The instructor show how to test adhesives which use with washi

Training course on Japanese Paper for Conservation was held at GEM-CC from March 4th to 8th. The aim of the course is that Japanese paper, washi, made with Japanese traditional techniques contributes to preserve ancient Egyptian artifacts.

Techniques and knowledge to preserve paper-based cultural heritage such as Japanese painting, calligraphy and manuscripts have been developed in Japan where the climate is humid and warm, which make things difficult to preserve such an organic material for a long term. Use of Japanese paper is not limited to preserve paper-based arts and products but also for conservation of other materials. Today, washi paper is often used for conservation treatment of variety of materials in western countries as well.

Hand by hand, the instructor teaches how to treat Japanese paper and how to apply it on artifacts

Japanese paper is already used in Egypt for conservation. However, the users often applied it without understanding material characteristics, various kinds of papers to be used in different conditions and materials and associated materials to use with washi such as natural adhesives. This course started from touching and feeling the washi itself and introduced from its productions, testing material behaviors and a way to strengthen papers materials through both lectures and practices. It would help the conservators to understand important characteristics of Japanese paper and hopefully, they come with creative ideas to apply it to conservation ancient Egyptian artifacts.

Strict eyes of the instructor check the work done by the trainee

The course is specially prepared for conservators of the GEM-CC by the three Japanese experts who specialize in conservation and conservation science, particularly of Japanese paper, Mr. Masato Kato and Ms. Kyoko Kusunoki from the National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, Tokyo, and Sayaka Inoue from Shugo Co. Ltd.

From an approach of material science, particular kinds of paper used for conservation of Japanese cultural heritage were looked at. Lectures and practical training about manufacturing process of washi paper, techniques of paper conservation and traditional, organic adhesives used for paper conservation in Japan were conducted.