Seminar: Colour & Finish in Heritage Ironwork

Starts: Thursday, 15th November 2018 - 9.00am

Ends: Thursday, 15th November 2018 - 5.00pm

Location: The Gallery @ Alan Baxter Ltd, 75 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EL

About this event

We live in a world of many and varied colours, from bright and bold to subtle and calm, and we make full use of this wide palette to decorate our built environment.  So why is it that when it comes to ironwork the majority of people specify black? This day aims to explode the ‘always black’ myth, look at alternatives, and outline best practice for discovering, conserving and re-instating original colour schemes.

Preconception – Do you automatically think of ‘black’ as the appropriate colour for heritage ironwork? If so then you are in the majority, but why is this?

We will explore:

  • The 20th Century fashion for black ironwork & its impact
  • The misconception that ironwork always was and always should be black
  • A range of historic colours & finishes and what influences colour fashions
  • Paint Research – a crucial practice in projects where the surface might be damaged or removed

Find out:

  • Why paint sampling and analysis is so important
  • How to record findings
  • Conserving Finishes and Coatings – putting conservation theory into practise isn’t always straightforward.  How do you practically go about:Retaining original paint layers, localised paint removal and repairs, reparing for removal of all paint where it is the only realistic approach

Colour for Historic Settings – different scenarios call for a different approach. We will discuss methodology for:

  • Re-instating original colours
  • Establishing a colour scheme when no original paint remains
  • Choosing a colour for new work in historic settings.

Each topic will begin with a presentation or case-study from experienced professionals, followed by whole-group discussion.

The purpose of this event is not just to educate but to stimulate debate via exchange of information and opinion.  Full programme details including speakers to follow.

9.30am Registration

4.30pm Close


Patrick Baty, Historic Paint Consultant, renowned expert on the paint and colours of the past four centuries:

Kathryn Ferry, Architectural Historian specialising in the colour theory of Owen Jones:

Bethan Griffiths, Metalwork Designer & Consultant, The Ironwork Studio, whose projects both heritage and modern include a wide range of colourful ironwork:

Peter Meehan, Conservator, Historic Metalwork Conservation Company, with wide-ranging experience in several fields of metalwork:

Charlotte Owen, Paint Researcher, Hirst Conservation, with a conservation background at the National Trust, English Heritage and Cambridge University Museums:


How to book

Book a ticket here



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