Emily Fryer's Experience

August 2007 to Present: Private Conservator

In November 2007 I set up my own conservation practice based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Offering treatment, advice and documentation of objects to Museums, Art Galleries, the City Council, Private collectors and businesses.

I am contracted to to the Christchurch City Council to provide advice on a number of their outdoor local memorials, plaques and sculptures. I provide maintenance schedules, condition reports and carry out remedial conservation treatments.

I have worked with the Christchurch Art Gallery on a number of objects and exhibitions, including "The Gorse King", a large stone sculpture by the artist Denis O'Connor. This project included interviewing the artist on his approach to the conservation and care of his sculptures, discussing their future conservation needs, cleaning and conserving the stone sculpture, as well as creating a detailed installation file for the work.

Other bodies I have worked for include: Scape, The Historic Places Trust, Canterbury Museum, Canterbury University Art Collection, The Logie Collection and Methven Heritage Centre.

February to August 2007: Objects Conservator for the Antarctic Heritage Trust working at Scott Base in Antarctica

I spent the "Winter Over" period conserving objects from Shackleton's Hut at Cape Royds, such as tins of Marrow Fat and Boiled Fowl, and rarer items such as the Bell & Co matchboxes as can be seein in my Projects pages. Previous to this I completed a condition survey of the  Antarctic Heritage Trust's Reserve Collection in Christchurch. For more details on the work being carried out in Antarctica on the historic huts visit http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/interactive/scott-hutt-restoration

2004 to 2006: Sculpture conservator working at Tate Gallery in London, UK

At Tate I was responsible for checking New Acquisitions, condition surveying objects, installing exhibitions and performing conservation treatments of sculptures, such as a larger-than-life marble sculpture of Sir Joshua Reynolds by John Foley. I also interviewed artists on their techniques, materials and attitudes to the conservation and preservation of their works.


2002 to 2003: Objects Conservation Intern working at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, UK

At Bristol I had the opportunity to work on a wide range of materials and objects, including a turtle shell mask from Papua New Guinea and a large Marble Sculpture of Cupid and Psyche which can both be seen on the Portfolio page. I also worked on a wide range of archaeological items, including Iron Shears, Copper Alloy Brooches and other locally excavated items. 

A major project involved packing a number of highly fragile unique Roman glass vessels for transport to a National Art Collections Fund exhibition in London. This involed designing the packing system, ordering the materials and packing the objects.

I carried out a storage and condition assessment of Bristols Eastern Arts glass collection. From this a new storage system could be designed as well as a program of conservation treatment implemented. The project involved environmental monitoring of the storage and display spaces using the Hanwell System and individual tiny-tags. 

2001 to 2003: Master's Degree in the Conservation of Historic Objects at Durham University, UK

This two year Master's in Conservation covered the basic principles and ethical responsibilities of Conservation theory and practice. It focussed on preventative conservation, chemical and physical analysis, recording and environmental monitoring.

A large component of the course provided hands on experience of archaeological conservation. From on-site conservation work, such as lifting delicate items and finds analysis), to performing x-ray identification, cleaning and conservation in the lab. Archaeological materials I have treated include waterlogged bone, glass, leather and wood, iron, lead, copper alloys, jet and frescoes.

During the course I worked on a number of Social History Items including a silver-plated late 19th Century set of male catheters from Beamish Open Air Museum.

1998 to 2001: Bachelor's Degree in Geology at Durham University, UK