Having completed successfully the first two years of the BA Conservation Studies, I changed to the Post Graduate Diploma Course which allowed me to specialise in glass conservation study. To support this focus I worked with tutor Carey Smith in the Glass Studio, designing and making stained glass windows as an essential step towards understanding their construction. Using the Conservation department’s Q-Switched 1064nm ND:YAG laser I have successfully cleaned a partially buried, Victorian stained glass transom panel, safely removing dirt that was impervious to alternative physical or chemical approaches.
On graduating I will earn my living as a gilder, and as designer and maker of stained glass works, including verre eglomisé* panels as decorative artworks and mirrors, together with flat glass conservation.
I am proud to have worked with British sculptor Terry New, FRBS, gilding his inspiring, large scale commissioned work for a Glasgow hospice.
I am most grateful to the Museum of London for my student placement in the Applied Arts section of their Conservation Department. Their excellent programme allowed me to learn from a variety of projects, including metal and glass objects and collection care. My thanks to Head of Conservation and Collection Care, Robert Payton, and Helen Ganiaris and her team for giving me this opportunity. Warm thanks also to Judith Weatherall, who first taught me to gild at West Dean College and to John Reyntiens for his time and advice.
I would also like to particularly thank Victoria Oakley and Sherrie Eatman at the V&A for their time and essential expert advice on the conservation approach to the Victorian stained glass transom panel and John Mannell at Prentice Glass Ltd for his help with the strengthened reconstruction.
My ongoing thanks also to City & Guilds Conservation Course Director Dr Marina Sokhan for taking me on as a mature student and supporting me through the challenge of a significant career change, to all the Conservation teaching staff and to my endlessly patient and skilled Glass Tutor and Mentor, Carey Smith.
I could not have even thought about doing any of this, not least actually achieve a new set of commercial practical skills, without the extraordinary gesture of time and financial support from my husband, Mr Seedhouse.
*verre eglomisé: glass backed with engraved gold leaf