iBB Podcast #19 – The Conservators – Angelina Bakalarou and Ashleigh Brown

This time we have two guests who work at the same conservation business – The Conservators, Ltd. in London. Ashleigh Brown works in paper and photograph conservation, while Angelina Bakalarou focuses more on paintings and paper conservation.

We discuss many things in this episode. From proper procedures to what makes the conservators cringe. From the early careers of Angelina and Ashleigh to their future plans and goals. And, of course, mold, improper handling of objects, and gloves =)



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The Conservators on the web:

00:00 – Beginning
00:51 – Do paper conservators work with books a lot? What else?
02:02 – Washing paper and doing projects from home
03:06 – The average age of materials Angelina and Ashleigh have to work with
04:48 – Georgian and Victorian ephemera
06:33 – Modern approach to conservation of paper and bordering with restoration
09:14 – Ethics of conservation. Changes to the intervention approach compared to the past decades
13:43 – The importance of dust, dirt, and rust
20:29 – Following the protocol and taking as many notes as possible
21:52 – Some examples of recent work
24:50 – Education and first steps to conservation for Angelina and Ashleigh
25:00 – Angelina
33:05 – Ashleigh
43:14 – What happens to the objects when they return after conservation works
45:53 – To use or not to use gloves?
49:40 – Is there any gender disparity and sexism in paper conservation?
55:11 – Having a chance to touch stuff when you are a conservator
57:37 – How the lockdown influence the amount and scope of work for Angelina and Ashleigh
59:39 – Can mold really be removed? (Spoiler: No!)
1:08:09 – Being lost in translation with the professional terminology
1:16:19 – Would there even be a conservation job for Angelina in Greece nowadays?
1:18:43 – Have ever Ashleigh thought about returning to the US?
1:22:41 – What’s next for Angelina and Ashleigh in terms of their careers?
1:28:01 – Conservation of plastics
1:30:09 – Why don’t people listen to conservators well enough?

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