MA Conservation Studies, Ceramics & Related Materials
West Dean College
I recently completed the Graduate Diploma Ceramics Conservation course at West Dean College and with the generous support of the Anna Plowden Trust I was able to progress to the Conservation Master’s programme.
During my time at West Dean College I have been involved in a broad range of historical and archaeological conservation projects, each with its own challenges and learning outcomes. I am also engaging with material science, professional studies and focusing on my research dissertation. Additionally, I have been offered a six-week placement at the Royal Collection Trust. The placement will be a great opportunity to gain valuable hands-on conservation experience, further translating theory into practice.
Among the variety of objects I am working on, the most challenging is a late Iron Age ceramic burial vessel from a local collection. The vessel was highly fragmented, it was in 176 sections which had worn edges and missing fragments. The treatment started a year ago as a group project, and we have collaborated with the curators and our tutors to understand the best and most ethical approach for the object. It is a great challenge to treat the sherds, reconstruct the vessel and fill the voids to ensure the object is structurally stable enough to be exhibited early in 2020. On completion of this project I will be able to share my experience with the Graduate Diploma students and assist with the treatment and reconstruction of a similar vessel from the same burial.
Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Conservation Studies is allowing me to expand my skills and knowledge as a conservator, and to develop my research into the longevity of a specific retouching medium.