Diary of a House Elf… Packing up!

We are now in the midst of packing up the objects in the house ready for electrical rewiring to take place over the winter months. After the success of rolling the Library carpet we have moved onto packing the fragile items in the Dining Room, including a delicate set of glasses. You may have noticed some of these glasses on the Dining table but did you know many more are stored inside the colossal Charlecote buffet? Next time you visit us see if you can spot the hidden doors and drawers in this fantastic piece of furniture.

Because this particular glass is so fragile we haven’t simply smothered them in tissue and bubblewrap as there is a risk they may be put under too much pressure and break. They could also be damaged when it comes to unpacking layer upon layer of wrapping. Instead we have created a framework structure within the crate using a fantastic material called plastazote (this gets used for absolutely everything, its wonderful stuff!).

Before being packed the glasses are lightly dusted using a paintbrush with soft pony hair bristles. It’s important to only use these super soft bristles as they will not scratch or mark the glass like coarser hog hair might do. Next a length of cotton tape is tied around the stems of the object with the ends resting inside the glass.

This cotton tape will be used later as a kind of sling to gently lift the glass up until you can get your hand in to support it and lift the whole item out of the crate safely. This method means you don’t have to pinch the rims of the glasses to lift them out as this is a vulnerable area that could easily chip or break. Finally the glass then gets wrapped in a cosy layer of acid free tissue and is slotted into its very own section inside the crate. The glasses can now be stored safely without the chance of them falling over or knocking into each other.

They will remain all tucked up until early 2013 when the rewiring project is completely finished.

Julie, House Steward


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