After sometime looking after the house, the time came for my next training course.
This took place where fellow trainee Graham is based, the fantastic Tyntesfield house, which is sort of south-west of Bristol. Having arrived fashionably late because of the rush hour traffic I sneaked in and took my place. The introduction was taken by Helen Lloyd (Conservator to the stars) who helped to write the ‘Manual of Housekeeping’ – the conservation bible. Conservation is primarily the careful management of change. ‘Destiny is Decay… Get used to it!’ Although the core principles of conservation had been explained to me during my initiation ceremony at Dyrham towers, it was helpful to have them re-iterated by Helen. ( I’ll skip the details as I explained the basics in month 1) Having a ceramics specialist Margaret at Dyrham, meant I had a tiny bit of knowledge but the ceramic session was very interesting, and gave us the basics in being able to identify different types of glaze, what type of material was used to make it, before even picking it up. The key to ceramic movement is firstly to analyse what’s in front of you. This is basically to determine if there are any repairs or cracks or damage to take note of before it’s moved. The best way to pick a ceramic up is with clean, dry hands, support from the base, and lift but don’t grip… ‘Complex’ objects (objects with different pieces to them) can be moved bit by bit, but bigger or heavier ceramics will need to be tilted and supported at the back and base and held at a 45 (ish) degree angle, as this avoids any wobbling when lifting.


About arlingtoncourtblog

Welcome to my blog! I've been keeping it to document my training as a Conservation Assistant for the National Trust at Dyrham Park. View all posts by arlingtoncourtblog

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