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.
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.
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).