Whilst writing this blog post I consulted with all those
involved to ask what they thought of this experience. One of the
key benefits identified was that by working as a team we were able
to complete the project quickly and efficiently. We are incredibly
fortunate at West Dean College to have so much time allocated to
practical workshop time, however, undertaking conservation
treatment, especially for someone at the beginning of their career,
means that individual projects can take a long time; and this can
feel disheartening at times. So a collective endeavor allowed for a
relatively speedy conclusion.
The conservation of the vase has been extremely successful, as
has the objective of team work. The work undertaken could have been
achieved individually by any member of the group, but as we were
able to complete it much more quickly as a group this enables the
object to be returned to the client sooner.
As a result of the time spent conserving this vase, we were able
to expand our knowledge of a local artist whose dedication to his
art and the exploration of ash-glazes were truly inspirational. In
hindsight, it would have been advantageous to have recorded even
more of the individual tasks we all carried out. Documentation is
another key aspect of our work and photographic evidence is
essential, an aspect continually encouraged. Often when undertaking
the 'work', you are so enthralled that you keep forgetting this
important aspect - what seems the most mundane process can become
key photographic moments.
Most of the projects I have previously been involved in have
been very formal, but this project was far more creative and
collaborative. It was great to work together to complete the
project and see the finished object - as Holly noted "an
important part of the learning experience". I could not agree
more and look forward to our next joint project.
Further information on Eric James Mellon (1925-2014) Painter,