Category: Biography

Skiing and Chinese Scrolls

After excellent skiing in France 2018 has started very busy! I am now listed on the Conservation Register and starting to get some interesting work through the register.
In March I completed framing a modern Chinese scroll nearly 2m long and even helped hanging it in the clients dining room – a real treat to see the result of my labours up and enjoyed.
I had a simple, brown stained deep wooden frame made by my framer and then the decisions began – how to secure the scroll within the frame safely and securely….

My answer came with the help of Vivak ©. Close up of scroll on shelfI made small shelves for the scrolls to sit on, slotting the ‘L’ shaped Vivak © through the mount card backing. I also then made ‘clips’ to curl around the scroll to hold it in place and stop it rolling back up. But how did it not sag in the middle I hear you say – small, discreet Japanese hinges were adhered to the back of the scroll top and bottom edge and secured to the backboard. The tissue was thin yet strong enough to hold the scroll in position and not distort it. I had the scroll in the frame sitting on my spare sofa for a week to make sure that nothing moved, warped or generally did something I didn’t want it to – and it didn’t!

Final Result:

I was worried about transporting the framed scroll, so was very happy when it arrived at the clients – un-moved! It looks very handsome in their beautiful Chinese themed dining room – a lovely addition and a reminder of happy travels.
I’m now ready and waiting for my next conservation challenge! Have you got a valued treasure you want to enjoy but not destroy? Conservation framing may be the answer – ask me how.

Conservation by Design 25th Anniversary Conference – and a sink.

I had a brilliant time last week at the Conservation by Design 25th Anniversary Conference celebrations. There was a good mix of talks and the opportunity to visit the factory and see how the products are made and put together. I found the polyester pocket machine quite mesmerising!

The day started off with Paull Messier discussing his collaborative photographic survey at the Hermitage. Paul gave an insightful talk on the Hermitage and the way the curators protected their collections from being sold off by hiding them within the catalogue systems. Gives a whole new meaning to the role of curators. He also described the way different departments protected their treasures from each other – something I think people can relate to even now!

Conservation conference, Emily O'Reilly Setting up my studio I was looking at what to use instead of Gore-Tex during humidification, something I have been using for many years, and thanks to Mark Allen from Flintshire Records Office I found it! Hydra Air PTFE…. Mark was demonstrating its use during the day on some parchment. I’ll let you know how I get on when it has arrived – just ordered some!

The day was topped off with an excellent cake – tasted as good as it looks. Although I did laugh at the fondant icing white gloves, what with the current debate about gloves in the conservation community. Should you use them v never use them! But maybe that’s a topic for another blog post??

Many thanks to all the Conservation by Design staff for a well organised day, Paper Conservation, paper conservator, sink, conferencetheir hospitality was much appreciated and the mug will now be my official ‘work day’ coffee cup!

Lovely opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues. Thanks also to the excellent Richard Hawkes for kindly passing on a large conservation sink – I really did come home with the kitchen sink!!

Antiques Roadshow, the experts and selfies….

Wednesday 6th September I spent most of the day at Cardiff Castle queuing up to meet an expert! I took some of my collection along, even took my ‘A’ level project (shockingly discovering it was 27 years old!)…. which reminded me that I really need to have a look at some of my own stuff: acidic mounts and thunder flies all need to be sorted out, but I don’t know when I’ll have the time! I met Dendy Easton – the pictures man….

I didn’t make the cut for filming – but had a good time anyway. Met a couple of other ‘mums’ from school and we had a look at what we had brought along and gave each other appraisals.

We all enjoyed spotting the experts, Christopher Payne (antiques man) came and gave an impromptu appraisal on a hall chair, 2 people down in the queue from us.

Emily O'Reilly Paper ConservationShamelessly took this selfie of me with Fiona the Bruce! Zoom in and you can see her.

Antiques Roadshow celebrating 40 years this year – I remember watching it in the ’70’s – always cut short the Sunday bonfire fun as I recall!!

It’s September and I’ve got no excuses!

It’s September and I’ve got no excuses!

September 2017…. Thanks to ReAct funding I have just completed a Social Media for Business diploma at Pitman Training in Cardiff. My last day was Friday 1st September and after 27 visits, over 130 hours and 13 modules I can honestly say I really enjoyed it and have got so much out of it! This website being testament to the WordPress module – that I got a distinction in! I was even student of the month for August!

But now for the hard work – setting up my business and getting clients. I now have the foundations and the tools to get on with the job.

I hope this blog will give a bit of an insight into who I am and what I do. I intend to make a post every week – but please forgive me if I don’t – particularly in the ski season….

Feel free to message or send me a question, follow me on Twitter if you dare!