A climbing palm of tropical Southeast Asia, rattan has supplied material over the centuries for everyday objects and artworks. What is the surface made of? What are the unique characteristics of rattan? Examining laboratory analysis from electron microscopy, confocal laser scanning, and stereo-microscopy, this lecture focuses on rattan’s lustrous surface and material stability.
Dr Hanna M. Szczepanowska (United States/Singapore), Senior Conservation Scientist, is currently setting up the Research Laboratory and Programme for National Heritage Board in Singapore. She obtained a PhD in material science from the University of Lyon, France, and a Masters Degree in paper and parchment conservation from the University of Nicolaus Copernicus, Torun, Poland. Prior to moving to Singapore, she worked for over ten years at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, United States, taught at George Washington University, Washington DC, and served as a consultant in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Georgia. She received two Fulbright Scholarships to Malta and Egypt, advising the government in both countries on cultural heritage.
Image credit: Courtesy Hanna Szczepanowska.