Nele is a student of the University of Antwerp, where she is currently studying for an MA in Conservation and Restoration. Wishing to gain some experience with leather and organic materials, Nele is spending eight weeks working between the National Leather Collection, Leather Conservation Centre and Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. She is currently at Northampton Museum for a 7 day work experience.
Here is her Second Blog of her time at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
On Monday morning I continued the processing of the donation, I went through one box on Friday and was very curious to see what was in the other box. I came across a variety of shoes, but one that really stood out was a single black surgical shoe. I was quite amazed by this one, since I had never seen a shoe like that before! In the afternoon, I got to make a selection of shoe buckles for the new shoe gallery. I had a great time going through all the boxes and searching for the most striking pairs.
On Tuesday, I got to prepare a loan to Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. I followed the same procedure as last week and started with locating every item on the list (still one of my favourite things to do, wandering through the store rooms and getting to see so much more of the museum’s collection than is on display). The orange and pink platform sandals where my absolute favourite from this selection. I examined every pair up close and wrote down any occurring damage in the condition reports. With still a few pair of shoes to go, the work continued on Wednesday.
On my last day at Northampton Museum I finished the condition reports for the loan to Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. The last few hours of my time in the store rooms, I spent having a nose through the collection and improving the packaging of items waiting to be accessioned. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Northampton Museum and I am very grateful to Rebecca Shawcross for the opportunity. It was a valuable learning experience, I gained not only knowledge about the conservation of shoes, but also about Northampton which was once a large shoe producing town. I would like to thank Rebecca for the wonderful time I had in the museum and for sharing her extensive knowledge on shoes and Northampton.
On Thursday I returned to the National Leather Collection. After catching up and getting informed with the latest NLC news, it was time to continue the clean of the storerooms. This involves removing packaging material, making sure that there are no collection pieces stored on the floor. The first part, the cleaning, was quite straight forward, but reorganizing the shelves so that every object can be stored in the racks was quite a challenge. With the tape measure in one hand and a pencil in the other, I started by measuring the shelves and objects and pieced it all together in a plan. The first shelve to be completed was the one for the shields, and I am quite proud with the result. The reorganizing of the store rooms continued on Friday.