Cabinet of Curiosities

Miscellany and goings on from the lab floor

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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What’s the “tea” about Anoxia Treatments?

Posted on 9 March 2020 by Kate Dieringer

When I started an internship in San Francisco, California, I had no idea what to expect while working in a private conservation studio. One of my first big tasks when I arrived was to help open the large anoxia tent that was set up downstairs. This large, silver tent was roughly twenty feet long by
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World Book Day 2020: Conservation fiction

Posted on 5 March 2020 by Caitlin Jenkins

Today is World Book Day, a worldwide celebration of the joys of books and reading! The theme for 2020 is ‘share a million stories’. I haven’t got quite that many to tell you about, but here are a few conservation-themed suggestions to inspire you to pick up a book today. 1. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
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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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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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Kintsugi: a Japanese traditional ceramic conservation skill

Posted on 5 November 2019 by Shan-Ying Chen

Introduction Kintsugi, also called Kintsukuroi, is a set of traditional Japanese ceramic repairing skills that has been practiced for centuries. Archaeologists and historians have found that some excavated pottery in Japan was repaired with lacquerware techniques around 1000 BCE. It is also believed that around the 15th century, Kinsukuroi was introduced from China. Kinsukuroi means
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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,
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Public Speaking for the Terrified Conservator: Children and Teenagers Edition

Posted on 6 March 2018 by Sara Bohuch

Public speaking: the one aspect of life that we are doomed to never get away from. Whether it’s raising your hand in class, or standing in front of a presentation, it is the one academic and professional prospect that is guaranteed to crank up stress levels like no other. Gigantic, mountainous, essay? Not a problem.
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Yo ho ho and a barrel of PEG: Field trip to the Mary Rose

Posted on 27 February 2018 by Sarah Dunn

Henry VIII’s warship, the Mary Rose, sunk in the Solent in 1545 and was left to sleep on the seabed for hundreds of years. In 1982 she was raised and her home since has been Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. On Wednesday 14th February this was the destination of two minibuses and their cargo of conservation students
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