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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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Treatment of an 18th-Century Chart with Copper Corrosion—Part II

by Roger Williams Aging of verdigris samples In the first part of this blog post, I went over my process for making my own verdigris samples. I set these in the windowsill near my bench in the books department to soak up some daylight. After six weeks of aging, they already display a significant change in … Continue reading


Sewing an Islamic Chevron Endband

Editor’s note: The new academic year has started! Hillary has turned in her MA paper and left West Dean, but while the new students find their way around the college and the old ones dive into new & challenging projects, we thought we’d put up the last posts saved up from the summer and send off … Continue reading


Making an Islamic Binding

By Hillary Jones From the earliest surviving examples in the 9th century, Islamic binding represents not only the incredibly varied talents of centuries of artists, but also the historical influences of the Islamic culture, and the mixing of Islamic artistic traditions across both kingdoms and continents. In May 2014, the book conservation postgraduates faced the … Continue reading


Treatment of the Padlock

By Dorothy Cheng Though the aesthetic results of conservation treatments are extremely important, conservators are equally preoccupied with the stability of vulnerable objects on a level not always apparent to the naked eye. Making treatment decisions involves considering an object not just as a culturally significant or artistic work, but also as a specimen undergoing … Continue reading


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