This morning was an amazing opportunity. Huge thank you to Virginia Gordon at the Police Museum for allowing me to come along to this conservation workshop at the Museum of Brisbane.
The workshop was conducted by a renowned textile conservator, Tess Evans. An hour and a half completely flew by as we learnt not only some tips and tricks for conservation but also had some hands on experience.
The workshop began with a short presentation by Ms Evans who explained the main reasons behind the disintegration of material culture. There is just so much out there to be careful of when trying to maintain and conserve a textile collection. For example, light damage is accumulative. So you put something out on display, think you’ll give it a moment out of the spotlight then put it back on. The damage will continue from where it left off. I am the kind of person that finds all this incredibly interesting!
We saw heaps of amazing photos – so many beautiful embroideries and textiles on display from around the world. It really made me stop and realise clothing today. Easy to just wash and wear but imagine if your dress made it into a museum and was put on display 100 years from now. Handling is key and to know how to handle you need to know what you’ve got.
We also learned some interesting ways to mount textiles and fabrics for display but my personal favourite was how to create a mannequin. Simply using some proper wire and covering it with “textile-friendly” material voila you have a mannequin for display. It’s also Pretty cost effective!
Then, for the grand finale, we got to take a sneak peak at a costume from Elizabeth Taylor. It was so beautiful! I am in absolute awe of what Ms Evans has accomplished with conservation.
It’s a field I’d love to get into within the museum sector. Having the power to conserve something from the past for the future to enjoy is just too good to be true. It was an exciting workshop with even more exciting outcomes!