Hugh Harrison, long-established timber conservation specialist, and his team of experts were commissioned by the museum ‘Heart of Oak’ project team in 2011, to restore and conserve the carvings within the Sandford Orleigh overmantle.
First, Cameron Stewart, Lead conservation joiner, pictured here with Hugh Harrison removed all the elements from the overmantle framework, then specialist conservator, Liz Cheadle removed hundreds of years of varnish to reveal the finer carved details
The split panels were mended and joined by the skill of Ecclesiastical Joiner Stuart Anderson. Laurence Beckford, Master wood carver, re-carved the missing elements of the carvings using old black and white photographs to create a template. Finally Stuart and Cameron re-built the overmantle in the museum in July 2014, it is on display for the public to marvel at, and understand its historical significance and symbolism.
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A short video was produced by Arts co-ordinator Kate Green she filmed the conservation process in Liz Cheadle's workshop http://vimeo.com/34076366