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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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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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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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
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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
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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
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