Conservation students are gaining a unique insight into the painstaking work involved in preserving an important example of interior decoration at Kelmarsh Hall.
A four-month programme is underway to clean, repair and restore the Nancy Lancaster/John Fowler paintwork scheme in the Great Hall and South Stairs. Paint conservators from Campbell Smith and Co have already completed work to the ceiling in the Great Hall. They have been shadowed by students from the University of Lincoln who have been learning about the range of techniques used to preserve and repair flaking paintwork.
Helena Brazil and Josephine McKenzie are both studying for a BA (Hons) in Conservation and Restoration of Historic Objects. Helena, who is writing her major project on the paint restoration programme at Kelmarsh Hall, said: “One of the most important benefits is actually working on site on a project that’s on-going, with a team of full-time professionals.”
Josephine added: “It’s been interesting to learn about the different chemical compositions they use. It’s very different working on site to working in a lab.”
She added: “These things always looks worse before they look better – now the scaffolding is starting to come down, you can really see the difference.”
The University works closely with historic materials conservation consultants, Crick Smith, who arranged the site work with Campbell Smith.
Education is one of the aims and objectives of the Kelmarsh Trust and the Trust is keen to offer a range of learning opportunities.
Members of the public will be able to see the newly-restored paintwork when Kelmarsh Hall re-opens to the public during the Easter weekend.
Paint conservators at work