Conservation of Plastics – advanced professional development workshop


Tuesday, June 12, to Friday, June 15, 2018
Monday, June 18, to Thursday, June 21, 2018

This advanced professional development workshop will be offered twice by CCI (two weeks back to back). To apply, please complete the application form. When using the form, please choose the session that you wish to attend or indicate if you are open to both sessions (select the third option).  


Canadian Conservation Institute
1030 Innes Road
Ottawa, ON K1B 4S7

Application deadline:
Friday, April 13, 2018
Language of instruction:
The workshop will be divided between morning theoretical sessions and afternoon practical, hands-on exercises.
Yvonne Shashoua, Senior Researcher, National Museum of Denmark
Registration fee:
* Includes the workshop training material, refreshments and lunches on all days.

© Government of Canada, Canadian Conservation Institute. CCI 124917-0044
Figure 1. Polyurethane maquette for mechanically operated fly-creature in David Cronenberg’s movie The Fly (Jim Isaac, Chris Walas Inc., c. 1984–1985, the David Cronenberg Collection, TIFF Film Reference Library, accession number 2000-001-01.0099).

Workshop overview

During the consultation CCI carried out to develop its 2015–2020 Strategic Plan, clients reported that one of their major challenges is in dealing with non-traditional materials. A recent survey showed that plastics are the materials most frequently mentioned amongst these problematic modern materials.

This workshop is aimed at mid-career conservation professionals from a broad range of disciplines who have an interest in but not necessarily experience working with plastics. Its focus will be the degradation pathways and conservation of 3-D plastics (found in works of art and objects) as well as 2-D plastic materials (such as those found in packaging and photographic films). It will not address topics such as acrylic paintings, synthetic adhesives, consolidants and coatings used to conserve non-plastics objects.

PowerPoint presentations, data sheets, selected papers and a reading list will be provided.


Yvonne Shashoua is a Senior Researcher at the National Museum of Denmark. Her work focuses on investigating the degradation and conservation of plastics. After graduating in industrial chemistry, she worked as a paint technologist for Berger Paints in England. She joined the British Museum as a conservation scientist in 1988. Starting in 1995, she specialized in the deterioration reactions and conservation of cellulose nitrate, cellulose acetate and rubber. Yvonne relocated to Denmark in 1998 when she was offered a PhD scholarship in the degradation pathways and conservation of plasticized PVC at the Technical University of Denmark and the National Museum. She has more than 100 publications to her credit, including a monograph Conservation of Plastics: Materials Science, Degradation and Preservation, published by Routledge in 2008. Yvonne was the coordinator of the International Council of Museums – Committee for Conservation’s working group Modern Materials and Contemporary Art until 2008. She researched cleaning of plastics as part of the collaborative EU 7th Framework research project POPART (Preservation of Plastics Artefacts in Museums) between 2008 and 2012. Between January and July 2012, she was a Getty Conservation Institute scholar researching the effectiveness of adsorbents for cellulose acetate film. Current active research interests include the stability of bioplastics, the application of nanomaterials to clean and consolidate modern artworks and the transfer of knowledge from degradation of plastics in museums to plastics in the environment.

Number of participants

A maximum of 20 participants per workshop will be selected. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens.

Learning objectives

“Conservation of Plastics” will enable participants to:

  • identify the major families of polymers in cultural collections
  • identify the most problematic additives
  • understand the causes and recognize and monitor symptoms of degradation in different types of plastic
  • develop preventive and active conservation strategies for plastics in collections

Through hands-on work, participants will practice the latest approaches to preventive and active conservation treatments, with a focus on selecting adsorbents and the least damaging techniques to clean and adhere plastics.

Participants are encouraged to bring personal objects or images of objects to the course for discussion.

How to apply

Please fill out our application form.

Selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • likelihood that the participant can use the course knowledge and skills in their practice
  • ability to share and transfer the knowledge gained during the course to a wider audience
  • professional experience and training
  • citizenship (Preference will be given to Canadian citizens.)

A waiting list will be established once the maximum number of participants has been selected.


Once your registration has been confirmed, you will be contacted by phone to process the payment. The payment will be processed in Canadian funds by credit card (American Express, MasterCard or VISA).

Canadian federal government employees must provide IS Reference Codes or a commitment number, department code and cost centre.


Requests to withdraw must be submitted in writing to CCI. Refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • a full refund less a CAN$25 administrative fee for requests received at least 21 days prior to the start of the workshop
  • a full refund less a CAN$50 administrative fee for requests received between 20 and 7 days prior to the start of the workshop
  • no refund for requests received less than 7 days prior to the start of the workshop

Exceptions to this refund policy may be made in the event of insurmountable difficulties in attending the workshop.


CCI reserves the right to cancel this workshop if the minimum enrolment requirement is not met 30 days prior to the event. In such cases, CCI will refund the full registration fee but will not be responsible for any transportation, housing, loss of income or other costs that may have been incurred by the participants.

Additional information

Please contact CCI if you require additional information.

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