Student Contributors 2015

Dorothy Cheng was an MA student after completing graduate and postgraduate diplomas in the conservation of metalwork program. Prior to coming to West Dean, she worked as an independent jewelry designer and artist in Seattle, WA for five years, making work with historical and literary underpinnings. Dorothy graduated from University of Washington in 2008 with a BFA in Metal Design. She was excited to be exploring all facets of historical metal objects through the lens of conservation science at West Dean College.

Yuqi Chock fell into conservation in a rather roundabout way. Following a degree in Chinese Language (specialising in Economics), she went on a one-year furniture making and restoration course at The Chippendale School of Furniture in Scotland. After a brief spell working as a furniture maker and restorer, she embarked on a Furniture Conservation internship at the Heritage Conservation Center in Singapore. Prior to coming on the West Dean Postgraduate Diploma Conservation of Furniture and Related Objects programme, Yuqi completed the MA in Principles of Conservation at University College London. Her conservation interests include Chinese furniture, Peranakan Chinese furniture, Asian lacquer, ancient Syrian seals, textile impressions on clay sealings and ethical issues arising from the replication of objects.

Jon Colombo was a postgraduate diploma student in the Conservation of Clocks and Related Objects programme. In his 50s, he is new to horology. Jon started work as an archaeologist with degrees from London and Oxford. From the mid '80s into the '90s he moved into IT, gaining an MBA with Director's Commendation from City University, and setting up business continuity and information security departments for large financial institutions. From this he moved into consultancy, advising government departments and large corporates on information security. He held a number of advanced industry qualifications; publishing and speaking on a variety of Information Security topics at international conferences. Jon is now returning to his roots in heritage, aiming to work as an independent craftsman directly with historic artifacts, hence his taking the course at West Dean.

C├ęcilia Duminuco has a degree in the conservation-restoration of works of art, and she specialized in paintings. She's particularly interested in paper and graphic arts, and fascinated by all the world of manuscripts and illuminations, which is what she wants to learn to work on now. For this, she's studying on the books and library materials programme.

Tiffany Eng was a postgraduate diploma student in the Books and Library Materials program at West Dean College. She has a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design. During her time at art school Tiffany developed in interest the natural degradation of art, which in a roundabout way, led her to find the conservation program. It's kind of a long story, but you can email her about it if you're ever interested. She one day wishes to be famous enough for someone else to write her bios.

Peter Jenkins was a postgraduate metalwork conservation student at West Dean. He has a strong interest and passion for the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau, not only for the aesthetics and beauty of the work, but also the ethics and social ideas, which he researched during his degree at Brighton University studying politics and social policy. Having studied at West Dean, his metalwork interests have broadened into many different fields, including arms and armour, and iron work and blacksmithing.

Jonathon Kelly trained and worked as a manufacturing engineer for several years solving technical issues on production lines. However, preferring to work with his hands and, with a longstanding interest in mechanical devices, he re-trained in horology at Birmingham City University. After graduating he gained further experience in a number of working environments from commercial workshops to a period of self-employment. Between February and July 2014 Jonathon was employed as a Junior Conservator at West Dean College to assist the Lead Conservator on a major commercial project to repair and conserve an 18th Century Organ Clock made by George Pyke. Aiming to work in the heritage sector Jonathon then completed the postgraduate diploma in the conservation of clocks at West Dean.

Noah Smutz was a postgraduate student in Conservation of Books and Library Materials and continued on to the MA degree. Before coming to West Dean Noah became interested in book conservation while studying for his undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas in 2010. His prior conservation experience includes working in the Stannard Conservation Laboratory at the University of Kansas and an internship in the Smithsonian Archives paper conservation lab.

Julia Tauber is trained goldsmith and jeweller; she apprenticed in Budapest and continued her career in London where she was employed by Yen in Hatton garden. As she is not just interested in making but also conserving of metal she found her way to West Dean, where she indulges in the diversity of metal working techniques. Her new love is Blacksmithing and toolmaking, but in the future she would like to conserve precious metals. She was especially fascinated by the Columbian art exhibited at the British Museum in 2014.

Jane Townsend was born in Portsmouth and has lived in the local area all her life, she initially followed an interest in art and ceramics and worked with her father who is a studio potter in Lee on the Solent. Financial pressures led to a very rewarding career for 25 years in Mental Health Nursing in the community where she was working with severe and enduring mental health problems and substance misuse issues. When the job changed and she felt she was no longer able to provide the care she believed was vital to service users she took the opportunity to take early retirement. She then studied on the Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Ceramics and Related Materials.

Roger Williams is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and previously worked as Preservation Assistant at the Rare Book School in Charlottesville, Virginia. He studied on the MA programme after getting graduate and postgraduate degrees in book conservation at West Dean.

Editor: Abigail Bainbridge is Associate Tutor in the books department at West Dean and is the conservation science tutor at Camberwell College of Arts. She runs Bainbridge Conservation with Tristram Bainbridge, who also teaches at West Dean. Before moving to the UK she worked at Columbia University and Paper Dragon Books, both in New York City. Abigail has an MA with distinction in Conservation Studies from West Dean and a BFA in Printmaking and Art History with a concentration in Book Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Current research interests include nondestructive analysis of degraded paper and 18th century French bookbinding. She is the founder of this blog, which she started as a student (Abigail Uhteg then) at West Dean.