Fish skin tanning and sewing workshop with Lotta Rahme: 20-24 May 2013, Sigtuna Sweden

Workshop announcement:

This is a great opportunity to learn the art of fish skin tanning and sewing from Lotta Rahme, Swedish artist, who works with organic and local materials.

Dates: 20-24 Continue reading


SYNTHESYS Advanced Training in Collections Management: Module 5: Curation of ethnobiology collections

LOCATION: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK

DURATION AND DATE: Lunch-to-lunch meeting, 24-25/06/2013

TRAINERS: Pat Griggs, Mark Nesbitt (Kew), Luba Dovgan Nurse (Denmark).

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE TRAINING: Many natural history museums contain artefacts and raw materials demonstrating use of natural materials by humans. These present special challenges to curators in storage, cataloguing, ethics and law, funding, and  deterioration and conservation. This short course tackles these questions through modern museum methods, and the experience of the Economic Botany Collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew (UK). The course is relevant to both plant and animal collections.


Guest blog: Francis Lukezic’s review of the ICON Ethnography Group Seminar, Nov 2011 ‘Conservation and Source Communities: Research, Objects and Treatments’

Demonstration of Tlingit basket making by Teri Rofkar

Demonstration of Tlingit basket making by Teri Rofkar.

A shorter version of the review appeared in: ICON News, January 2012, Issue 38, pp. 28-29.

Event/Programme: ICON Ethnography Group Seminar

Title: Conservation and Source Communities: Research, Objects and Treatments

Date: November 16th, 2011

Venue: Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford

The Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford provided an outstanding venue for a one-day seminar centred on the interactions between indigenous communities and the conservation profession Continue reading

Native American Basketry: new series of blogs from the NMAI: It’s All Connected—California Basketry, Cultural Context, and Museum Conservation

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Here is a long awaited series of blogs from the NMAI on the preservation of the Native American basketry:

Orthodox Ecclesiastical Embroidery: references and digital resources

Photographs by: Konstantinos Chatziantoniou.

forthcoming: Luba Dovgan Nurse, Mary M. Brooks and Dinah Eastop Authenticity in the revival of Orthodox ecclesiastical embroidery in post-Soviet Russia, accepted for  ‘The Real Thing?’: The Value of Authenticity and Replication for Investigation and Conservation’ conference at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, 6-7 December, 2012.

I just found this new great source of images of Orthodox ecclesiastical embroidery, it offers selection by date, origin, workshop, language of inscription, created by the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University in St. Petersburg. 

In Russia ecclesiastical embroidery was undermined during the Soviet period, it revival began in the late 1980s and is ongoing. Traditionally it is done by women unlike that for example in England (Opus Anglicanum) or in Greece (Greek Orthodox Church).

REFERENCES Continue reading

Conservation of Danish traditional dress from the islands of Fanø, Læsø and Amager: pleated garments

Recently I have been working with Danish traditional women’s clothing from the islands of Fanø, Læsø and Amager, see previous blog. Collected at the turn of the 20th century, they are part of the collection at the Koldinghus Museum and will be displayed at the ‘1001 Treasures The Best from the Collection of the Museum and the Town Archives’ exhibition that opens on September 28th. Continue reading

Take part in the survey! ICOM CC Ethnographic Collections: Name Change Proposal

The aim of this post is to invite conservators working with ethnographic collections and participating in the ICOM-CC Working Group on Ethnographic Collections’ activities to take part in the survey to determine the most appropriate name for this working group. The survey deadline is tomorrow, 19th of June at 5pm Ottawa time. Continue reading

Conservation of Danish traditional dress from the islands of Fanø, Læsø and Amager

One of my current projects is to prepare for display three traditional costumes from the Danish islands of Fanø, Læsø and Amager, collected in the early 20th century. In search for the information concerning their original function and patterns of wear that would help me decide on the most appropriate conservation treatment and in mannequin making, I have found that the practice of wearing traditional dress is still alive on these islands. I plan to consult local communities to learn more about the costumes and their significance. There will be more to come as this project unfolds.

Fanø island: Association of Traditional Dress, Fannikergaden and Maritime and Costume Museum.

Fish skin tanning course with Lotta Rahme: 5-9 September 2012 Helsingen Island, Sweden.



Workshop announcement:

This is a great opportunity to learn the art of fish skin tanning from Lotta Rahme,, Swedish artist who works with organic and local materials (see her work here), & author of important books on the subject of tanning.

Date: 5-9 September 2012. Location: Helsingen Island, this is south of Gräsö in Northern Roslagen, Sweden.

A support mount for flat storage and 3D display of an incomplete and fragile 19th century straw bonnet


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Here are some extra images for my paper:


Vol. 51, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2012, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation Special Issue on Mountmaking

Abstract: The aim of this project was to prepare a fragile and incomplete 19th century straw bonnet for storage and occasional display. When brought for conservation the bonnet exhibited a distorted and shallow shape due to the loss of the crown and previous repairs, the straw was brittle, the wire was distorted but flexible. The mount solution addressed the problem arising from the conflicting demand for the bonnet to be stored flat due to the client’s storage constraints, while retaining the ability to display the bonnet in a three-dimensional shape. The paper discusses the condition of the object before treatment, the treatment undertaken, the method of making the mount from Nomex 410 card (meta-aramid), the functionality of the mount for flat storage and its assembly for three-dimensional display. The support mount reconstructed the bonnet’s original shape and compensated for the missing areas. It enabled the client to store the bonnet flat and to arrange the bonnet safely into shape. The mount eliminated the need to handle the bonnet excessively when arranging it for display.