.

She said an iPad with additional photographs depicting the Haisla will also be added to the display.

The project was expected to cost close to $110,000, but Avery said it would appear that the rehousing

will come in under budget.