Workshop on slide making

Sunday 20th March 2022

The slide-making workshop hosted by the Northamptonshire Natural History Society was attended by 12 enthusiastic microscopists from near and far.  This was an all-day session and included various topical themes, starting with the use of Liquid Optically Clear Adhesive (LOCA) expertly explained and demonstrated by Gordon Brown.  One big advantage of using LOCA as a mountant is that it can be cured quickly using UV light to produce a ready-made slide in minutes.  This was followed by a short overview of different staining techniques using various botanical sections prepared by Mike Asquith.  Using these sections, participants were  invited to try out some staining techniques to make their own slides and, after drying, using LOCA as the mountant.  In the afternoon Peter Sunderland showed us how to ring slides and everyone had an opportunity of trying out the technique under his supervision and guidance.  As well as botanical slides participants were able to make a variety of others including butterfly wing scales, pollen slides, and samples of foraminiferous sand from Dog’s Bay in Connemara.

Mike Asquith demonstrating staining techniques of ready-prepared botanical slide sections.

Stuart, Peter and Gordon in discussion.

Gordon Brown’s slide ringing tables

Butterfly wings – source material for scales slides

Report and photographs by Mike Gibson and Robert Ratford