Why do we have a cake decorating turntable in the Archive?

July 27th, 2023

Back To Blog

It’s a very good question!  You may remember our National Lottery Heritage Fund project – Weaving the Web which enabled us to produce interactive 3D images of 50 of our Archive objects and upload them to our Interactive Online Collection.  https://www.sunnybankmills.co.uk/online-archive/ 

The project used expensive hi-tech hardware and software to produce the images you can see.  But we wondered what could be produced on a much lower budget?  We challenged our Heritage Officer Alison to see what she could come up with. 

The equipment pictured costs under £25 (with the exception of the mobile phone), using free software and the Phones built in camera and can be used to create a GIF.  But what is a GIF? 

Graphic Interchange Format files (GIF files) are just image files. Like the commonly used JPEG or PNG file formats, the GIF format can be used to make still images, but GIF format also has a special feature—it can also be used to create animated images like the one below. 


We say “animated images” because GIFs aren’t really videos. If anything, they are  more like flipbooks, basic stop-go animation. GIF files can hold multiple pictures at once, and these pictures load sequentially to create a simple ‘animation’  

Obviously unlike the images we have produced for the Online Collection, there is no interactive element to this format.  However, it does give you an idea of what could be produced relatively cheaply. 



Watch this space for details of the Archive in Summer of Play in August where you can have a go at this yourself!


  • Cake turntable under £10 
  • Tripod under £6 
  • Clamp under £7 
  • Sheet cardboard £1 
Back To Blog Next (A Post about sailing and a ship called William. By Archive Assistant Sally Timmons July 2023) Prev (Update from David Fox – student placement weaver at Sunny Bank Mills Archive)


Museum & Archive