Was spent doing a PCIP course–Professional Conservators In Practice. The course was leather conservation, taught by the folks at the Leather Conservation Center, and it was quite interesting and informative (and made for an exhausting week). My favorite part was probably identifying species of leather. We were given an envelope of bits of traditionally-used leather (meaning mostly sheep, goat, pig, calf/cattle) and (after being trained, of course), asked to look at them under a microscope and identify the tanning process (alum-tawed, vegetable, chrome, etc), and the animal based on the pattern, size, and spacing of the hair follicules. I managed to match all of them! I even identified the deer skin (which was really pretty). It’s a good thing it’s no revelation to me that I’m a nerd–getting excited about identifying leather bits.
They also brought all kinds of amazing leathers: chagreen (stingray–bookbinders like this one), ostrich, crocodile and snake, a ridiculously thick slab of a water buffalo’s cheek, this amazing one I’d never seen called–shoot, I can’t remember so I’ll edit this once I have a look at my notes… well this is all going south because I can’t remember half of the leathers I saw. To be continued, I guess.
I bonded with one of our instructors, Roy Thompson, because he had visited Utah last summer (right during all those fires in July). He and his wife had rented a car and drove all over some fairly random and not-all-touristy places–Spring City, Arches (well, that one’s touristy, but I’d have been disappointed if he hadn’t gone!), the San Rafael Swell…and they spent the 4th of July in Kanab. He loved every bit of it. Said folks were great, which I’m always glad to hear.
In other news, I’m still hoping to meet my artificial deadline for my 4000 word essay (UGH) so that I can go camping with a bunch of YSA friends in the north of Devon next weekend…(I’ve committed financially already!) So you may not hear from me for a while.
I haven’t gotten much done in the workshop because of this leather conservation course, and then today we had a lecture on historical book structures as well as science… and I don’t imagine I’ll be there much next week, what with my Friday deadline. Time is still flying…!
Oh. And lest I forget!
After having to watch people relish it for the past month, I finally had a well-earned and deserved pavlova today. And yes. It was delicious. And rich. And it made me ever so slightly ill. But it was worth it.