Practical Leather Conservation

Erica and I recently attended a 5 day leather conservation course given by Theo Sturge, of the Sturge Conservation Studio. As well as presenting case studies of his work, from gilt leather conservation to car upholstery restoration, Theo taught us about the processing and deterioration mechanisms of leather, and he also introduced us to some leather working skills such as skiving and basic saddle stitching.

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We tested suitable materials for repair and consolidation, and practiced a range of techniques such as cleaning, reshaping and colouring, which can be used on a variety of leather artefacts.







We learnt about leather identification, shrinkage temperatures, and moulded and punched our own pieces of gilt leather.

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It was a fun and informative week and we’re looking forward to trying out some new ideas. I think Erica already has exciting plans for the next generation of bear noses! (See her blog post Bear-ly Holding Together).




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Cheryl Lynn


Cheryl is a graduate from City and Guilds of London Art School, where the course centred on the conservation of decorative surfaces and objects made of stone, wood and other sculptural materials. She is trained in traditional skills such as gilding and plaster casting as well as laser cleaning techniques. Cheryl has been involved with a number of conservation projects at the Natural History Museum, including work on the mammal research collection, exhibition installation and the blue whale skeleton.

Cheryl LynnPractical Leather Conservation