SEAHA Microfadeometry Training Day

In collaboration with UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage and the Heritage Science Group of the UK Institute for Conservation, SEAHA students Carolien Coon and Betty Sacher in collaboration with their external supervisor Dr Jacob Thomas of the University of Gothenburg, organised a training day in microfadeometry on the 9th of September.

The ten participants got to experiment with this exciting technique trying to establish the light sensitivity of heritage materials and objects, and developing an acceptable lighting policy on the basis of the measurements. Using the technique, we illuminate a spot the size of less than a millimeter, and simultaneously follow colour changes in the same spot, directly on the object in question. The technique is thus microdestructive, however, the spot is almost impossible to find afterwards, as the induced colour change is virtually undetectable by the naked eye. Given that there is no other similar technique available to assess the actual art or heritage object that may need to be put on display, such microdestructive tests may well be acceptable.

In the frame of her PhD research Betty is looking at the development of sustainable lighting policies using microfadeometry, and Carolien is exploring how useful this technique is for objects produced using rapid prototyping.

It was an exciting day for all and a successful start of collaboration between SEAHA and the UK Institute for Conservation. Based on the interest, we may well organise another such day very soon.