• Tribute to Karen Finch from Philip Sykas

    An enormous curiosity about textiles led Karen Finch, who died this year aged 96, on an unusual life journey as a weaver, textile conservator and educator. Born the eldest daughter in a Danish farming family, her presumed fate was marriage, bringing with it land and children, but she was determined…

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  • The history and the techniques of the spinning of gold thread

    Abstracted in free translation by Karen Finch (1998) from: Sofus Larsen. (1939) Nordisk Guldspinding og Guldbroderi i den tidlige Middelalder. København: Ejnar Munksgaard. Note on the translation: I wish to stress that the information abstracted relates mainly to the practical aspects of making gold thread for weaving and embroidery. Sofus…

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  • The United Nations curtain restoration

    On this page Eva-Louise Svensson’s account of the restoration project A note by Karen written in 1969 on the flameproofing of the curtain Karen discusses the project as part of an oral history interview Contemporaneous newspaper clippings from the local papers Eva-Louise Svensson’s account of the restoration project Working on…

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  • The education of textile restorers

    At present, in England, we have no accepted course of training for anyone who wishes to work at the conservation of textiles. Indeed there is hardly anyone outside a museum, or without some personal contact with the work, who would even know there is a need for workers in this…

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  • Tribute to Karen Finch on the relocation of the TCC to Winchester

    Mr. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, There is a moment in all our lives when the door opens and lets the future in. For Karen Finch that moment probably came when, as a young girl in Denmark, she stood in the Village church entranced by the embroideries and carvings of a former age,…

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  • Report on the Reference Collection of the Textile Conservation Centre

    Organisation The work on cataloguing the Collection began in 1975 when it was moved from 7 Western Gardens, Ealing to Hampton Court Palace. There were many difficulties to overcome because of the lack of space and inadequate facilities and progress was slow until 1985 when the Warrant of the third…

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  • Note on the Library & Reference Collection

    A knowledge of materials used in Textile objects and their history is the basis of sound conservation and is essential to Textile Historians and Conservators alike. This knowledge may be gained in part from tutors and colleagues but in the main the study of books and the examination of a…

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  • Tribute to Karen Finch on her retirement

    The retirement of Karen Finch as Principal of the Textile Conservation Centre is a good moment to reflect on her achievement. Her innate talents, fostered by her training in Copenhagen, by her work at the Royal School of Needlework and the Victoria & Albert Museum, and then running her own…

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  • FAIC Oral History Project: Introduction

    In 1974 Rutherford John Gettens, one of America’s pioneer conservation scientists who worked at the original technical laboratory of the Fogg Art Museum, spoke at the American Institute for Conservation meetings in Cooperstown, New York: “To come to the point quickly, I think we should begin to think about collecting…

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  • Account of OBE day

    November 3rd 1976 was an investiture day for some of those honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. The weather was bright and sunny but it was rather cold. We had been told to be at Buckingham Palace by 10am and Norman had decided to avail himself of the car-parking…

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