Creating Conservation Videos Workshop

Thursday, 11, 18, and 25 May 2023, 9:00-11:00. Online on Zoom

£125 for Members / £175 for Non-Members / £100 for Student Members

Over three sessions (11th, 18th, and 25th May 2023), conservators attending this online workshop will learn all about creating conservation video content that can be used to educate, promote and share their profession.

The sessions will cover:

  • The start-to-finish workflow for creating conservation videos.
  • Ethical, legal, and personal considerations of sharing conservation content.
  • Platforms and methods that support video content.
  • Tips and tricks, such as repurposing footage.

The workshop will consist of three two-hour sessions, which will take place one week apart, and will allow attendees to create videos and receive feedback from the instructor.

About the speaker:

Lucilla Ronai is a professional conservator and Professional Member of AICCM with over seven years of international conservation experience. This includes a postgraduate qualification, professional positions and extensive professional development in countries including Australia, United States of America, China, Italy and Ireland. She is currently the Coordinator, Conservation for Digitisation at the National Library of Australia. Lucilla is passionate about communicating conservation to both the general public, and conservators using social media and her YouTube channel “The Conservation Starter”.

Watch Lucilla’s YouTube channel here

Moving the Log-Boat

Tara Johnston has written about her experiences volunteering at Perth Museum and Art Gallery over the summer, working under the direction of Anna Zwagerman ACR, whilst studying at Cardiff University for an MSc in Conservation Practice.

One of the first tasks I was involved in was aiding in the move of the 3,000 years-old, Carpow Logboat. While daunting to be thrown into such a big move, it allowed me to see large-scale conservation in action. The Carpow Log boat is a Bronze Age boat that was found in the River Tay in 2001. As the boat was waterlogged it was important to treat the object initially. Conservators at the time used a PEG treatment which is commonly used in conservation to help protect waterlogged wood from shrinking, cracking, and further deterioration when it dries. The Carpow Log boat, however, is very large at 9m long and was cut into three pieces in order to aid in conservation efforts. As this was the only way the boat could be accommodated into the freeze-drier to finish its treatment. This treatment was beneficial but also had some long-term implications. Over the years the Carpow Log boat has been on display it has aged with fluctuations of temperature and humidity. The weight of the wood makes it naturally want to flatten out, which is only increased by fluctuation in the environment. Due to the boat being in three sections, these have started to shift and warp the wood pieces separately from one another. Recent assessments of the boat have noted these changes which have caused a misalignment between the tops of the boat sections, causing some supportive fills to fall out. After further heat treatment to tighten the lineup of the sections with each other, the current display supports will be replaced with a more supportive cradle mount, to help prevent these changes re-occurring and to stabilize the boat for the future.

The task of sending the Log boat for conservation was a large undertaking. It involved the boat moving from the History Gallery in Perth Museum & Art Gallery to the National Museum of Scotland’s (NMS) Conservation Studios in Granton, Edinburgh. This daunting task was meticulously undertaken by Graciela Ainsworth Sculpture Conservation, with the help of the NMS conservator, Charles Stable, aided by Perth Museum staff.

I was able to take part in helping the move of this large section. One of the first things that was done to the boat was that delicate holes in openings in the wood were filled with archival tissue. Other raised areas that were delicate were covered in foam, to support them in the move. After the delicate and fragile areas were supported and protected the entire section was wrapped with plastic film. This served two purposes, it protected the sections from pieces falling off, serving as a protective layer from abrasive forces, and protected the boat from the rain.

After all the layers of wrapping were added support beams and straps were put in place on the two main sections. These beams helped to support the shape of the boat during its transportation.

The next day the actual move of the Log boat sections took place. This well-planned and orchestrated task involved the sections being wheeled out on their undercarriage from the History Gallery to the front door where a large wooden platform had been built. The two large boat sections were then attached to a crossbeam with straps and picked up by a crane and placed on a HI-AB. The large sections were placed on the trailer, and afterwards a wood frame was built around them, which was covered in tarp, to protect it from road travel and any inclement weather that might arise. The smallest section of the boat was taken to Granton in a transit van. The boat is now in the conservation studio while remedial treatment takes place.

From left to right: Charles Stable (NMS); Graciela Ainsworth Sculpture Conservation team (in orange high-viz); Mark Hall (CPK) and Tara Johnston.

I was grateful to be able to help aid in such an important and delicate move. The movement of this boat allowed me to see more large-scale conservation in action and all the thorough decisions and pre planning that need to be made to help it run smoothly. I am excited to see the next stages in the life of this boat and its future in the new Perth Museum.

‘370 Balls’ and counting: working with contemporary artworks

By Rowan Berry

I am an archive intern at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. I have been funded by GCAS (Graduate Career Advantage Scotland) to spend five months working within the archive to contextualise and develop my learning, following an Information Management and Preservation PgDip.

I was invited to take part in a cross departmental ‘Stores Plus’ project working on Martin Creed’s Work No. 370 Balls in October 2022. The aim of the project was to audit and document the work, and in this process consider conservation needs, the artwork identity, and the approach we should take to the replacement of lost or damaged elements.

The work was created in 2004, and constitutes approximately 900 balls of various sizes, materials, weights, colours and functions – to be installed on the ground within a gallery space. The work has been shown twice, once at Hauser & Wirth in 2004, and then again in 2006-2007 as part of the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) Off the Wall exhibition at Modern One. The work was conceived to be walked through, and interacted with, however it was decided that for Off the Wall this would not be allowed. Following this show the balls were audited, photographed, and packed into five custom made crates.

There were five of us involved across the eight days of processing, and we had three additional team members supporting and facilitating us. The team included an assistant registrar, a sculpture technician, paintings conservators, the head of collections information and data asset management, the stores manager, a volunteer and myself. The multi-disciplinary skills that this varied team brought to the project enabled us to consider the audit of this artwork from various angles, allowing us to develop approaches as we worked to guide its care and documentation now and in the future. In turn this meant that we were able to maximise our time, collaborate and discuss as the project went on.

We did a lot of documentation preparation work and set up multiple workstations across the store before the crates were opened. Some of the team had a test day before the official kick off, to check that the IT systems, space and processes worked. With some trial and error, we worked out a workflow that allowed us to process the large number of components in a streamlined and organised way. The balls were firstly identified, based on photographs and descriptions from 2007, and each one was given a paper label to act as a ‘passport’ as it travelled through the stations. Next the balls moved to be condition checked, and from here they were measured and photographed deflated (if applicable), and then described. The balls then moved to the inflation station, before sitting in a waiting area so that we could monitor them overnight in case they deflated. The balls then returned to the condition check table where they were marked as ‘exhibitable’ or ‘not-exhibitable’, before being packed back into the crates.

There were several common themes in the 20 or so balls that were deemed ‘not-exhibitable.’ For example, several ping-pong balls had imploded, and a few of the soft rubber squishy balls had become sticky, leaving an oily residue on hands and surfaces. Some of the most interesting casualties were rubber bouncy balls which appeared to have been put in the crates whole, but over their 15 years in storage had petrified and crumbled.

The individual team members each held and interacted with most, if not all of the balls, but we did not actually seen the artwork as it is intended to be installed, as we only opened one box at a time. Due to the sheer number of components, it was necessary not to linger on any single item for too long. Dubious terms in the description fields (‘texture like a crumpet’ being a highlight) were necessary to get across the essence of the items, knowing that a process of data cleaning would be undertaken after the project. Additionally, there were lots of balls of the same type, but in different colours or sizes. The data cleaning will enable us to standardise the descriptions for these items.

We have some new and outstanding questions following the project.  In particular, the project prompted us to consider if the work is incomplete without the 20 ‘not-exhibitable’ balls, and if so how we might replace them while retaining the object’s authenticity. There are also questions about how the public should be allowed to interact with the artwork, concerning both materiality and risk. The next steps are for us to review our institutional documentation relating to this work and consider these questions ahead of a proposed loan in 2023.

25 years of Plenderleith lectures

This year signals the 25th anniversary of the Plenderleith lecture, and in honour of this, we look back at Dr Harold Plenderleith, widely regarded as the Father of Conservation. He was born in Dundee in 1898 and as an archaeologist was involved in the excavations of the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt, Sir Leonard Woolley‘s site at Ur, and the Sutton Hoo ship burial. He went on to found the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research at the British Museum in 1924. After retirement in 1959 he became the first director of the International Centre for the study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome (ICCROM) where he served until 1971. He helped set up and then served on the Council of the International Institute for Conservation (IIC) from its creation in 1950 until 1971 and was IIC’s President from 1965 to 1968. 

Plenderleith was for many years the patron and honorary Chair of the Scottish Society for Conservation and Restoration (SSCR) – predecessor of Icon’s Scotland Group. Plenderleith died in 1997, and the SSCR established a successful annual public lecture in his memory starting in 1998, the centenary of his birth.

Invited speakers are leading figures in the conservation, heritage archaeology or museum and galleries world:

  • 1998 James Simpson, Simpson & Brown Architects (Glasite, Edinburgh)
  • 1999 John McIntyre, National Library of Scotland (NLS, Edinburgh)
  • 2000 Clare Meredith, FIIC, paintings conservator (Glasite, Edinburgh)
  • 2001 Professor Norman Tennent, Rijksmuseum (Glasite, Edinburgh)
  • 2002 Dr Andrew Oddy, British Museum (St Columba’s Edinburgh)
  • 2003 Dr Peter Burman, University of York  (St Columba’s Edinburgh)
  • 2004 Dr Jonathan Ashley-Smith, Victoria & Albert Museum (St Columba’s Edinburgh)
  • 2005 Dr James Tate, National Museums of Scotland (St Columba’s Edinburgh)
  • 2006 Sir John Leighton, National Galleries of Scotland (NGS, Edinburgh)
  • 2007 Sarah Staniforth, National Trust (RSE , Edinburgh)
  • 2008 Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage (RSE, Edinburgh)
  • 2009 Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum (NGS, Edinburgh)
  • 2010 Professor May Cassar, UCL (NGS, Edinburgh)
  • 2011 Dr David Mitchell, Historic Scotland (Edinburgh Castle)
  • 2012 Mark O’Neill, Glasgow Life (Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow)
  • 2013 Philip Long, V&A Dundee (Discovery, Dundee)
  • 2014 Gael de Guichen, ICCROM (RCPSE Edinburgh)
  • 2015 Professor Sue Black, Dundee University (Discovery, Dundee)
  • 2016 Neil Brodie, Trafficking Culture project  (St Mungo’s Glasgow)
  • 2017 Helen Shenton, British Library (NGS Edinburgh)
  • 2018 David Saunders, British Museum (Discovery Centre, Dundee) 
  • 2019 Liz Davidson OBE, Glasgow School of Arts (The Lighthouse, Glasgow)
  • 2020 Euan Leitch, Built Environment Forum Scotland (Online, Zoom)
  • 2021 Sir Geoff Palmer OBE, Heriot-Watt University (Online, Zoom)
  • 2022 Dr Richard Mulholland, Northumbria University (City Art Centre, Edinburgh)

The lecture is usually held on the last Thursday in November each year at a venue in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dundee. There is still time to book your ticket for this year’s lecture here.

25th Plenderleith lecture!

The 25th Annual Plenderleith Memorial Lecture: ‘Even on a Mountain, there is still a road’: Reflections on Conservation in post-Conflict Afghanistan, will take place on Thursday 24 November 2022 from 7pm-8.15pm. This is an in-person only event at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh. It will be preceded by Icon Scotland Group’s Annual General Meeting from 5.45pm to 6.30pm, for which tickets need to be acquired separately.

Now in its 25th year, Icon Scotland’s prestigious annual lecture is held in memory of Dundonian Dr Harold Plenderleith (1898 – 1996), who is considered one of the key founders of modern conservation.

Icon Scotland Group is delighted to announce this year’s speaker, Dr Richard Mulholland, Senior Lecturer on the Conservation of Fine Art MA programme at Northumbria University.

For a number of years, Richard has been engaged in research on the conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage collections at risk in conflict zones, particularly focused on Afghanistan. He has spent time working on site in Kabul on a number of projects funded by the British Council Cultural Protection Fund, looking at critical conservation pedagogies and carrying out education and training in collections care and conservation for colleagues in post-conflict Afghanistan.

Icon Scotland looks forward to hearing Richard’s reflections on the steps the conservation sector is taking to respond to the ongoing risk of human conflict on cultural heritage, and what he sees as the steps we need to take and the realities we must face to prepare ourselves as a profession.

Refreshments will be available after the lecture, as well as a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues.

Free tickets for the Icon Scotland Group AGM can be acquired here: https://www.icon.org.uk/events/scotland-group-25th-annual-plenderleith-memorial-lecture.html

Tickets for the Plenderleith Lecture can be purchased here (£5 to £15): https://www.icon.org.uk/events/scotland-group-2022-agm.html

National Library Scotland student intern, Emily Shepherd shares her summer placement experiences

Summer Placements for ICON Scotland Group

This summer I took part in placements across Edinburgh as part of my 2 year MA in Fine Art Conservation at Northumbria, specialising in works on paper. I had lived in Edinburgh while studying previously for a few years before moving down to Newcastle so I was really keen to come back to the city and see my old friends for the summer – as well as going back to my favourite chippy and reading my book in the meadows on a sunny afternoon! 

After hybrid learning for the past year it was fantastic to have a fully in person experience. These placements taught me both the technical side of conservation and practical employability skills. My first placement was 5 weeks long and took place at the George IV bridge building of the National Library of Scotland. I got the opportunity to take part in multiple projects at once in an archival setting, which was a new experience for me, as in my first year of my MA we have been working on one piece at a time. The second placement was 3 weeks long at the National Museums Collections Centre in Granton. This involved one main personal project and assisting with ongoing projects in the studio.

One of my ongoing projects at the NLS was assisting with the Geddes project – an archive of a town planning exhibition from the early 20th century made by Patrick Geddes. A new consideration for me was also working with multiple works in the same collection, that should appear similar and therefore the treatments of a collection should be considered as a whole. Within this larger project I conserved a set of 7 medium size lithographs among other works. As the work on the project was continuous and nowhere near completed, it was nice to have a set of prints which I felt could be nicely rounded off. 

This work was in a fair condition, with most of the issues coming from poor storage, with surface dirt, tears and losses which seemed to have come from extrinsic factors as the paper. The treatment for these works therefore included surface cleaning, tear repairs, infills and rehousing. I got to practice my first infills after studying them briefly on my course which grew my confidence in this. The repetition of similar tear repairs also grew my confidence, and the treatment became more systematic in process. The infills dropped back the losses and strengthened the prints effectively. I felt like I could consider the appropriate path to go with these prints after practicing techniques, and could pick out appropriate repair papers. 

A mostly new experience was assisting with a meniscus lining of an oversized work. We had covered linings as part of my course but not this particular technique which made it interesting. As part of the Stevenson project I assisted two other conservators to carry out a meniscus lining of an oversized plan on discoloured and brittle tracing paper. The work was in an unusable condition  – in multiple pieces  – and therefore lining was necessary to continue the functionality of the object and regain information that had been visually lost by also unfolding the brittle curls of the paper with the help of moisture. 

The tracing paper was humidified in a chamber then sandwiched between two sheets of melinex. We used an excessive amount of water to allow the paper to float on the melinex into a suitable position, putting loose pieces back into the puzzle and lying the folds flat. It was great experience to work on this project as a team. We worked together to transfer the oversized work and to piece together the work while it was still damp which made the treatment more time efficient. The lining itself also required multiple hands which was a lesson in communicating effectively with a time pressure in place before the components dry up. 

Within my next placement at the museum my main project was part of the Turkey Red Archive which involved a dye by the same name that was significant to Scottish textile manufacture in the late-19th century. These were textile designs on various papers adhered together and supported by album paper, most notably with turkey red pigment and others in the gouache paint. The main issues facing this work was losses and tearing to the album paper, folds within the primary support, friable media and other loose pigments acting as surface dirt across the whole object. This surface dirt was likely a result of the work being pressed up against other designs in storage and general contemporary use of the designs as a functional object. 

Surface cleaning was by far the most time consuming aspect of the treatment. The displaced pigment spread across the album paper and secondary supports had to be gently removed which involved dabbing with a chemical sponge, then more invasive surface cleaning with a wedge of mars plastic eraser. Media had also migrated onto the gouache paint obscuring the design, and an even more delicate approach had to be taken here not to lift the historically important turkey red pigment. 

Consolidation of the gouache media was also considered and undertaken. This treatment was completely new to me as this is covered in our second year. First I assessed the pigments which seemed the most friable by gently poking them with a dry brush to see if they were mobile. 

This process used small amounts of bermocoll in a 0.5% solution, and surprisingly this was all that was needed. This was preceded by a dab of IDA where the flaking pigments did not seem overly vulnerable, and wouldn’t be picked up by the static attraction of the brush coming in contact with the paint.  

The pigments which were the most friable were not surprising as visibly the white pigment was partially missing in large flakes and white detritus covering other parts of the design. The primary support had an engrained crease that was resistant to folding back. Along this fold, other pigments had become loosened and were visibly raised away from the primary support when observed under magnification. These pigments were then also consolidated. 

The collective experiences I gained this summer were incredibly helpful for my development as an emerging conservator. Observing the working approach of different conservators and institutions also taught me there are many ways to do one task effectively, and there are quite a few techniques I had never heard of before which end up with roughly the same end result – like paste making, tear repair and infills. I also found myself handling large volumes of paper works which grew my confidence exponentially. I can now take the skills I have learned and practiced into the second year of my MA, as well as the important connections with conservators across Edinburgh that I’ve gained. 

Accreditation grant 2022

We’d like to remind conservators who are resident and working (or actively seeking work) in Scotland that we offer four grants per year of up £350 towards the costs of accreditation. The second deadline in 2022 for accreditation applications is Monday 3rd of October, and we will give preference to grant applications received before Saturday 3rd of September. Information about how to apply is on our group page on the Icon website here

CoP26 event: ‘Is culture the untapped ally for climate action?’ 

With CoP26 nearly upon us, many of us will be participating in associated activities and events. Icon Scotland’s Vice Chair, Isobel Griffin, has been involved in the planning for an event involving several cultural heritage organisations in Scotland, and would like to encourage conservators in Scotland and beyond to participate. It is a virtual event running as part of the Scottish Government’s Climate Ambition Zone at the Lighthouse during CoP26, with details as follows:

Friday 5 November, 11.45-13.00: ‘Is culture the untapped ally for climate action?’ 

Initiated by Creative Carbon Scotland, a collaboration of cultural bodies in Scotland has commissioned a powerful short film – ‘Climate action needs culture’. 

As the climate emergency grows more intense, increased public understanding and engagement are urgently required and innovative ways of thinking and working needed. Scotland’s cultural institutions and creative sector have a compelling story to tell of the dynamic ways they can contribute to climate action but it’s a story that until now has been often overlooked. This event and the project that underpins it brings together the knowledge and expertise of Scotland’s cultural sector with climate experts to make the case for culture as a crucial player in climate action.

We invite you to join us online for the launch of the film, followed by climate and cultural leaders providing effective examples of collaborations in climate action and a Q&A to identify your next steps in working jointly with cultural and climate colleagues. 

Speakers:

Ewan Hyslop, Head of Technical Research and Science, Historic Environment Scotland / Climate Heritage Network (Chair)

Tania Banotti, Director, Creative Ireland – Creative Climate Action

Prof. James Curran, Chair, Climate Ready Clyde

Sir John Leighton, Director General, National Galleries of Scotland

Prof. Dave Reay, Director, Climate Change Institute, University of Edinburgh

Helen Vincent, Head of Rare Books, Maps and Music, National Library of Scotland / International Federation of Library Associations

Set up an account and then register here: https://visitscotland.eventsair.com/scotlands-climate-ambition-zone/creative-carbon-scotland—is-culture-the-untapped-ally-for-climate-policy

This is a project initiated by: 

  • Creative Carbon Scotland (convenor)
  • Creative Scotland 
  • Historic Environment Scotland 
  • Museums Galleries Scotland
  • National Galleries of Scotland
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Scottish Library & Information Council

Hope to see lots of conservators there!

The Art in the Open project taking place below Edinburgh Castle (National Galleries Scotland ©Yola Sornsakrin)

Take 5 Webinar Summer Session

Wednesday 16th June 4-5 pm on Zoom

Free to Icon members Free to Non-members

Icon Scotland presents another one of their knowledge-sharing events, with 5 new 5 minute presentations about different conservation projects and case studies. 

Presentations will be followed by a Q&A session.

https://www.icon.org.uk/events/scotland-group-take-5-webinar-summer-sessions.html

Sticky situation: Interdisciplinary decision making in the conservation of a child’s bedroom cupboard door, Gwen Thomas, Museums & Galleries Edinburgh

The Museum of Childhood acquired a bedroom cupboard door that over the course of the owner’s childhood was covered in hundreds of stickers. The talk focuses on the dialogue between the conservator and curator when making decisions about the object.

Resumption survey: A simple analytic tool for checking the condition of collections after lockdown, Simona Cenci ACR, National Library of Scotland

During lockdown, Simona designed a resumption survey to be carried out in the National Library of Scotland library stores prior to re-opening. The talk will illustrate the challenges encountered, and methodological outcomes.

Peeling Back the Layers: Treatment of a large Scottish sampler, Anna Robinson, University of Glasgow

The presentation will summarize how the treatment of a large Scottish sampler at the 

CTC was adapted as layers of framing and support materials were removed, and new aspects of the sampler revealed.

Creating a Conservation YouTube Channel: Curating conservation content for the general public, Lucilla Ronai, National Library of Australia

After one year managing a conservation YouTube channel, and sharing conservation content with conservators and the general public, Lucilla will share the main lessons learned and how it has made her see this profession differently.

Surviving insurance claim documentation with a smile, Ruth Honeybone ACR & Daryl Green, University of Edinburgh

Daryl and Ruth will guide you through some of the hoops and hurdles of writing a successful insurance claim to fund the conservation of damaged collections.

Scotland Group: Take 5 Webinar Spring Sessions

Wednesday 5th May 4-5pm

Free to Icon members Free to non-members

https://www.icon.org.uk/events/scotland-group-take-5-webinar-spring-sessions.html

A new instalment of Icon Scotland Group’s ideas-sharing Take 5 series, with 5 new 5-minute presentations by 5 different conservators about some of their recent projects:


Senses Working Over Time: tactile engagement for written heritage, by Victoria Stevens ACR, Victoria Stevens ACR Library and Archive Conservation and Preservation Ltd.

Written heritage conservation is all about access: taking practical steps that enable people to engage with the information objects contain safely and without risk to them or the objects themselves. As a library and archive conservator, Victoria Stevens has developed a strong appreciation of how much information and knowledge may be gained from touch, sound, smell and sometimes even taste, all of which complement and broaden the written information items contain to form a much deeper appreciation and understanding of an object’s history and its previous use.

The Take 5 Engagement programme takes this non-visual information an object has to give as its focus. There are many people who experience barriers to conventional learning, and who may respond more positively and completely to information through senses other than sight and reading alone. Based on fun and accessible workshops, some of which may be delivered online, the Take 5 project uses the material properties of archive and library objects and conservation techniques combined to increase understanding and confidence, provide a sense of personal pride in achievement and break down physical and cultural barriers to learning and inclusion in libraries and archives.

The presentation will set out these aims, demonstrate how and to whom they may be delivered and discuss longer term goals for the project.

Conservation of an Iranian Tile Panel at the National Museums of Scotland, by Holly Daws, National Museums of Scotland.

The talk will detail the ongoing conservation work of a 17th Century tile panel which is planned for display as part of the Arts of Iran exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland. The panel is dated from the Safavid period and is associated with the garden palace Bagh-i Sa’adatabad in Isfahan, Iran. The tile panel is one of the few intact examples from this period in museum collections worldwide.

The tile panel has been in storage since 2008 due to its condition and heavy mounting. Previous restorations have aged, discoloured and are failing. Further to this, areas of original material have been overpainted. The aim of the treatment is to remove the tiles from the existing backing, to improve the appearance and stability of the tiles and to remount on a light support structure.

The talk will briefly outline: Historical context, condition of the panels, the aim of the project, treatment stages so far, and future treatments.

Learn by doing: the casting, finishing and patinating of bronzes, by Heleen van Santen, freelance metal conservator.

The presentation of a collaboration between a conservator, a designer and a bronze foundry, using their different expertises to experiment with the casting, finishing and patination of bronze.

The goal of this project was to learn by doing, building on Heleen van Santen’s metallurgical and technical experience as a conservator, the process and aesthetic eye of the designer and the practical know-how of the foundry. This collaboration resulted in an archive of 81 different patinas that will be permanently displayed at the foundry, and a free digital publication to inspire future makers to incorporate patination into their projects. For the field of conservation, learning more about the manufacturing and finishing of cast bronzes can be used to help us better understand cultural heritage objects.

Conservation Live: public engagement from a digital distance, by Lesley Stevenson ACR FIIC, National Galleries of Scotland.

Lesley will outline a conservation project currently underway at the National Galleries of Scotland. Robert Scott Lauder’s Christ Teacheth Humility is being prepared for new displays focussing on Scottish art that are due to open later in 2022. Originally planned to be shared live with visitors, Covid restrictions and the inevitable disruption to the NGS public programme, necessitated a change in direction for this initiative. The transfer of all public engagement to digital platforms resulted in this conservator facing challenges to her outreach and IT skills.

Conditional Confusion: considering variations in language used for object documentation, by Beth Gillions, Centre for Textile Conservation, University of Glasgow

Documenting object condition can be pivotal to informing conservation treatments, determining object roles, and limiting or enabling object use and display. Yet within the heritage field object condition reports are generated in a variety of ways, by a range of individuals of diverse types and levels of training. This presentation will consider the reasons variations in terminology exist and highlight some preliminary ideas about how this may impact upon our preservation of, and approaches to historic objects.