When conservation meets making

By Franek de Sage Editor’s note: Franek graduated last year, but wrote us this post on a project he did while he was a graduate diploma student.   This project is an example of a preventive conservation. It didn’t involve work on the actual tea caddy, but only making a box for it, in which the original piece … Continue reading

Rory McEvoy talks about the Royal Astronomers’ lantern clock.

The Place Where Time Begins 

By Mostyn Gale Does time really have a beginning? This past week the Clocks students from West Dean College went to the Royal Observatory Greenwich. In 1884 at the International Meridian Conference in Washington DC, 22 countries voted to adopt Greenwich observatory as zero degrees longitude—a loose interpretation of the place where time begins. The … Continue reading

PCIP Photographs July 2014 (50)

West Dean College becomes the new training partner for the British Library

West Dean College has signed an exciting agreement to collaborate on a programme of training with the British Library, delivering a portfolio of short courses into aspects of preservation and collection care for libraries. The programme focuses on Continued Professional Development and is aimed at professionals, conservation students and others interested in furthering their skills. … Continue reading


Perspex Mounts for Model Engines

By Dorothy Cheng One of the projects this year for Conservation of Metalwork Postgraduate Diploma students has been the cleaning and mounting of a group of internal combustion engines for models, designed and constructed from the 1930s to the 1960s by Edgar T. Westbury. These engines are part of a large collection that will be displayed … Continue reading

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From Old to New

By Julia Tauber In the metalworking department so far we have had tool making classes once a week, which is very useful and also a lot of fun. You can make your tools unique and enjoyable for yourself. It is very common to buy cheap second-hand tools and bring them back to life as new, different … Continue reading

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Kate Aughey Lecture at the Wallace Collection

In collaboration with the Wallace Collection, Kate Aughey and Manami Shinagawa conserved an 18th century Italian pier table which is now being exhibited in the Great Gallery, Hertford House until the end of September 2015. Kate will be outlining the treatment work that was undertaken during this key project on Thursday 20 November at 1pm, at … Continue reading

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What colour is wood? Not just brown!

By Yuqi Chock The Furniture Conservation students were recently invited to join a two-day workshop on colour theory, organised by the Visual Arts department and taught by Caroline de Lannoy. Caroline presented an engaging introductory lecture on the topic, providing a comprehensive explanation on how we perceive and depict colour. She spurred us into contemplating … Continue reading


INTRO TO BINDING: JAPANESE STAB BINDING TUTORIAL (flexible cover with three-hole stitching)

By Tiffany Eng For those interested in making books, Japanese stab bindings are an ideal place to start. They are simple, don’t require many tools, and are endlessly customizable. Today we’ll be starting with the easiest of the stab bindings, a simple three-hole binding. By using a flexible material as the front and back cover, … Continue reading


Open Day

Look how happy these postgraduate students are to learn about the ash test method of determining the tannage in tanned & tawed skins from Books tutor David Dorning! If this looks like how you want to spend your days, come visit us on November 8 (or later on February 7) for Open Day, where you … Continue reading


All in a Day’s Work

By Sophie Harris We were set a day task to assess both sets of arms and armour that are mounted on the back wall in the Oak Hall at West Dean; this was a taster of what it will be like to work on site. Before carrying out this process a thorough risk assessment and … Continue reading


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