The three-month training course supported by Tata Trusts under its Art Conservation Initiative, came to a successful end in the month of December 2022
The three-month training course in the conservation and restoration of wooden objects and sculptures, supported by Tata Trusts under its Art Conservation Initiative, came to a successful end in the month of December 2022 at the Himalayan Society for Heritage and Art Conservation, Ranibagh, Uttarakhand.
During the course five participants were trained in the best practices of wood conservation. Heritage wooden objects and sculptures are found in abundance in not only Indian museums and collections, but also in heritage sites and personal collections. The different variety of wood available in India and its material technology are crucial in understanding how to plan for the conservation treatment of wooden art objects. Understanding the various factors that affect its deterioration and the different kinds of damages it may undergo were also focussed on during the training. Objects were sourced from around the country, including wooden objects with painted surfaces, decorative items, historic furniture and panels, to inform the participants of the rich history and style of regional woodwork. The course was helmed by Anupam Sah, senior conservator and academic consultant to the Trusts’ Art Conservation Initiative, and Mr. KK Pandey, a senior wood scientist, along with visiting faculty called in for specific sessions. A full time course anchor was present on site at the lab to supervise the participants during their practical work, as well as coordinate the implementation of the course.
The participants were taught to correctly identify wood via microscopic analysis, document, clean, handle and repair damaged wooden objects, as well as how to restore and house them appropriately. Specific sessions wood porosity, joinery and wood carving, wood anatomy helped the participants devise and implement minimal, yet appropriate conservation treatments for the objects. Upon completion of the course, the five participants will embark on one-month long internships to hone and apply the skills learnt during the course.
Here are some glimpses of the training course in action.