About CU Conservation

Facts about the course and lab.

Mask on, Mask off: Masking Films from X-radiation

Posted on 8 January 2020 by Amber Bhatty

So, I spent an hour and forty minutes X-raying my objects and developing the films. When they were finally dry, I laid them on the lightbox to see them for the first time; I had never X-rayed or developed films before so at first glance I was quite pleased with the results until… “wait, what
Read more


Conservation Practice: Applying from the U.S.

Posted on 6 January 2020 by Greta Sweeney

Applying for postgraduate programs can be tough, but applying from another country 3000 miles away can make it even harder! If you’re interested in Cardiff’s Conservation Practice MSc program but are feeling overwhelmed by the application process, fret not! I was in the same position this time last year and was so confused about applications
Read more


UV Huh! What is it good for?

Posted on 4 January 2020 by Gabriella Cortes

Ultra-violet (UV) light. What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think about it? Those blacklights used in forensic crime dramas to reveal hidden clues? That episode of Friends with Ross and his blindingly whitened teeth? Or perhaps you’ve heard conservation horror stories about the dangers of UV light and how damaging it
Read more


X-Rays Galore: Blackfriary Metal Finds

Posted on 3 January 2020 by Alice Blakely

Following excavations from 2010-2018, the Blackfriary metal finds travelled from Trim, Ireland to Cardiff University in January 2019 for conservation. I was assigned the objects at the beginning of this term and was tasked with their preliminary understanding. I will eventually devise a treatment plan for these objects. For those that do not know much
Read more


Pathways to Conservation

Posted on 29 October 2019 by Caitlin Jenkins

It’s a rumour that we all found our calling as conservators from an early age, fuelled by a desire to disobey those DO NOT TOUCH signs in museums. At Cardiff University, our students’ paths into the heritage sector are as unique and diverse as the objects we study. In this blog, six students share their
Read more


Documenting the Dispatched: A Case Study on the Preservation of Two Welsh Plaster Cast Copies

Posted on 10 June 2019 by Alyssa Singh

A rough draft of a developing idea, artists use maquettes for structural planning, testing forms, and determining the feasibility of a finished statue. But what is to be done with them afterward? While most maquettes end up in the scrap heap of history, occasionally some are preserved to the present. As a sort of 3D
Read more


Cleaning the basket lid with smoke sponge

A tale of mystery mould and cautious culturing – part two

Posted on 30 April 2019 by Katherine List

If you missed the first part of my blog post, you can read it here. Treatment – Stage Two The brush vacuuming had removed much of the visible mould on the basket and I needed to determine the next stage of treatment. The use of a 70% ethanol/water solution is common ‘to kill and disrupt
Read more


Basket lid showing pale green mould on surface

A tale of mystery mould and cautious culturing

Posted on 30 April 2019 by Katherine List

The following object started off as a bit of a mystery, fully wrapped in tissue paper and plastic sheeting, labelled as covered in mould, and described in the paperwork as a basket from Bristol Museum, previously in the British Empire and Commonwealth collection. As a conservator I use my senses to investigate the objects that
Read more


Feeling conflicted

Posted on 31 March 2019 by Eleanor Sweetnam

Before I begin, I must say that this blogpost is merely a discussion centred around my initial thoughts at the beginning of the conservation process of a British military uniform. I very much enjoy a lengthy debate about an object’s significance, but I must say that it becomes very different when that discourse becomes a
Read more


Skilling up

Posted on 14 January 2019 by Mandy Garratt

As conservation students here at Cardiff, we learn a wide variety of skills; not only honing the techniques required to conserve objects, but those which will help us when we are fully-fledged conservators. Our degree programmes help us to master skills such as digital photography and Photoshop, we use a large range of scientific equipment,
Read more