Objects and Treatments

Interesting aspects of the museum and archaeological objects that we are assigned, and the treatments that we perform

Iron gall ink in the Edward Thomas manuscripts and its conservation at Glamorgan Archives

Posted on 6 May 2017 by Pamela Murray

Dating back to the 1st century AD and used all the way until the 19th century, iron gall ink was a common writing ink throughout Europe. It is made from iron sulphates, gum, tannins extracted from galls (generally oak tree galls), and water. There are different recipes and methods found throughout history to make iron
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It wasn’t all plane sailing – Conservation of a WW1 model aircraft

Posted on 17 March 2017 by Jack Newcombe

When I arrived at Cardiff to study Conservation this was one (of many) objects I was given.  Jane Henderson asked me if I wanted the object and it reminded me of Airfix models that I used to make as a child. My love and enthusiasm for Airfix models consumed me and I gladly accepted the
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Bronze Disease: Even Metal Gets Sick

Posted on 24 January 2017 by Aliza Taft

We are all familiar with the pleasing shininess of a new copper penny, and with how quickly this color becomes dull and matte simply from everyday use. This flat brown color doesn’t appear because the penny gets covered with dirt; rather, the copper surface has undergone a fundamental chemical change.  The copper in the penny
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Looking Through the Window Glass

Posted on 8 December 2016 by Meredith Sweeney

Over the past year, there has been a lot of activity centered around the treatment procedure of the Blackfriary medieval window glass. To an outsider, it would look like nothing was happening for the first six months. However, the initial stage of the treatment was centered on understanding the glass structure and researching possible treatment
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Ready For Our Close Up!

Posted on 1 December 2016 by Stephanie Whitehead

Documentation is an important part of a conservator’s job. This ranges from ensuring all artifacts have been properly delivered, to writing down everything that we do regarding the object, to photography. It is essential that anyone who comes upon the object post conservation is able to understand what has been done and why, and see
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Looking Beneath the Layers

Posted on 23 November 2016 by Stephanie Whitehead

There are many stages to conserving an artifact. For example, you have to figure out what the object is made of and what types of corrosion are present. Were any adhesives previously used to hold the object together? How have current storage conditions affected the artifact? Is mechanical or chemical cleaning best for the object
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Changing Perceptions: Our Relationship with Stone Monuments

Posted on 23 June 2016 by William Tregaskes

Stone Monuments Stone Monuments are all around us, they range from the Neolithic Stonehenge to the thousands of war memorials we have in our cities, towns and villages. What they have in common is they create a memory shared by the society who created them. For example war memorials are synonymous with past conflicts, and
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What happens when 239 boxes of stained glass and lead are brought to conservators? We buy fridges!

Posted on 15 March 2016 by Aliza Taft

What happens when 239 boxes of stained glass and lead are brought to conservators? We buy fridges!   When a small car arrived outside Cardiff University’s John Percival building in mid-October, the conservators waiting outside to greet the representatives from the National Museum Ireland were not expecting to make scores of trips up to the
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Taking A Look Inside A Pair of Slippers with Anna O’Neill

Posted on 15 January 2014 by Nerys Rudder

One of the most exciting things about being a conservator is discovering information hidden within an object.  Sometimes, this can be quite literally inside an artefact, and for this there is no better tool than an x-radiograph.  Conservators can use x-radiography to determine if there is armature within a sculpture, or metal within a lump
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