Shayne Rivers MA FIIC

Research Skills and Cross-curriculum Practice

Shayne Rivers is an acknowledged world expert in the conservation of furniture and Asian lacquer. She has lectured on conservation in the USA, Australia, Japan, Europe and the UK, and has been involved in the education of the next generation of conservators throughout her professional career.

Shayne trained in cabinetmaking and furniture restoration before graduating in 1998 with an MA in Conservation from the Royal College of Art/V&A. She was a senior conservator at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1999-2015 where she was responsible for the conservation of furniture and decorative surfaces on wood. She was a contributing editor for Conservation of Furniture (2003), now considered the definitive text in the field. From 2003-2008, she co-managed the Mazarin Chest Project, a collaborative conservation and research project that incorporated five PhDs and produced more than 25 peer-reviewed publications, including the book East Asian Lacquer: Material Culture, Science and Conservation (2011).

Shayne is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Chemistry Department at Imperial College London and a Fellow of the International Institute of Conservation since 2003. She was an external examiner for the BSc Restoration and Conservation at London Metropolitan Museum from 2000-04. She was an MA supervisor on the RCA/VA conservation course, had an active development and advisory role in five PhDs between 2005-2011, and is currently an external PhD supervisor at the University of the Arts, London. She was Wood Conservation Module Leader at City and Guilds of London Art School 2012-14, and has made a regular teaching contribution to the ICCROM/UNESCO biannual International Course on Wood Conservation Technology in Norway since 2002.

Publications for 2015 include Coueignoux, C. and Rivers, S. 'Conservation of photodegraded urushi surfaces: four case studies' in Journal of the American Institute for Conservation; Bainbridge, T., Rivers, S., Newman, N., Thackray, A., and Yamashita, Y. 'Goberge, shimbari, go-bars: the use of flexible sticks for clamping' in Journal of the American Institute for Conservation; Thei, J., Rivers, S. and Taylor, A.C. A preliminary examination of urushi-based conservation options for the treatment of photodegraded lacquer using scanning electron microscopy and profilometry in Saunders, D. and Rivers, S. (eds) Studies in Conservation supplemental issue: Conservation of Asian Lacquer.

Research interests

Current research includes the use of surfactants for cleaning Asian lacquer, treatment of corroded lead inlays on Japanese lacquer and the effect of RH on conservation adhesives.

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