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Posts tagged with 'conservation'

Conserving a Ship of War Model

15 February 2012 by Gemma

Ship model before and after treatment
Ship model before and after treatment

You may remember in my last post that I had taken a model in great need of conservation to the Lady Lever Art Gallery for demonstration purposes. The model had several snapped yards and masts, and missing blocks. Many people remarked on the blackness of the thick dirt, and how complicated the broken and twisted rigging was, and were interested to know how I would go about treating the model. As the treatment of the model has now been completed, I would like to share some of the treatment processes. Read more…

Volunteers Achieve Stewart Bale Success

20 December 2011 by volunteer

Group of volunteers cleaning negatives

Stewart Bale Volunteers: Hard at work helping to clean glass plate negatives.

Ann Stewart; Head of Framing, Paper and Paintings Conservation tells us a bit more about the wonderful work our Stewart Bale Volunteers have achieved this past year…

“Based in the paper conservation studio, a volunteer project to clean and re-house glass plate negatives from the Stewart Bale collection began in March this year.

Mainly due to the poor condition of the original packaging, most of these images haven’t been seen since the collection came to us. Read more…

Ready to set sail…

23 November 2011 by Gemma

Main sail before treatment and junk after conservation

Main sail before treatment and junk after conservation

The conservation of the Chinese junk from Swatow is now complete. Being such an interesting project, I will briefly share the treatment processes which have transformed a dirty, unstable model, back to its original beauty.

Firstly the hull and wooden components required cleaning. The model was vacuumed to remove any loose dirt on the deck and inside the bulkheads. After testing to find the safest, and most effective cleaning materials, the hull was cleaning using detergent in deionised water, which made a huge difference to the models appearance, as the shine of the wood oil can now be appreciated. The painted surfaces on the model were carefully cleaned using saliva, which is a surprisingly effective cleaning material. Read more…

The curious incident of the dog in the Billiard Room

6 October 2011 by Sam

skeleton of a dog with the head and one leg missing,laid out on a table

Here’s an interesting tale from senior organics conservator Tracey Seddon about one of the unusual objects that she has prepared for display in the Museum of Liverpool:

“If you live in Liverpool you will be familiar with the stunning Tudor mansion Speke Hall, south of the city next to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The history of the families that lived there, from the Norrises who had it for nearly 400 years from the 1300s, to the Watts from 1795 to 1943, is well documented. But the Museum of Liverpool is soon to introduce a previously unknown member of the 1550s household – the pet dog. Read more…

Chinese Junk

5 October 2011 by Gemma

chinese junk ship model

Ship models have been made for centuries, representing changes in style and function of ships and boats, all around the world, making them such interesting objects! My current project in ship and historic model conservation illustrates this point well, as it is a model of a Chinese junk. A “junk” is a ship from China, and as you can see they are most unlike the European ships we are used to seeing. This project represents a challenge as the historical context of objects is an important consideration when conserving objects, and I had no knowledge about junks prior to starting the project. Read more…

Conserving Water Lily

7 September 2011 by Gemma

Ship model of fishing boat from Rye

My name is Gemma and I am a conservation intern at the National Museums Liverpool. I am here on a year long internship in Ship and Historic Model Conservation, funded by ICON (Institute of Conservation) and the Heritage Lottery Fund. As I am now nearly half way through my internship, I have had many interesting and exciting projects to work on which I would like to share, so I will put regular updates on the blog. Read more…

England expects

6 September 2011 by Sam

detail of a hand written message 'England expects that every man will do his duty'

Here’s a brain teaser for eagle-eyed people who know our collections well. Today I had the opportunity to see something that I’m very familiar with in unusual circumstances. Can you guess what it is from the detail above?

Here’s a clue – it fits in quite well with the theme of a certain big festival down on the waterfront that starts later this week. All will be revealed in a few days…

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…


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…

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