Laura Cooper

Conservation Assistant, Clandon Park

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Laura Cooper - Conservation Assistant

As a Conservation Assistant, Laura has worked at Clandon since before the fire. She continues to work on site processing salvaged finds and learning new skills in a very different environment.

Conservation Assistant working at Clandon Park
I’ve been a Conservation Assistant at Clandon Park for more than four years. Prior to the fire my role involved conservation cleaning of the beautiful historic rooms, getting the house ready for opening, assisting with special tours, working with our brilliant team of volunteers and condition checking items during each year’s winter clean. Since the fire my day-to-day job has changed dramatically.
 
It was devastating seeing the images on the night of the fire, I felt genuinely helpless. However, helping to check and pack the collection over the following few days gave me perspective and positivity about the amount and variety of collection items that had been saved.
" It’s been an incredible privilege to see such fine craftsmanship up close."
- Laura Cooper

As part of the Conservation and Processing Team, I was able to use my prior knowledge of our collection to help identify finds as the archaeology team uncover them. I’ve learned new skills so that I can help clean the salvaged items, carefully brushing fragments of plaster and metal or gently washing porcelain items. It’s been particularly interesting working closely with our specialist plaster conservator to identify elements of the elaborate plaster ceilings. It’s been an incredible privilege to see such fine craftsmanship up close.
 
Despite all of the changes, in some ways my role is the same as always. I’m still part of a close-knit team of great people who care for this amazing house and collection and I’m looking forward to Clandon’s future.