A British Museum Tour
Now showing at:
Weston Park Museum, Sheffield
Before objects can be sent on loan they need to be assessed by conservators to ensure that they are in a suitably stable condition to travel. Sometimes objects require treatment to ensure they can be moved and handled safely.
The work required for preparing the organic materials included in this loan was estimated at 300 hours and has involved four conservators from the organic artefacts section.
Amongst the objects assessed for the loan was a collection of carved, red, Chinese lacquer.
Making carved lacquer involves a lengthy process of building up many layers of thinly applied urushi – a tree resin native to South East Asia. These are then carved to create the three-dimensional surfaces.
During conservation the objects have been carefully cleaned, and weaknesses in the structures and any lifting lacquer layers have been secured.
Cleaning the recessess in the carved lacquer
Securing the flaking lacquer around the rim
Using a heated spatula to relay lifting lacquer
Using bamboo skewers to hold lifting lacquer in place until the adhesive cures