Restore, Repair, Retain

Studio philosophy

Any furniture builder, musical instrument maker, restorer and conservator will be presented with this challenge.

A customer has an artefact that is damaged, broken or not functioning as it was originally designed to do. The repairer / restorer has to ask themselves the following – Is the object mass-produced, of relatively little historic value and therefore suitable for any repair or modification that is deemed necessary to make good the defect?

Is the object of significant historic value and consequently requires a much more painstaking and sympathetic restoration? Is the object of such rare historic value that it should be conserved and preserved?

It is essential that graduates learn to differentiate between these conundrums to enable them to make moral, ethical and professional judgements.

Project brief

Restore: The moral and ethical background to conservation. How to assess an object and determine if it is suitable for restoration. Suitable materials and restoration techniques commonly used. To employ some of the Repair and Maintenance techniques to replace broken or missing components. Colour matching.

Repair: How to assess an object, document any faults found, and compile a condition report. Understand and be sensitive to a customer’s needs and requirements. Practice and become confident in common repair techniques. Understand and develop techniques for maintaining and setting up.

Retain: The moral and ethical background to conservation. How to assess an object and decide that it is suitable for conservation. Suitable materials and conservation techniques commonly used. To build on methods learned in Restore and Repair and learn additional conservation techniques.

Workshop table


Course Furniture (FdA)
Musical Instruments BA (Hons)
Where CR324, 41 Commercial Road
When Tuesdays, Fridays
Tutors Nick Blishen
Sue Newton-Short

Oliver Bell
Max Grohmann
Esther Hana
Alastair Knowles-Lenoir
Daniel Luque
Maximilien Marsac
Jonathan Phillips
Alf Rendell
Howard Richman
Daniel Settle
Vincent Solaris
James Stitt
Thomas Stride
Pascal Vyamungu

Oliver Eagle-Wilsher
Paul Farley
Joshua Golledge
Tim Jones
Otis Luxton
Malcolm Macwatt
Christophe Malcuit
Thomas Oldfield
James Rose
Mark Skinner
Rita Walker
Paul Wise