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In 2009 I became a PhD research student at Bradford University and The National Museums Liverpool with a thesis title of Sustainable Radiography for the Twenty-First Century, Optimising Filmless Capture Techniques.
During the course of the project I have been involved with the radiography of the Staffordshire Hoard, eighteenth century stays, a WWII canvas kayak, paintings, furniture, flowers, ship models, musical instruments and even a silk garment found on a murder victim.
Some of the most enjoyable objects to X-ray have been the ordinary, every-day ones, which can be surprisingly engaging. The weeping doll on the facing page was taken on one of the ‘X-ray Your Toy Days’ that I helped deliver at the Conservation Centre in Liverpool. The doll was revealed to be broken by the X-ray, which I find a nice detail.
I have also lectured at and helped to deliver a radiography course at Bradford University aimed at heritage professionals.
I have experimented with a range of X-ray techniques, such as electron emission and stereo radiography and am working on a paper on radiographic image quality indicators (IQIs) for cultural heritage applications.
It is the magic of X-radiography that I find so compelling: it reduces an object to a sort of smoky ephemeral shadow that can be amazingly transfixing and even abstract.