I lived in London for three years during my graduate studies in conservation, but I hadn't been back since I left last August. When the opportunity arose to present a poster on my fellowship research at a conference in Oxford, I jumped at the chance! While I was in the UK, I also conducted research on tiles at some of my favorite museums and visited old friends.
ICON Ceramics and Glass Conference
The 2017 ICON (Institute of Conservation) Ceramics and Glass Conference was held at Magdalen (pronounced "maudlin") College, Oxford from 7-8 September. The first day consisted of tours of the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest museum in the world. I hopped on the bus to Oxford from Heathrow Airport and hit the ground running.
Naturally, I managed to find tiles during a tour of the ceramics in the collection. The tiles on the left are Medieval floor tiles from Godstow Nunnery, where Henry II's mistress Rosamund Clifford was buried (my English history degree is finally paying off!). The Nunnery was founded in 1133. The tiles on the right are a little more familiar Delft tiles from the 17th and 18th centuries. They are held in place on the wall with Perspex (plexiglass) clips, which I thought was an intriguing mounting method.
While at the museum, I assuaged my jet lag with a wonderful cream tea (left). I didn't know how much I missed clotted cream until I ate these magnificent scones. Thursday night also was the night of the conference dinner at a very historic Pizza Express in a building that once housed a Tudor Inn, much like my favorite Pret a Manger, 26-27 Cornmarket Street, Oxford (right).
The conference talks began on Friday morning. There were many fascinating talks, from discoveries of historic fired on ceramic restorations to the conservation of incredibly thin unfired clay art objects. As part of the conference, I presented my poster about Vauxhall Fireplace.
Fittingly, I presented my poster near a Medieval fireplace.
One of the other poster presenters was a familiar face--my friend and fellow intern from my time at the British Museum, Amy Walsh. We took a walk around Oxford during our lunch break, enjoying the beautiful sights and sunshine!
After my whirlwind trip to Oxford, I took the train back to London. A few hours later I was at Kings Cross Station heading to Cambridge to visit my cousin and her husband (and their adorable cat).
Too soon I was on my way back to London. I decided to get all of my touristy things out of the way in one day. Enjoying not having to drive, I walked a 10 mile loop from Holborn, where I was staying, past St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, South Bank, the Tate Modern, and finally Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey then back to Holborn!
Winterthur Postgraduate Fellow in Objects Conservation