Day 41 - 27 October
At the end of last week Matthew started to reassemble the head mechanism. He noticed that the mounting block the fish sits on is wearing slightly. Some time in the near future this problem will need to be addressed, allowing the fish mechanism to operate for many years to come.
Karen is still hard at work cleaning the frame that the Swan sits on.
Today will see work continuing on the head and neck and the start of the cleaning process of the springs.
Day 42 - 28 October
Yesterday the reassembling of the head was completed and the fish repaired so that the movement in and out of the Swan’s mouth works a lot better.
Today, Matthew will continue to clean the springs so that they are prepared, ready for another trip to Durham University tomorrow where they will be inserted back into their barrels. He will also work on the reflective backing plate, which allows the light to shine through the glass rods. First of all is the creation of the card templates which will be cut out at Durham tomorrow. These will then help to produce the brass plate which a silver leafier will cover and in conjunction with the glass rods will give the perception of the water sparkling.
Day 43 - 29 October
Today Matthew is taking another trip to Durham this time to replace the Springs which were cleaned yesterday back into the main barrels. Whilst he is at Durham University he will be taking advantage of their facilities and cutting out the reflective backing plate template.
Whilst Matthew is away Karen is preparing the surface of the original 18th century frame by removing the silver paint so that gilding will replace it. All but one part of the frame will be stripped, this is so that in future there is evidence of what has been used in the past and what is going to be used. Once this has been completed she will then clean the modern 20th century frame.
Day 44 - 30 October
Yesterday was a very successful day at Durham University. The springs were placed back inside the barrels and the reflective backing template was cut out ready for the production of the brass one.
Today you will be able to hear Matthew explain the progress of the Silver Swan Conservation Project before he starts reassembling it next week.
We are pleased to welcome representatives of The British Horological Institute at the lecture today.
Day 45 - 31 October
Today Matthew and Karen will make sure all materials and tools are in place for next weeks reassembling. All parts will be checked to make sure they are in the correct order so that everything goes quickly and smoothly.
Roger Smith, who is researching the Swan's history , is visiting to study the disassembled Swan to assist his research.
Ken Robinson, a ceramics conservator who is cleaning the glass rods, is coming to see Matthew to discuss making some new collets for the rods.