Research student, School of History, Archaeology and Religion
Prior to becoming an objects conservator, I was a jeweller and I do still make pieces on commission. That said, a previous lecturer informed me that I have little to no design ability whatsoever! Give me a design and I'll make it for you.... ask me to design, that's a different matter!... However, I have always been fascinated with both objects and object creation, and history. As a result, it seems that Metals conservation is perfect as a career choice for me! My specialisation has always been in metals and objects made of metal. This is, at least partially, because the common misconception about metal is that it's a hard obstinate material that will endure forever... when in fact the polar opposite is true, excepting that case of pure gold of course!
My research centers around a plant molecule called saponin. Part of the immune system of plants, it has been shown to be a very good, gentle cleaner for sterling silver. However, practical and logistical limitations mean that it is limited in its applications and it is therefore used in very little capacity for metals conservation. The aim of my research is to understand the mechanisms by which it works and to establish whether some of these practical and logistical limitations might be negotiated.