ABOUT PLOWDEN & SMITH | CAREERS

Careers

Take your career in the art and heritage sector to the next level with Plowden & Smith

Founded in London in 1966, Plowden & Smith is the largest fine, decorative and contemporary art and object conservation and restoration company in the UK. Operating out of new purpose-built premises in Mitcham, our team of experienced and skilled conservators and restorers work on an extensive range of materials. All object treatments are informed by science and the art of conservation, guided by contemporary ethical considerations and underpinned by industry-recognised standards of best practice. Plowden & Smith is committed to supporting employees with their continued professional development and training.

We advertise current vacancies on our website, however we are always interested in hearing from talented professionals at all stages of their careers. Please send CVs to info@plowden-smith.com. We will be in touch should a suitable vacancy arise.

Decorative Arts Conservator (Maternity Cover, 1 Year)

We are seeking a Decorative Arts Conservator. The conservator will work with Conservation Management and Client Services to ensure delivery of quality conservation treatments within agreed estimates.

We are particularly interested in hearing from conservators with at least five years’ post qualification practical experience in a wide range of objects and decorative surfaces, ranging from traditional to contemporary. We are regularly required to work on objects that are gilded, ethnographic, composed of mixed materials and created using modern materials. An excellent knowledge of materials and their properties is a pre-requisite for this position. Oil and water gilding aptitude is also necessary.

The Decorative Arts Conservator will undertake examination and assessment of 2D and 3D objects and must be proficient in producing accurate written and photographic documentation and generating condition reports to a high standard.

You will be flexible in your approach with a proven track record of working to tight deadlines while maintaining a high standard and positive work ethic. The successful candidate will bring an enthusiastic and mature approach to their work, have good communication skills and be able to work independently as well as part of a team supporting the staff around you.

 

Duties Include:

  • Complete quality conservation treatments, on time and to tight deadlines
  • Writing condition and treatment reports
  • Documenting all conservation treatments in line with company processes
  • Keeping up to date with new developments in your area of conservation
  • Maintain good housekeeping, tidiness and careful management of resources
  • Work on site as well as in the workshop. This may include major galleries, museums, private homes, heritage sites and storage facilities
  • Work abroad for projects of short duration
  • Provide practical conservation advice and guidance to other conservators, client services and clients
  • Work with other departments in the company

 

Essential Criteria

  • Minimum of 5 years post graduate experience in conservation
  • Specialist knowledge in at least one area of conservation appropriate to the decorative arts field
  • A knowledge of materials and their properties
  • Organisational ability and self-motivation
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • Good communication skills with colleagues and clients
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English

 

Desirable Criteria

  • IT: Good working knowledge of Word and Excel, file sharing services
  • Clean and current driving license
  • Be prepared to travel both in the UK and abroad for projects

 

This job is offered on a permanent full-time basis with a salary up to £32, 509.50 based on experience.

Please send your c.v., portfolio and covering letter of no more than 250 words to emily.harris@plowden-smith.com and include Decorative Arts Conservator in the subject line.

Closing Date: Friday 12th May 2022, with a mid June 2022 start date.

 

Contemporary Paintings Conservator – Full Time

We are seeking a Paintings Conservator specialising in modern and contemporary paintings. The conservator will work with Conservation Management and Client Services to ensure delivery of quality conservation treatments within agreed estimates.

We are particularly interested in hearing from conservators with at least five years’ post qualification practical experience in a wide range of paintings often using non-traditional materials and techniques and mixed media.

The Paintings Conservator will undertake examination and assessment of 2D objects and must be proficient in producing accurate written and photographic documentation and generating condition reports to a high standard.

You will be flexible in your approach with a proven track record of working to tight deadlines while maintaining a high standard and positive work ethic. The successful candidate will bring an enthusiast and mature approach to their work, have good communication skills and be able to work independently as well as part of a team supporting the staff around you.

 

Duties Include:

  • Producing estimates, condition assessments, treatment methodologies and treatment reports
  • Undertaking complex treatments of modern and contemporary modern paintings, ranging from those executed on traditional substrates such as canvas and panel, to varied modern materials
  • Undertaking both structural and surface treatments including but not limited to – repair of tears, warping, relining, re-stretching, removal of varnish and overpaint, surface cleaning, consolidation, filling, retouching, varnishing and framing
  • Supporting the Senior Paintings Conservator and interns, to ensure work in the department is completed to a high standard
  • Keeping stock of studio materials and pre-empting upcoming project requirements and ensuring these are ordered on time
  • Liaising with the Conservation Manager and Client Services to ensure the smooth running of your workload
  • Work on site as well as in the workshop. This may include major galleries, museums, private homes, heritage sites and storage facilities
  • Provide practical conservation advice and guidance to other conservators, client services and clients
  • Work with other departments in the company

 

Essential Criteria:

  • You will have a degree in Conservation and a minimum of five years’ post qualification experience specialising in paintings conservation
  • Experience with contemporary paintings, but the core tenants of traditional paintings conservation will be observed
  • Experience working in private practice is desirable as you will be required to work under your own initiative and effectively manage your workflow to meet deadlines in a fast-paced commercial environment
  • Reports are a vital part of this role and a clear and concise writing style is essential
  • Treatments are carried out both in the studio and in situ, requiring the willingness and ability to travel nationally and internationally as and when required
  • You will be a personable and effective team worker with excellent communication skills
  • You will be confident in making decisions with high value artworks whilst maintaining exceptional ethical standards in your approach to all tasks
  • We handle large and oversized work frequently, managing studio space and handling is vital to the role.

 

Desirable Criteria:

  • IT: Good working knowledge of Word and Excel, file sharing services
  • Clean and current driving license
  • Be prepared to travel both in the UK and abroad for projects

 

This job is offered on a permanent full-time basis with a salary up to £32, 509.50 based on experience.

Please send your c.v., portfolio and covering letter of no more than 250 words to emily.harris@plowden-smith.com and include Contemporary Paintings Conservator in the subject line.

Closing Date: May 20th 2022, please send C.V.’s and applications ASAP if interested.

 

Why work for Plowden & Smith?

  • Work with some of the world’s most rare, beautiful and interesting artworks and artefacts, as well as national and international collections
  • Work in a stimulating, creative environment
  • Free entry to museums and exhibitions being held in the UK and around the world
  • Opportunities throughout the year to attend preview nights and private view events
  • Personal Continued Professional Development fund
  • Child Care Voucher Scheme
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Hybrid Working

 

About Plowden & Smith

Founded in London in 1966, Plowden & Smith is the largest fine, decorative and contemporary art and object conservation and restoration company in the UK.

In December 2018 we moved to purpose-built premises in Mitcham where our team of experienced and skilled conservators and restorers work on an extensive range of materials. All our object treatments are informed by science, guided by contemporary ethical considerations and underpinned by industry-recognised standards of best practice. Staff are committed to continued professional development and training.