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Upcoming courses at Wooburn Craft School: 

Traditional French finishes Monday 23-Oct 2017 to Friday 27-Oct 2017, 9am to 4pm
Taught by a leading Conservator - Restorer  and teacher in France, Pierre-Alain Le Cousin, who will instruct students on the fine art of finishing decorative objects. Particular attention will be spent on French Polishing and the use of wax finishes.

As a leading expert in the field of restoration and conservation, Pierre-Alain will be able to share with the students many techniques and insights that would be difficult to get elsewhere.  In this course, he will discuss the basics (the ‘mouse’, the different types of shellacs, the different types of waxes), he will present different recipes for using shellac for varnishing, and for filling, different wax recipes, the use of resin based shellac for filling.  This will be a very hands on course as Pierre-Alain, will show students how to apply the shellac and wax, how to apply black shellac and shellac for brasses.  If times allows, Pierre-Alain will also demonstrate the use of painting techniques in restoration.

About the Tutor:  

Pierre-Alain currently teaches restoration at Ecolle Boulle in Paris.  He has a very impressive CV showing his work spanning over 20 years and including many of the greatest museums in France; restoring and conserving very important decorative objects.  A partial listing of his prior clients include Chateau de Fontainebleau, Chateau Grand Trianon, Mobilier National and Chateau de Chaumont.

Pierre-Alain also worked at the The Wallace Collection here in England and he has a number of private clients.  He has been employed at the workshops of Simon Pierre Etienne and for Societe Steinitz where he restored pieces produced by David Roentgen, Andre Charles Boulle, Carlin Martin among others.

In addition to teaching Conservation-Restoration at Ecole Boulle, he has served on many important jurys in France, including being President du jury d’attribution du ‘concours des meilleurs ouvriers de France’ (Competition for the best Craftsperson in France).


• Icon member: £325 
• Non Icon-members: £375 
• Students: £300 

​You can book here via Eventbrite

Upcoming events at Knole House, National Trust

Visit to the new conservation studio at Knole House, joint event with the Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group

Monday 25th September

This one day event, co-organised with the Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group, involves a tour of the new conservation studios and public showrooms at Knole. 

Gerry Alabone, Senior Conservator (Furniture & Frames) will present a talk on the treatment of a unique set of six English derivative ‘Sansovino’ style frames, made c.1639 for the copies of the Raphael cartoons.  Attendees will also be able to see progress with cleaning tests to bronze-paint on gilding using Erbium: YAG laser.  

Tea and coffee will be provided upon arrival at the Hayloft and lunch is included in the ticket price. In the afternoon, attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Gatehouse showrooms.


10.30 am - Attendees to arrive at Knole House - Coffee and tea will be provided in The Hayloft
11 am - 12 noon - Tour of studio spaces with Gerry Alabone and a presentation.
12 noon – 1 pm –Tour of Main House Showrooms 
1 – 2 pm: Lunch (Served in the Hayloft)
2 pm onwards: Gate House visit  


£15 per person (30 places available, ICON members only): Ticket includes house and showroom entrance, tea/coffee and a sandwich lunch with crisps, fruit and cake. As this event is being subsidised by the G&DS group, National Trust membership will not affect the fixed ticket price.

How to get there: 

Address: Knole House, Sevenoaks, TN15 0RP

By Train: The nearest station is Sevenoaks, which is 1½ miles away and on the Southeastern line. To walk to Knole from the station, turn right and walk up the hill, through Sevenoaks High Street, until you reach St Nicholas Church on your right. Knole is clearly sign posted on your left. Alternatively there are taxis available from the station. 

For alternative methods of transport refer to the National Trust’s webpage for Knole House.

* Note – as the event is being held on a Monday when Knole House is closed to the general public the gardens will unfortunately be closed.