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Helen Bower, 2009/10

Helen graduated from the University of York in February 2011, with an MA in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management. The course is the only one of its kind in the English speaking world and Helen and her seven colleagues were its first intake.

There are both practical and academic aspects to the course but as Helen had already worked in glass for 17 years she chose the course for academic challenges. She made “substantial progress in art historical research and essay writing, and the use of information technology. She also looked into planning and project management, documentation and report writing, the role of the conservator to advise and counsel the client, and therefore also the importance of good communication and presenting skills”. She gained an understanding of how money and time constraints, as well as the views of committees and/or parishioners, can determine a conservation plan. She also conserved a small, early 17th century, stained, painted and leaded roundel.

In sum, “the course has been a challenging and greatly rewarding experience which has further equipped me to deal with the increasing demands of stained glass conservation, and has show how conservators need to be persuasive advocates for our country’s wealth of stained glass windows”.