Occasionally we’re let loose from Knole, but never far away. On Tuesday we all headed to Ightham Mote for training day on paper conservation led by Andrew Bush, NT advisor on paper conservation, and our very own Siobhan Barratt. The day included an overview of the different problems paper objects can have, and the different agents that can cause paper to deteriorate, light and insect pest damage being at the top of the list, poor display and storage are also big contributing factors.
One of the activities involved inspecting different paper objects to determine what had caused their deterioration. Using raking light is one way to inspect an object as it will show up any deterioration or damage to the surface of the paper that you are unlikely to see using just direct light. Direct light, however, is the ideal way to see if there are any breaks or holes in the paper by shining a light source from behind the object.
Siobhan talked us through the hand made paper making process and also showed us the broad range of objects that can be made from paper, as well as the different types of works of art on paper. In groups we had the opportunity to look at some of the different types of prints in the Ightham Mote collection and also to inspect the hand painted Chinese wallpaper in their Drawing Room.
After lunch Andrew gave a talk on framed paper which included some examples of very badly framed paper and the damage that can cause. The day concluded with another group activity, inspecting different framed papers and identifying the issues with the objects.
We don’t have very much paper in our collection at Knole so it was a great opportunity for us to broaden our knowledge and skills on training days like these. It’s also a fab chance to catch up with staff from other properties and have a bit of a gossip!
Thanks to Gill Nason for organising the day, and to Andrew and Siobhan for an informative and fun day.