2024 Island of Zakynthos (Greece): Intensive Workshop for Textile Conservation & Interpretation

Location: Zakynthos, Greece

Season: June 2, 2024 to June 15, 2024

Session Dates: Single Session

Deadline Type: Rolling


Discount for AIA members: None

Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Center for Field Sciences, Balkan Heritage Foundation & Ionian University

Project Director:
Assoc. Prof. Christos Karydis, Ionian University & Dr. Angela Pencheva, Balkan Heritage Foundation

Project Description:

The program provides students with intensive training in ethnographic textile conservation. This program is designed for students who are considering a career in conservation and provides focused, in depth training for the study, conservation, preservation, mounting, and reconstruction of one type of ethnographic artifact – textiles. This is a hands-on program and we will cover both theory and practice of textile conservation.
Students will be guided through the history and technology of ecclesiastical, historical, and ethnographic textiles and consequent stages of their study, conservation, and documentation. While most textiles are made with organic materials (cotton, wool, flax, etc), some include the use of metal wires (gold, silver, copper, etc). This program will train students to engage with textiles with both organic and inorganic components.
Students will explore the principles of material conservation, including methods and theories. To better understand structure and materials, students will learn how to use analytical instruments, including optical microscopy, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). Students will learn how to operate and interpret results.
During the program, students will work with authentic and replicas of textiles of various types and sizes. This program takes place at the labs of the Department of the Environment at the Ionian University, on the Greek Island of Zakynthos.

Period(s) of Occupation: Various periods

Tuition cost is $2,838, including room & partial board and 4 semester credit units

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full session

Minimum Age: 18 years old

Experience Required: There are no prerequisites for participation in this field school but note that conservation work requires good manual dexterity skills and ability to carry out delicate bench work. Students will receive hands-on training in conservation work and will spend most of the time learning how to conserve paper, textile, and metals in a lab setting. Students will be taught how to use a variety of laboratory procedures and equipment – from microscopes to analytical instruments. Conservation work is slow and may be tedious. It requires patience and focus. This is an intensive course so we will cover basic and advanced elements of conservation of organic and inorganic ethnographic textiles.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will stay at the family-run Yria Hotel, located near the historical center of Zakynthos. The rooms are comfortable, with 2-4 beds, bathrooms with shower and WC, TV, 24-hour room service, lockers, hair dryers, LAN plugin connection, A/C and a fridge. Laundry service and free Wi-Fi are available at the hotel. Participants are not expected to bring any additional equipment, linen, or towels. Single rooms are available upon request. The program covers only the cost of breakfast. Other meals are not included. There are plenty inexpensive and mid-range local restaurants that offer a typical three-course Greek meal for 10-20 Euros (equivalent to $11-22).

Academic Credit:
4 Semester Credit units from Culver-Stockton College, our School of Record

Contact Information:

Dorian Chee

Los Angeles


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