What clients say…

Just a selection of what my past clients say about me and my work:

Pauline Richards, South Wales November 2023

‘One fateful morning I came downstairs to find water pouring down an inside wall. Realising my Water Colour Paintings (8) were affected by the water. 
On instruction from my insurance company I was told “find someone to save them.” 
I contacted a University to ask their advice and thankfully gave me the name and telephone number for Emily O’Reilly a Conservator. 
In contacting her I was amazed that she offered to open her Studio on a Saturday morning as the paintings needed to be out of their frames asap. 
Now I am very happy to say Emily has worked her magic and saved all eight watercolours that were priceless to our family. 
I have no doubt that without her quick intervention the paintings have been saved and dried, pressed, treated, re-framed and now look amazing in their new frames. 
I highly recommend Emily O’Reilly as an amazing Paper Conservator. 
Her work is amazing.’ 

Pauline Richards 

All eight pictures arrived at the studio damp and covered in mould.
The watercolours had been taped into the mounts with masking tape which needed to be safely removed before the paper could be treated, cleaned of mould and pressed flat, before being mounted in new Museum mounts and frames.
All eight were dried, cleaned, pressed and the mounts and frames replaced to prevent further mould growth.

Peter and Jane Hordley Pembrokeshire and Cardiff March 2021

Frank Brangwyn sketch after treatment and re-fitting in frame

We have used Emily on several previous occasions for our ‘rescued’ artworks purchased at auction and were only too pleased to have her undertake work on our latest acquisitions, a Mary Fedden pencil drawing and a Frank Brangwyn ink sketch.
Both were in need of expert attention, having variously suffered from poor treatment received in earlier mounting, presentation and framing and from subsequent extended ownership neglect.

Mary Fedden drawing before treatment

They’re once again looking refreshed, revived, re-glazed and one reframed, now ready for us to enjoy. Additionally, we have the satisfaction and reassurance of knowing that they’ve been professionally treated and conserved for the future, for which we felt a degree of responsibility.

Emily always provides a detailed assessment, advice and, where relevant, options for presentation in her estimate. On completion, the photographically illustrated report provides comprehensive documentation of the treatment and journey with the work and is an invaluable addition to the provenance of the artwork. The final account has always mirrored the estimate, even though we have asked that any unexpected variables be factored in. She is unfailingly enthusiastic, fun and generous with her time, always making us feel relaxed and very welcome when we have occasion either to visit or speak with her. We consider ourselves fortunate indeed to have someone with Emily’s extensive experience and skills available to us.

Mary Fedden drawing after treatment and framing

Private Client June 2019

“We are really pleased with the restoration and reframing that Emily has carried out for us. Although probably not a great work of art I have a cartoon drawn in 1944 of my father while he was in the RAF in WW II and it has great personal value. For the past seventy five years it had been sandwiched between a sheet of glass and a piece of millboard, held together with insulating tape. Mould had grown on the inside of the glass and there was some damage to the cartoon.

Because we live locally we took it to show Emily and she explained carefully what she could do and also showed us some of her other on-going projects in her workshop. We were happy to entrust the work to her and the repairing, restoration and reframing is all of an exceptionally high standard. The final cost exactly matched the estimate which Emily gave us when we first visited.”

Geoff & Chris Neuss, Llantwit Major

Private Client May 2018

We all have those pieces of art, bought online on impulse – because we like the artist and not the picture. So it was with our chalk drawing. It arrived even uglier than anticipated and languished for a while before we took it for a reframe. Our framer refused to touch it as it was firstly – potentially valuable and secondly – needed serious restoration and conservation. Go see Emily in Penarth she said. So we did. Things got a lot, lot better. We are complete novices in this space and Emily’s patience, tact and skill were a joy. She gave us many options, documented her work, even tapped her network for some more information on our drawing and yes it does look like it’s Slade school, mid 1890’s! However, all of this paled into insignificance when she revealed the magic that she had worked What had been a dreary and ugly drawing was transformed into a vibrant, beautiful drawing, preserved for future generations. We can’t thank her or recommend her enough. Diolch Emily. (Carmarthen)

Private Client April 2018

Emily has worked on a number of paper items for me. She is experienced and extremely knowledgeable, discusses the treatments clearly and gives competitive estimates. As expected from an accredited conservator, Emily uses museum standard conservation techniques. The cleaned and remounted Edwardian watercolours look wonderful. (Penarth)

Private Client November 2017

Finding anyone in Britain who does restoration work on treasured works of art, especially paintings, artwork that can easily be ruined, is challenging, and not a skill when done by a competent artisan technician that is inexpensive, so it was a great comfort to find that conservator Emily O’Reilly, who has impressive credentials, was local to me, which meant I could visit her studio, see examples of her work, and hear first hand about the processes involved that need to be carried out with real care and attention, and in a specific order, ensuring necessary time is allowed for each step or process. This all needs to be individually assessed, and tailored to each painting. It’s a process that has probably not raised the value of our particular painting, a significantly ‘foxed’ watercolour, by more than the cost of the restoration, although this is just my own assessment. Fortunately Emily’s cost was clearly lower than the other shortlisted restorer who was also not local, so we’d have needed to ship our painting to them, but the important outcome was that our painting has been visually returned to near perfect condition using materials that with care on our part will mean our painting sustains its restored condition for a lifetime. In short we are completely satisfied with each of the individual improvements, and overall we are delighted with Emily’s work – J Harris, for L & M Harris (Cardiff)