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Head of Frame Conservation

We asked the Head of Frame Conservation at National Museums Liverpool why and how they become a conservator

conservator unwrapping a frame from plastic sheeting

"I started my apprenticeship as a 16 year old at Cammel Lairds as a ships joiner in 1969. In 1976 I left Cammel Lairds as a time served joiner and started my new employment with Merseyside County Council at the Walker Art Gallery as a maintenance joiner. Then in 1978 I was made up to forman joiner at the Walker Art Gallery.

At that time I started to take an interest in the construction and treatments to picture frames in the collection. Before then no one was working on the frames. I was encouraged by curators and other conservators to retrain myself. I therefore enrolled on different gilding and surface decoration courses within this country and abroad to improve my overall knowledge relating to the subject of frames.

In 1986 I was invited by the then Head of Conservation to become Head of Frame Conservation and set up a dedicated Frame Conservation Section. I like my work as every day brings new challenges and it is very satisfying to be able to put the original gilded frames back together ready for display."