Mondays at the V&A

Well today at the V&A has been great today as always. I started today making paste, which I quite often do – it’s a very relaxing start to the week, as I sit under the widow sill and look out into the sun blushed V&A old building whilst stirring the paste. It’s just about finished and ready to cool down as the time comes for morning tea – couldn’t be more perfect timing!

Once tea and paste was done, Anne and I went to the National Art Library to fill up the boxes with books that I was working on last week and at the same time came across a project for me to start working on over the next few weeks.

This book we selected is called Prints from Four Artists, and is a collection of prints by four different artists. It is a large book covered in green parchment, which is something I have not seen before, and Anne tells me is quite rare. The book needs thorough cleaning throughout, which I have started with a chemical sponge – this is going to take me some time! Then I will move on to paper repairs, and finally onto the structure of the book. It needs resewing onto its cords and then rebacking, and some parchment repairs on the front, which I may do with toned parchment, or tissue. The sections are quite thick, so it will be an interesting one to sew back together.

All in all a very interesting book to work on with some fantastic prints throughout and I’m looking forward to getting to work on it.

The green parchment cover
The spine of the book
Damaged sewing
The first page prior to cleaning
The first page after cleaning
me cleaning!

2 Replies to “Mondays at the V&A”

  1. Great pst. Thanks for sharing. How is your paste made… Can you share the recipe? Also, what is the chemical cleaner?

    Thanks. Have subscribed so I don’t miss your updates. ;D


    1. Hiya! I’ve been meaning to do a paste post for a while with various instructions – there seem to be 101 recipes, but I have a few ways I like – this is the nudge I need!

      Chemical cleaning refers to the use of a chemical sponge – technically a vulcanised smoke sponge (, which when used gently will remove surface dirt from many objects. Hope that helps!

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