Becky Helliwell's Experience

May 2012 to present Emily Fryer Conservation, Assistant Conservator

Since coming to New Zealand to work for EFC I have treated a wide variety of objects. Our studio work involves a ceramic and glass objects, as well as modern art pieces, ethnographic objects and metals. I have worked on projects with Christchurch Art Gallery, Canterbury Museum, Otago Museum, NZ Historic Places Trust and Christchurch City Council. We provide environmental monitoring and analysis, packaging and storage advice, pest management advice, collections or exhibition condition surveys and remedial conservation of objects.

2010/2011 Crick Smith Conservation, UK

Crick-Smith Conservation are an historic interiors conservation company in the UK. I worked on several short term contracts with the company both during my training and after I qualified. Project highlights included restoring an original eighteenth century hallway decoration scheme in a Scottish smuggler’s mansion, uncovering previous wall decoration in the Cast Courts at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, revealing gilded angels from under 1970s white emulsion in a nineteenth century church and restoring painted stonework on the crests of a seventeenth century almshouse.

August 2011 Warner Textile Archive

I catalogued and produced an initial condition survey of a textile and paper collection that had been recently acquired by the archive.

2009 National Trust volunteer

During my training I volunteered at two National Trust properties in the UK where I assisted with an inventory of the store rooms, helping to produce a condition survey and to clean and repackage the objects for long term storage. I also cleaned some of the stone statues in the grounds.

Sep 2008 – Aug 2010 Graduate Diploma in Conservation Studies followed by Master’s Degree in the Conservation of Historic Objects

These two courses were divided between theory modules and practical training.  I studied conservation management, materials science, conservation ethics and photography. My Masters Dissertation was focussed on the significance of dirt to object interpretation and the ethics involved in cleaning objects. I worked on a variety of objects and materials, including glass, ceramic, wood, metal and leather.