Queer Merfolk

Merfolks are mythical creatures that live deep down in the ocean. They often occur in our museum's collections, over maps, paintings and naval badges. 

(Source of a ancient map figure)

These mythological figures, are nowadays a strong icon for the Trans and LGBTQ+ community, because of their mutable nature, regardless of their gender. 

Merfolks do not exit... YET! 95% of the ocean remains still undiscovered, after all!

Make your own Merfolk Badge

With this activity you can give space to your creativity and make your own Merfolk badge, inspired by our collections!

Click here to discover some of the amazing objects with mermaid connections in our collections.


What will you need?

- Clay

- Circular cutter (i.e., a cup)

- Tools (i.e., pencils, cutlery)

- Rolling pin

- Paint

An image for 'What will you need?'

Step 1

Separate a good amount of clay from the mass, creating two balls of clay and roll this out until only a few millimeters thick.

An image for 'Step 1'

Step 2

Use a circular cutter, or anything that is round (i.e., a cup) to cut away the excess clay leaving the medal. 

An image for 'Step 2'

Step 3

Use the remaining clay to sculpt your merperson. You can use clay tools, pencils or cutlery to help you do this. You may also make the decision to create something that represents you. 

An image for 'Step 3'

Step 4

Carefully move your creature onto the circle of clay, pressing down lightly on the edges to secure it in place. You can choose to trim off the parts that stick off the medal, or you can leave it as it is, and make patterns in the clay. 


An image for 'Step 4'

Step 5

Leave the clay to dry overnight. Once it's completely dry you can paint your medal in a rainbow of colours. 

An image for 'Step 5 '

Well done!

Make more badges and share your creations with us!