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Maille Man helps keep heritage alive

19 May 2022

Cardiff-trained conservator shares expertise in Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan

Cardiff conservator with a passion for heritage crafts Phil Parkes is showcasing his expertise in an exhibition dedicated to keeping Welsh crafts alive.

Documenting heritage craft skills from the critically endangered to the thriving, shoemaking to lithography, basketmaking to thatching, Crefftwr | Heritage Crafts in Wales celebrates the people keeping traditional ways of working alive and highlights Wales as a hotbed for heritage craft.

Exhibition visitors can see exceptional examples of handmade original crafts - including examples of pin riveted and wedge riveted maille crafted by the conservator - alongside a specially commissioned photographic series documenting the makers in the studio environment by Dewi Tannatt Lloyd.

Phil pursued his interest in practical and craft skills, researching and producing maille armour using traditional techniques, and is sharing progress in making a copy of a 15th century standard. Most recently he shared his expertise in a maille-making workshop at the Firing Line Museum as part of a packed family weekend,

Supporting hundreds of students through the range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees taught in the university’s specialist conservation laboratories, the Cardiff-based conservator has worked on all manner of artefacts from the UK and overseas for museums and heritage organisations.

Highlights include projects on ancient Egyptian faience tiles from beneath the step pyramid of Djoser, recently unearthed Roman coin hoards from Carmarthenshire and medieval treasures from Pembrokeshire, all now on display at their respective homes: the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Carmarthen Museum and St David's Cathedral.

Reader in Conservation Phil Parkes ACR, FIIC (BSc Archaeological Conservation, 1992) teaches on the wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate conservation courses on offer at the university.

Curated by Lewis Prosser, Crefftwr | Heritage Crafts in Wales is a partnership between Turner House Gallery, Heritage Crafts funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, running until 12 June at Turner House Gallery, Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan.

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