Back to Basics: Upholstery Conservation Workshop

We are delighted to be hosting an Icon Back-to-Basics Workshop on  Upholstery Conservation on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th February 2016. The two day will course will provide a better understanding of both traditional and modern upholstery, and an introduction to conservation techniques.

The Dining Room at The Bowes Museum, featuring upholstered furniture from John & Josephine Bowes’ Parisian home

Attendees will discuss the materials and techniques used to create upholstered furniture. Using examples from The Bowes Museum’s collection of both French and English upholstered furniture, they will also be able to examine existing upholstery and understand physical evidence on the frame. Non-traditional treatment solutions will be presented to demonstrate a range of problems frequently encountered in the display of original materials and also the recreation of missing historically accurate upholstery.

A period room showing the Neo-Classical style, with a suite of French upholstered furniture

Practical sessions will introduce participants to simple upholstery skills necessary to remove textiles from the frame, and give ideas for discussions with other professionals about how best to reattach them after treatment.

Part of a set of seat furniture which was re-furbished by Monbro for the Bowes’ Blue Saloon in Paris, 1856. Upholstered with 18th century French tapestry seat covers [FW.93.A]
Course Leader: Heather Porter is a freelance upholstery conservator, consultant and upholsterer based in London.  After graduating in 2001 with an MA in Upholstery Conservation from the Royal College of Art/Victoria & Albert Museum. she spent 11 years as an upholstery conservator working for institutions in America and the UK.  Positions included a Post-Graduate internship at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, Fellowship at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and contracts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.  More recently she returned for 3 years to the upholstery trade working for two companies that specialized in traditional and modern upholstery.

Part of a suite from Faulkbourne Hall in Essex, this settee dates to 1720-30 and boasts its original upholstery of needlepoint embroidery [FW.30.A]

The course will run on Thursday 18 February from 9:30 until 5.00 and Friday 19 February from 9:30 until 4.00. There will also be an opportunity to explore The Bowes Museum galleries, conservation studios, and current exhibitions. Morning and afternoon tea will be provide, and a buffet lunch.

Places are strictly limited to 15.

Icon Members: £165.00
Non-Members: £195.00

Places can be booked through Eventbrite.

By Katy Smith, Textile Conservator


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