School of Conservation Blog

  • Ceramics & Glass

    Learning Through the Treatment of a Tobacco Leaf Dish

    Posted on 28th June 2017

    My first and most enduring project since joining the West Dean College Ceramics Conservation Department has been the tobacco leaf platter. It is through this object that I have learnt most of the skills that I will take away at the end of my graduate diploma year.

  • Books & Library Materials

    Thinking outside the box

    Posted on 7th June 2017

    Much to my surprise, the second object that arrived on my bench in the Book Conservation Department was not a book at all, but a nineteenth-century French carriage clock travelling box.

  • Clocks

    Discovering a Japanese Lantern Clock

    Posted on 17th May 2017

    The aim of this project was to restore to safe working order a Japanese lantern clock belonging to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum. The Museum's early records had classified the clock as Chinese. However, after conducting initial research it became clear that the object conformed to many stylistic features of lantern clocks from the early - mid period of Japanese clock making.

  • Books & Library Materials

    Making Bone Folders from an Antler

    Posted on 16th November 2016

    Last winter, a few of us from the books department decided to go for a little hike one weekend and found ourselves walking through some woodland about half an hour from the school. One of the group came across an antler, which she wasn't too keen on keeping, so I thought I'd take it back to school and have a go at making some custom bone folders.

  • Clocks

    A Louis XV (1710–1774) ormolu cartel clock made by Colin?

    Posted on 13th October 2016

    In the summer term I was given a clock by Matthew Read, the tutor for the clock's programme, with the advice that "it just needed the striking to be sorted out." Having a good idea of Matthew's sense of humour, I realised that this was going to be no ordinary endeavour!

  • Books & Library Materials

    Library Stacks vs. Data Stacks: The impact of digitization on the objects we conserve.

    Posted on 27th September 2016

    In our digital age, the very nature of the collection is changing. In light of rapid advances in technology and the rise of the internet, how we access, view and interpret a collection of objects is no longer as restricted as it once was. Yet it strikes me that there may be a price to pay for this new-found digital freedom and that its impact on the role of the conservator may be profound.

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