Object and materials conservation

Conservation of Plastics with Yvonne Shashoua

Ref: OM1702



A wide choice of primary training is available in this country in aspects of object care. However, there are relatively few courses specifically designed to train conservators to deal with modern materials. West Dean College has developed a short course aimed at meeting this training need. This course is designed to offer participants guidance and practice in state-of-the-art techniques for the handling, packing, storage and display of plastics. It consists of theory and practical sessions, concentrating on recognising the many different materials encountered in collections, their preventive and active conservation. As well as conservation issues, topics will include history and development of plastics, production technology and use in industry and everyday culture. Most plastics age much faster than traditional materials, between five and 35 years after manufacture, and during their ageing process they can also accelerate the degradation and corrode the materials that surround them. They need special attention when it comes to preventive conservation but what delays the decay of one plastic might accelerate the ageing of another. Therefore it is essential that these various types of plastics are identified. It is usually not possible to do this in detail without thorough knowledge or specialised equipment. However, there are many other aids for characterisation and identification. This workshop helps you to get to know your own collection and objects, their nature and their needs. For further information about the course, please contact the Course Organiser: +44 (0)1243 818219 or cpd@westdean.org.uk


Yvonne Shashoua

OMC - Course Leader

Yvonne is Senior Researcher in Modern Materials at the National Museum of Denmark. Her research into the degradation and conservation of plastics was gained both from working in the polymer industry and the British Museum.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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