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Conservation Interns Visit NML

25 August 2011 by Eleanor

Interns outside the new museum of liverpool

Interns outside the Museum of Liverpool

On Tuesday 23 August interns funded through the Icon-HLF scheme travelled from far and wide to attend a visit to National Museums Liverpool’s (NML’s) conservation studios.  There are three current conservation interns at NML funded through the Icon-HLF scheme. Gemma Thorns and Robin Gibson are undertaking Internships in Ships and Historic Models Conservation, and myself; Ellie Baumber, is undertaking an Internship in Objects Conservation and Public Engagement.  We arranged the visit to provide fellow interns with the opportunity to see some of the fantastic projects that we have been working on during our time at NML. Read more…

Fan-tastic

7 July 2011 by Eleanor

Telescopic handheld fan

 Chinese Export Hand-held Fan

National Museums Liverpool’s conservation studios have been a hive of activity over the past few months, as conservators have been busy preparing objects for the new Museum of Liverpool, which opens in just 12 days’ time. 

Recently I have been lucky enough to conserve a number of handheld fans which will be exhibited in the new museum’s Global City gallery.  When I found out that I would be conserving fans, I expected to encounter paper and perhaps some plastic or wooden sticks, but I was in for a much bigger treat!  Lacquer, ivory, tortoiseshell, silk, feathers, gold pigment and mother of pearl were just some of the materials that I came across.  Read more…

Beastly Goings-On

11 March 2011 by Eleanor

Have you ever wondered what could be eating our museum collections?
 
Although this might seem like a strange question, all kinds of organic materials such as leather, paper, wood and even textiles provide a feast for a variety of troublesome insects!  At the National Conservation Centre we have a range of high-powered microscopes which allow us to look up close at many of these beastly bugs. 
 
Insects such as the clothes moth, seen in the image below, lay their eggs on natural fibres such as wool.  When the clothes moth’s eggs hatch into larvae, they feed upon the wool fibres and can cause tremendous damage.  Many other insects would also happily munch or bore their way through all kinds of museum objects if left to their own devices!
 
Why not come down to the Clore Natural History Centre in World Museum next Tuesday 15th March, 2.15pm-4.15pm to find out more.  Two of National Museums Liverpool’s conservators will be presenting a series of microscope images and specimens of the curious creepy crawlies that munch on museum objects. Will you be able to guess which bugs do the damage? Read more…

The Perks of Conserving a Wall Sconce

28 January 2011 by Eleanor

Now that I have completed the first quarter of my ICON and Heritage Lottery Funded internship in Objects Conservation and Public Engagement at the National Conservation Centre, I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite bits so far! 

Last October I started conserving a nineteenth century ceramic Wall Sconce.  “Wall Sconce?”  I hear you cry?  . . . A wall sconce is usually a bracket, or in this case a decorative ceramic plate with candle holders, which would have once been fixed to a wall to provide indoor lighting.  They must have been a very useful item before the invention of the electric light-bulb.  I have to say that when I first saw the Sconce, covered with bright and colourful floral designs, it certainly wasn’t to my taste!  But nevertheless my duty of care and curiosity quickly dismissed my initial dislike of the sickly design, and with the help of the Ceramics and Glass Conservator at the National Conservation Centre I began proposing a conservation treatment plan.  The plan was to carefully clean away thick black surface dirt which covered the ceramic surface and also to create a removable plaster fill, to complete a large v-shaped chip which was missing from one of the Sconce’s candle holders.  Read more…

End of an Era . . . and the Start of Something New

22 December 2010 by Eleanor

Last Friday was a sad day at the National Conservation Centre as the doors closed to visitors for the last time.  However, yesterday brought with it a silver lining, as we relocated our conservation themed event ‘Crystal Magic’ over to the Clore Natural History Centre at World Museum.

The event was buzzing and despite the icy conditions outside, over seventy people attended the afternoon event.  ‘Salty’ our magical crystal growing snowman stole the show, as he busied away growing snow-like crystals.  He even let us borrow a few to look at more closely.  With our video microscope having also made the transition from the National Conservation Centre over to World Museum, we were able to examine crystals up close and discovered all kinds of beautiful colours, shapes and patterns. Read more…

Object Detectives

19 November 2010 by Eleanor

My name is Ellie and I am a new addition at the National Conservation Centre in Liverpool.  I am here on a year long internship in Objects Conservation and Public Engagement, funded by ICON (Institute of Conservation) and the Heritage Lottery Fund

While I am here I will post regular updates on the blog to provide a glimpse of what is happening behind-the-scenes at the National Conservation Centre, as conservators look after and investigate fascinating objects from the collection. Read more…

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.