About CU Conservation

Facts about the course and lab.

Group Projects: Teamwork makes the dream work

Posted on 23 March 2020 by Caitlin Jenkins

Some objects that arrive at the university lab are too large or complex for a single person to work on, so their responsibility is given to a ‘project manager’, usually a final-year undergraduate or master’s student. The manager devises a treatment strategy to be carried out with the assistance of a small team. Many of
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Frequently Asked Questions in Taxidermy

Posted on 12 March 2020 by Ella Berry

I recently helped out at the National Museum of Wales’ (NMW) After Dark event held on the 19th of February. It was a really fun event, with a great turnout of 852 curious visitors coming to peruse the halls. The art conservators and the natural history conservators collaborated to show how natural history specimens could
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P.S. We love you

Posted on 14 February 2020 by Caitlin Jenkins

Cardiff students work with a wide variety of objects at the university lab, on placements or other volunteering opportunities. It’s difficult to pick a favourite object – like choosing a favourite child! But in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked six students to tell us about a special object that they’ve loved working with.
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Tubey or not tubey, that is the question…

Posted on 5 February 2020 by Caitlin Jenkins

‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’ (Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2) Every object has its own story to tell. Some stories are happy, some are tragic, and some are simply a mystery. In this post, I will share details of an unusual object and reflect on my thoughts about
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If It Isn’t Broken, Don’t Fix It – A Critical Review of “New Kintsugi”, a Modern Take on a Traditional Repair Method.

Posted on 29 January 2020 by Cal James

After finding out about the technique of “Kintsugi”, an ancient Japanese technique of repairing ceramics with lacquer and gold powder, I was intrigued. After some further research, including reading Shan-Ying Chen’s previous blog post on the technique from November, I knew I wanted to learn more and at some point try the technique out for
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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