Next stop, Shanghai!

As the Apprentice Joiner for the Project here in Mount Stewart, I have been given a wonderful opportunity to learn the skills that are needed for conservation joinery. This has so far presented itself in many different ways including training courses in England and the opportunity to work with some very knowledgeable and highly regarded specialists, and now I am very excited to say I have been given the opportunity to travel to Shanghai for 2 weeks to take part in a heritage project.


A view of Tongli, China. Tongli is well known for its system of canals and because of this is known as the ‘Venice of the East’.

During the 2 weeks in Shanghai I will be involved in the renovation of a 100 year old clinic in a town called Tongli. This trip is being run by a charity called Ruan Yisan Heritage Foundation and there are 8 participants, including myself, travelling from the UK. I am very excited and extremely grateful to the Trust for this opportunity as it will be invaluable experience for me as a tradesman and as someone working in the conservation field.

Callum McCaffrey

Apprentice Project Joiner

 

 

15 November 2012 – See Callum’s update on his trip to Shanghai.

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Introduction to our Project Conservator – Fiona

Fiona Austin-Byrne – Project Conservator

As Project Conservator I am responsible for the packing, protection and storage of the historic collection at Mount Stewart. I work closely with the joiners, house staff, family members and specialist engineers and conservators to make this happen as efficiently and professionally as possible, following best practices in conservation, whilst offering access for an enjoyable visitor experience.

Fiona Austin-Byrne (Project Conservator), preparing to meet and greet the public at the Garden & Craft Fair

We hope to improve environmental conditions, display techniques and conserve or replace items to lift the presentation of all rooms.

By the end of the project we will be able to open several more rooms all over the house.

I’m actively seeking volunteers to help me with the following tasks:

  • Moving and packing furniture and objects
  • Making bespoke in-situ protection for fixtures or large items
  • Conservation cleaning and writing condition reports for objects
  • Cataloguing objects (IT skills desirable)
  • Making individual furniture dust covers (basic dressmaking skills essential)

Full training and supervision provided and travel expenses paid.

It would be a great opportunity for students or graduates looking for experience working in the heritage sector or those who would just like to be involved with the work of the National Trust during the project and beyond.

Please contact me to arrange an initial visit and chat.

fiona.austin-byrne@nationaltrust.org.uk