Day Nine. Ethics, Decisions and a whole lot of sewing

Day 9 and the camp is going very well.  The students are great and are coping well with the fast pace of the timetable but after a busy day yesterday learning a huge amount of information and techniques they were looking pretty tired this morning.

Still, they were engaged with the first lecture of the day about the ethical challenges faced by museums and the decisions conservators have to make before treating objects. They were soon deep in discussion about whether museums should maintain machinery in their collections to ‘working order’, whether all human remains in collections should be treated the same way and how decisions are made as to whether graffiti is art or eye sore. Not an easy topic even for experienced conservators and museum professionals.

The rest of the day was led by Sophie who talked to the students about textiles conservation.  They then got stuck into activities involving different cleaning techniques and how to check that your textile dyes will be safe for any potential wet cleaning with testing. Helen showed the students how to roll and pack textiles safely with pads and supports.

Trying out some dry cleaning techniques

Trying out some dry cleaning techniques

Carefully covering a cardboard tube in aluminium foil can help protect delicate textiles when acid-free cardboard tubes are unavailable

Carefully covering a cardboard tube in aluminium foil can help protect delicate textiles when acid-free cardboard tubes are unavailable

Learning to roll textiles for storage

Learning to roll textiles for storage

After lunch the students chose which material groups they would like to be in to complete their final camp projects.  They could choose between Textiles, Metals, Ceramics and Organics, after already having a little taster yesterday, they were aware of some of the techniques and issues involved with each material type and many of the participants already had an idea of what they wanted to choose.

It was then back to more textiles techniques, learning how to make padded hangers and cotton clothes covers.  Following on from last years course the museum have steadily been making covers for their traditional costumes in store so the new covers that have been made today will be a welcome addition to the museum.

Padded coat hangers can be used for both safe display and storage of costumes.

Padded coat hangers can be used for both safe display and storage of costumes.

Two participants proud of their sewing efforts

Two participants proud of their sewing efforts

Tomorrow is a change of pace and we will be making excursions into the surrounding area with a trip to a world heritage site and stunning Kosovo scenery.