Monday, 3 June 2013

Conservation in Action - Going Copper Crazy!

Every other Wednesday afternoon, some of the conservation team clean pieces of the collection in front of visitors. This week, myself, Michelle, Brian – a dedicated volunteer – and some of our younger visitors were hard at work in the servant’s quarters.

 Anyone who has visited the kitchens at Petworth knows that we have quite a large collection of copper! Whilst a lot of it got cleaned during the winter clean, many of the smaller pieces were still awaiting our attention.

This week we focused on the little pastry and jelly moulds – some of which are very intricate! We had quite a lot of fun discussing the creations that could have been made by combining the products of the moulds!

Whilst we are cleaning we are keen to answer any questions from visitors. These are some of the most frequently asked questions.

What do you use to clean?”
First, the piece is dusted using a hog’s hair brush. A small amount of Autosol metal polish is applied, in order to remove corrosion, stains or tarnish that may be present on the item. Once the polish has been buffed away, a thin layer of renaissance wax is applied, in order to seal and protect the metal.

How often?”
It is important that the copper is not over-cleaned, as every time polish is applied and buffed away, a layer of copper gets removed. We treat the copper annually – which is quite enough to keep us going!

And perhaps the most commonly asked question:
Do you fancy coming over to clean my copper?!” 
Thanks for the offer - but we have enough here to keep ourselves busy!

Conservation Assistant

Every other Wednesday we clean a different part of the collection in front of visitors during our 'Conservation in Action' events. Keep an eye out around the property to find out what we are cleaning next!

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