From textiles to lacquer

Doctoral student Jing Han was supported by a generous bursary from the TC Foundation during her three years of study (2014-2016) during which she focused on textile dyeing in ancient China.  Her archival research on historical Chinese dye recipes was complemented by chemical analysis of dyes on historical and archaeological textiles, along with art historical, botanical and colour studies.  As a result Jing  was able to create the first complete picture of dyeing techniques in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, China (1368-1911).

Jing successfully completed her research and was awarded her doctorate in the summer of 2016.  She then contributed, as postdoctoral researcher, to a number of ongoing dye research projects at the Centre before finally leaving in the summer of 2017.

Dr Jing Han is now working at the Getty Conservation Institute where she is researching lacquer.  She writes:

"During the last 10 years, scientists and conservators from the Getty Conservation Center working on the Characterization of Asian and European Lacquer project have developed a very innovative methodology for the sampling and analysis of the organic components of lacquer as part of their, which achieved increased sensitivity and a wider range of detectable compounds.

As the lacquer research enters the next stage, I am very honoured to join this excellent team and cooperate with fellows in different countries to carry out research on the degradation and cleaning of lacquer. My primary task is to characterise the chemical components of various lacquer samples. The main analytical technique I will use is liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detector and mass spectrometry (LC-DAD-MS). Does it sound familiar? Absolutely. The knowledge, skills and insights I obtained during my doctoral research at the Centre for Textile Conservation provide a solid foundation for this work. In addition, I still have textiles in mind for sure, and have already learned about a wonderful dyestuff collection here at the GCI. I will also have more chances to communicate with textile researchers, curators and conservators in the US. the future is full of potential…."

Dr Jing Han will go far and everyone at the TC Foundation is delighted at Jing's success in securing this post.  We wish her well!

 Jing using the uHPLC at the Centre for Textile Conservation

Jing using the uHPLC at the Centre for Textile Conservation

 Dr Jing Han at the Getty Conservation Institute

Dr Jing Han at the Getty Conservation Institute