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Call for papers - Furniture & Wooden Objects Group symposium: Friday 10th May 2019

We invite submissions for papers to be presented at our third biennial symposium. We invite presentations on all topics relating to the conservation of furniture and wooden objects for a day of talks. 

In an attempt to repeat the successes of previous events, no specific theme is given. Previously delivered papers covered topics including new and novel practical conservation techniques, recent research, on-going or noteworthy conservation projects and cross-disciplinary projects. We also encourage students and recent graduates to submit proposals.

The event will once again be held at:
The Linnean Society of London, 
Burlington House, 

A light buffet-style lunch will be provided at no extra cost.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 13th January 2019.

Abstracts should be 300-500 words long and should aim to provide a concise and coherent synopsis of the proposed presentation. Talks will be around 20 minutes, with added time for discussion after each talk.

Please send abstracts, or address any related questions, to Michelle Kirk:

Tickets will be available after the finalisation of the programme. We look forward to hearing from you!

Group visit to the British Museum Friday 26th October 2018, 2 - 5pm

Please join the Furniture and Wooden Objects Group for this enjoyable and informative visit to the British Museum. The tour will take in four separate departments of the Museum, each covering a different aspect of the Museum’s study, conservation, and storage of its diverse collections of wooden objects. 

The tour will include:

2 - 2:45

A tour of the Organics conservation studio and tool room situated in the World Conservation and Exhibition Centre (WCEC), to be hosted by conservator Alex Owen. Objects in the studio at that time and their treatments will be discussed.

2:50 - 3:20

A visit to the Scientific Research Department to see the museum’s world class wood identification facilities, hosted by organic material identification scientist Caroline Cartwright.

3:30 - 4:10

A visit to the WCEC stores, focusing on the large object store and offering a chance to see the wooden objects, predominantly boats and canoes from the Oceania collection, that are held there. This part of the afternoon will provide an opportunity to see the museums state of the art storage facilities and to discuss some of the challenges involved in transporting and housing some of the larger and more fragile objects in the museum’s collection with Assistant Collections Manager Jill Hassell.

4:15 - 5

The afternoon will end with a visit to the Horology department’s study room and workshop, hosted by horological curator and conservator Laura Turner.

This event is offered free of charge with a maximum of 10 people, but registration via Eventbrite is necessary. Please book here

Amsterdam museum tours: in conjunction with the 14th International Symposium on Wood and Furniture Thursday 22 November 2018, 10:00 to 16:00

If you are attending the 14th bi-annual Stichting Ebénist Symposium on 23-24 November 2018, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Old and New Approaches to Furniture Conservation (see details below), why not fly out a day earlier and join us on twomuseum visits. We have offered this with much success for past symposiums, however note that this program is different from prior tours.

On the morning of Thursday 22nd November, we will visit the conservation workshops of the Rijksmuseum and have a guided tour of the decorative arts studio by Iskander Breebaart, who will present a range of objects in the process of conservation.

In the afternoon we visit the Amsterdam Historical Museum where conservators Jaap Boonstra, and Paul Born will give a guide tour of the museum and conservation workshops.

Cost: £25 per head. Please book via Eventbrite here.

The 14th international symposium on wood and furniture conservation by Stichting Ebenist:


Over the edge: the future of hand skills in conservation
An investigation into the development and maintenance of practical skills in conservation.
Jonathan Ashley-Smith, teacher, consultant, scientist, former head of the Victoria & Albert Museum conservation department, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Technical skills in conservation education and practice: (why) do we care?
The development of an educational model for decorative wood and furniture conservation.
Andreas Sampatakos, decorative wood and furniture conservator, tutor at the department of conservation of antiquities and works of art at University of West Attica, Athens, Greece

Clamping devices 2.0
An interdisciplinary and innovative approach to clamping decorative surfaces.
Carola Schueller, objects conservator, and Charles J. Moore, cabinetmaker and furniture conservator, former chief conservator at the Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, USA

Innovative methods for the treatment of an altar frontal by Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo (1787)
Treatment of a gilded altar from the San Francesco d’Assisi church in Turin, using laser and other cleaning techniques, and modified filling materials for re-gilding.
Francesca Zenucchini, conservator, Fondazione Centro Conservazione Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Turin, Italy

Traditional and innovative methods for the removal of non-original varnishes and preservation of historic wax finishes on 18th-century marquetries
Removing finishing layers from wax layers using solvents in gel.
Paolo Luciani, head of wooden furnishings and sculpture laboratory, Fondazione Centro Conservazione Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Turin, Italy

The reconstruction of a carved Japanese kaki wood screen
Japanese craftsmen and European conservators share their skills and knowledge to reconstruct the extensive losses of the frame. Beside the reconstructions that were carried out in Japanese kaki and hinoki wood, using traditional Japanese carpentry, the original parts of the frame were conserved.
Benoit Jenn, furniture conservator, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, tutor and head of the wood and furniture department at the Institut Nationale du Patrimoine, Paris, France

Reconstructing the music in an 18th-century cabinet coded on pin barrels
The use of 3D-scanning technology, digital photography and software to reconstruct the music of the Lehmann cabinet.
Bodil Stauning, furniture conservator, the Royal Danish Collection, Copenhagen, Denmark

Particular algorithms: using advances in technology for the reintegration of lost veneer
The application of sophisticated digital and machining techniques to approximate the artist’s hand and original material when restoring losses in veneer.
Vidar Thijssen, student, conservation & restoration of cultural heritage programme at University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Gluing delaminated molded plywood through vacuum infusion
Techniques from the car body and boat building industries have been adapted and put into use to restore the broken backs of plywood furniture by Arne Jacobsen.
Stephan de Vries, furniture conservator in training, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Stenoinjection: an injection technique for the restoration of wooden objects
Development and use of a purpose-built micro-injecting tool to effectively improve glue injection in wooden objects.
Jiří Bém, student, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

Reinforcing joints by carbon fibre laminate
A new method for reinforcing fractured or fragile areas in furniture with a laminate of carbon fibre.
Anders Abildgaard, furniture conservator, Abilgaard Konservering & Snedkeri, Copenhagen, Denmark

Pratical laser cutting technology for furniture conservation and restoration
Prospects, limitations, and aspects regarding the ethics of conservation. Practical advise for the use of laser cutting for reconstructing marquetry.
Astrid Beling, student, restoration and conservation of art and cultural property, Cologne Institute of Conservation Science, University of Applied Science, Cologne, Germany

Cast or cut: modern and traditional approaches to replace missing parts in Boulle marquetry
Two different approaches concerning the reconstruction of missing parts in Boulle marquetry furniture.
Irmela Breidenstein, conservator, Atelier Breidenstein, Berlin, Germany, and Clemens von Schoeler, conservator, Von Schoeler und Ebinger Restauratoren, Munich, Germany, visiting lecturer Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Science, Lucerne, Switzerland

Replacement of a lost marquetry top for a writing desk attributed to Jean-Francois Oeben
Combining traditional French marquetry techniques and a contemporary CNC router to inlay a reproduction floral marquetry desktop.
Alton Bowman, conservator, Texas, USA

The restoration of an 18th-century marquetry bureau: a mix of technology and craft skills
Reconstructing heavily damaged marquetry decoration using digital photography and scanning techniques, followed by computer-aided laser cutting.
Simon Brown, senior conservator, Conservation Letterfrack, Letterfrack, Ireland

The reconstruction of a 17th-century table top with aventurine inlay
The reconstruction of parts of a 17th-century table, using laser cutting technology. Identification and reconstruction of the aventurine lacquer by combining modern techniques and traditional recipes.
Michiel de Vlam, furniture conservator, The Hague, the Netherlands, and Tamara Venema, furniture conservator, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Traditional and laser cleaning of the baroque sacristies of the Saint Charles church, Vienna
Different cleaning systems were tested, adjusted and carried out to mechanically remove non-original layers, aiming to preserve the historic finish layers.
Peter Kopp, furniture conservator, Kopp Restauratoren, Vienna, Austria

Breathing new life into Knole House’s kussenkast
A treatment framed within the historic house context, juxtaposing modern and traditional materials and techniques, discussing the balance between treatment and research.
Jan Dariusz Cutajar, objects conservator, conservation research and teaching assistant, UCL Institute of Archaeology, London, United Kingdom

Negotiating materials and techniques: the reconstruction of a gilded compo torchere
Applying traditional and new materials to reconstruct missing areas in a gilded compo object.
Michelle Kirk, furniture conservator, the Royal Household, Windsor Castle, Windsor, United Kingdom

Back to basics
The use of historical techniques and human-powered tools to make a chair out of a tree trunk.
Casper Labarre, traditional chair maker, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

This programme is subject to change

On Friday evening there will be an (optional) informal dinner to meet and catch up with colleagues from the field.


The closing date for registration is November 1st

If you wish to attend the symposium, please register here.

The fee for the two-day symposium is € 225. This includes coffee, tea and lunches. For students there is a reduced fee of € 190. Please be prepared to show your student card at the door. A supplement of € 55 is due for the optional dinner on Friday evening. Payment is processed directly via iDeal, PayPal and/or credit card, depending on your country of origin.


Museumstraat 1
1071 XX Amsterdam

Stichting Ebenist is supported by The Rijksmuseum and the University of Amsterdam.


Upcoming courses at Wooburn Craft School: Traditional Finishes

About the school: Wooburn Craft School is located just 35 minutes outside of London near two major motorways (M4 and M40) and it is very close to two train stations (Bourne End and Beaconsfield).  If you want to enjoy the English country side a number of  local B&B’s  can be recommended.

To sign up to any of the below courses, please visit the Wooburn Craft School website ( or call Ernest Riall (07753322609)

French Polishing and Wax Finishes: RESCHEDULED for this October 2018 - please check this page for dates
​This very popular course is returning to The Wooburn Craft School.  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, 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.

The Tutor:  Pierre-Alain currently teaches restoration at l'Ecole 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:
• Château de Fontainebleau
• Château Grand Trianon
• Mobilier National
• Château de Chaumont
As well as The Wallace Collection here in England as well as many 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.