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China Hutch and Butter Making Makeover,

China Hutch and Butter Making Makeover

Throughout the last 6 months, we have been working on updating some of the exhibits in our kitchen area. What better place to start than our China Hutch.

The problem with the existing space was that when the hutch doors were closed, it was impossible to see what was in there. We wanted to showcase some of the beautiful and rare pieces we have so the first step was to remove everything from the space. Then the decision was made to paint the back of the cabinet black to really give a *POP* to the exhibit. We decided to remove the meat grinder from the area and focus more on the butter making tools and some small pioneer gadgets.

The dishes were placed back into the cabinet in groupings according to their make. We used some donated pillowcase ends and other textiles to give them a pretty place to sit and we finished the case by covering it with a plexi-front and leaving the cabinet doors open to give a good view of the exhibit.

Next, signage was created around a few of the more significant collections (Blue Willow, Blue Flow etc.) and also to point out details in the textiles. We even managed to find an antique ad for the “Devon Rose” plates that came as a freebee (“premium”) in packages of Quaker Oats cereal.


And some special signage was created for Mary Jane Harris’s Butter knife and Dish.

Next it was time to move onto some other parts of the exhibit, like the butter making equipment and small kitchen gadgets… And what better way to show their use then to make fake foods!


These sculptures were made with Crayola Model Magic, Super Sculpey and Acrylic paints.

The exhibit was finished off with an antique instructional video fitted into the display. This video, found at 3 different styles of butter churns in the 1940 – 1949 period, 2 of which are represented in the kitchen.

Escape the cold and stop in sometime this winter to see the finished exhibit!