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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Experience as a Conservator in Singapore

By Mariko Watanabe Since I left the West Dean College in September 2013, I’ve been working as a book and paper conservator at a local company, Q Art Conservation. Initially this company started as a framing company, Q Framing Group, offering framing services using conservation-quality materials. While they grew as one of the leading framing … Continue reading

Consolidation of flaky surface

Conservation of the Pyke Clock wooden case

By Franek de Sage You may have already read about the treatment of the clock movement, automaton dial and barrel organ mechanism done by Jonathon Kelly, and conservation of the metal components carried out by Sophie Harris. The third department involved in this project was Furniture Conservation and I was responsible for all the work … Continue reading

Fig. 3 Removal of the reservoir skin

Pyke Organ Clock Project: Breathing Life into the Bellows

By Jonathon Kelly The previous post opening the bellows explains how the bellows work, assesses their condition and shows historical evidence found inside them. This post outlines the replacement of the outer skins and remedial treatment of the bellows assembly. The approach taken was, as far as possible that any work done should: maintain the integrity of the original … Continue reading

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Awards Day 2014

  We had some old faces (MA students) back at West Dean for graduation recently, and some new ones accepting diplomas and awards. Some photos from the day:   Peter Pierce, our Chief Executive; you might remember him from this:   Francine Norris is our new Director of Education:   William:   Mary:   Rachel: … Continue reading

han horse tail bonding in process

Conservation of a Han Dynasty Mythical Beast

By Sally Place One of my favourite assignments this year has been the opportunity to conserve a Han Dynasty mythological creature.  This fine low-fired grey earthenware object is very likely to have been buried in a tomb along with other grave goods for a wealthy Han citizen over 2,000 years ago. The worship of Heaven … Continue reading


Books Department Private View

Every year the graduating students in the books department, first- and second-years, start the graduation exhibition early with a private view—and some Pimms—for colleagues & clients. Thank you to everyone who came! We were really happy to see some familiar faces and show off everyone’s hard work over the year. Today is the graduation ceremony … Continue reading

Tempering the metal with a torch

BOOKIES IN THE FORGE! (And nothing burned down.)

By Tiffany Eng A few weeks ago, the Books and Library Materials department got the chance to go down to the forge and work on some conservation or bookbinding tools. Which was pretty cool. On the Sunday night before the two days full days we were going to spend in the forge, our tutor Andrew … Continue reading

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A case study – Bow Factory Goldfinch

By Ronnie Kam This is a soft paste porcelain goldfinch figure made by the Bow factory c1765. The polychromatic goldfinch is standing on a stem with five small protruding flowers and green leaves as decoration. Two labels are attached on the figure. One is at the back of the goldfinch and the other was found … Continue reading

Missing Carvings

Loss Compensation on an 18th Century Ebonised Table Cabinet

By Kate Aughey Despite the age of this charming little cabinet, the losses to ripple mouldings, carved motifs and pressed foils were fairly minimal. A small section of ripple moulding missing from the front of one door distracted attention away from the otherwise pretty proportions. Although less disfiguring, two carved motifs had also been lost … Continue reading


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