Le Cheval fondu

Treatment of a Deruta Maiolica dish

By Jane Townsend I have been working on this donated Italian Maiolica object since almost the beginning of the academic year; it is a beautiful tin-glazed earthenware dish. My first step was to research the object using the library, internet and books from the workshop. Not having previously researched ceramics in this way I was … Continue reading

Leuven main library

“What do we lose when we lose a library?”

By Cécilia Duminuco I recently attended a three-day conference in the city of Leuven, in Belgium. The conference, “What do we lose when we lose a library?” was organised by Leuven University, the Goethe-Institut Brüssel and the British Council of Brussels (9–11 September 2015). The main library of Leuven was bombed during the First World War, … Continue reading

Following stabilisation of the sheets, the front inner joint area was consolidated with a strip of medium weight Japanese gampi tissue. This was repeated at the back of the book where similar, though less severe, damage was also present.

Conservation of an 18th Century Navigation Manuscript

By Keira McKee The Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth was founded in 1733 with a comprehensive syllabus intended to offer an alternative method of training of officers for the Royal Navy (versus the established method of apprenticeship at sea). The manuscript notebook of one such student, Lieutenant Mark Whyte, dated 1752, has a frontispiece featuring an important … Continue reading

Phase Box 10

How to Make a Non-Adhesive Phase Box

By Jessica Hyslop I recently completed a four-week volunteer placement at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, in the conservation lab for Manuscripts and Printed Books. While I was there, I learned how to make this simple but elegant no-adhesive phase box. Unlike the more usual phase boxes you see, the two pieces of this box … Continue reading

Figure 4 Harriet and Jane in the process of documentation

Part I: ‘Though she be but little, she is fierce!’ —William Shakespeare

By Mary T. Vigliotti My journey with this object started before it arrived on my workbench. A few months prior to receiving the archaeological dish, the 1st year students of the Ceramics and Related Materials Department at West Dean College spent a week as volunteers at the Study Centre at Fishbourne Roman Palace. The Study … Continue reading


Historical Binding Model: 1756 Italian Binding

by Snow Fain One of our projects this year was to copy a historical binding of our choice. For this exercise, I decided to complete a binding from the Newberry Library collection in Chicago, Illinois. The book was published in 1756 in Livorno, Italy. To start, let’s look at the binding of interest. The title of … Continue reading

Figure 16: The completed lid after treatment.

Treatment on a Chinese Export Porcelain ‘Soldier’ Vase and Lid, Part II

By Harriet Sylvester Back in March 2015, I wrote a blog post about the treatment of a Chinese export porcelain blue and white soldier vase and lid from the Kangxi Period. I am now extremely pleased to post the sequel to show you the completed project. During treatment, a time record sheet and a description … Continue reading

Grad 2

Graduation 2015

Graduation was July 11, and in the week leading up to it all the conservation students put their work out for viewing by colleagues & clients, family & friends, and trustees & staff of the college. The furniture workshop is only this clean once a year!! Below are a selection of photos from the week … Continue reading

Drawings of Australian Aboriginals undergoing conservation treatment for an upcoming exhibition by Megumi Mizumura.

Adapt & Evolve

By Ong Fang Zheng ICON Book & Paper Group organised the conference Adapt & Evolve 2015: East Asian Materials and Techniques in Western Conservation in London earlier on in April, and I was all charged up to learn new things and meet new people! The event kickstarted with studio tours from museums, archives, to private … Continue reading


‘The Thinker’ Casting Using RTV Silicone Mould

By Kaori Arakaki Casting is one of our projects in the metalwork conservation department and we have been making room temperature vulcanized (RTV) silicone moulds, sand casts and lost wax casts. This post is about a casting side project using RTV silicone. Each casting method is used for different purposes. RTV silicone moulds are usually … Continue reading


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