Date: 11 February 2013
Wind speed: 12 knots
Regular readers may already know that Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators have two 'labs' (or laboratories) at Scott Base, a summer one and a winter one. The summer one is small and in a container outside the main building. Luckily, in winter, the base gets pretty empty and Scott Base staff let us enjoy a very spacious lab inside the base. We will move into the lab once all ship fuel and cargo offloads for the winter season, as they use the space as a temporary staging post. But we were all so excited to start working that we set up a temporary lab inside while two of us began work in the 'summer' lab.
Stefanie starts work in the conservator's cage's dust cabinet
Adjacent to the winter lab is a storage area divided into compartments, by wire fences (each about 8sqm). Jaime, our carpenter conservator, had already planned to have his workshop in one of these 'cages', and we just followed his idea. As the summer scientists left the base, we requested the cages: one for the photography area, one to work in … and so on. We transformed the shelves into benches and, to be really clean in an area that wasn't already ours, we built up a very basic dust cabinet. With several kinds of plastic sheet we made an enclosed area with a window and access holes for our hands and the Dremel, a drill-like tool we use to mechanically remove corrosion from metal artefacts. So, here we are, hands in the cage's cage!
Jaime has set up his workshop for the season
The cages are actually really convenient to isolate the different task areas. When the two people still working in the summer lab join us in the freshly installed winter lab, I'm pretty sure we'll try to keep some of our lovely cages as they are. But we'll let you know …