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Dr Victoria Purewal ACR

Owner of Pure Conservation, attended Theo Sturge’s Leather Conservation Course in October 2020

The Anna Plowden/Clothworkers' Foundation CPD Grant provided the support for me to learn a very relevant and invaluable new skill and continue my professional development. Relevant natural history courses are infrequent, so when Icon advertised this course, I grabbed the opportunity.

Pure Conservation is primarily focused on natural history material, but traditionally tanned leather and taxidermy skin are quite dissimilar and so I did not feel qualified to work on leather artefacts, although frequently asked to do so. Having undertaken this course, I clearly understand the differences.

The course was split equally into theory, cases studies and practical sessions. One case study of interest focused on a damaged seal-skin trunk and it was repaired using archival raw hide, something I was unaware you could source. I also now know how to pare, skive, colour-match, adhere and make an infill or a repair from hide.

I was also guided through making a leather gilt mould, using different adhesives and colourants. This training seamlessly overlaps with the work I already do and has given me much needed confidence.