ABOUT PLOWDEN & SMITH | CAREERS

Take your career in the fine art restoration 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.

Senior Furniture Restorer

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

We are seeking an experienced furniture conservator to be part of our busy furniture department.

We are particularly interested in hearing from conservators with at least five years’ post qualification practical experience in a wide range of furniture items ranging from traditional to contemporary. Excellent knowledge and skills in antique/contemporary cabinet work, finishing and polishing are a must. Some joinery skills and a driving licence would be useful.

Job Type: Full Time
Location: Mitcham, CR4 4NY
Salary: to be discussed dependant on experience.
If you are interested in this role, we would love to hear from you. Please send a CV and covering letter to helen.odonnell@plowden-smith.com
Closing date: Friday 11th November 2022

Decorative Arts Conservator (Maternity Cover, 9 months)

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 £32,510, dependent 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 August 2022, with an October 2022 start date.

Executive Assistant, Exhibitions Department

Reporting to: Managing Director & Head of Exhibitions

 

Job Specification

Plowden & Smith is a long-established fine art conservation and museum mount-making company, based in Mitcham, South London. The company’s two departments – Conservation and Exhibitions – run side-by-side to offer clients an all-round service for the long-term preservation and display of their artworks and objects.

We’re looking for someone with 5+ years’ administrative experience to fill the role of Executive Assistant to our Head of Exhibitions, playing a key role in the daily running of the department and the management of both national and international mount-making projects.

Working as part of a small office team, the successful candidate will primarily provide administrative, client services and project management support to the Exhibitions department. There may also be a requirement to provide administrative support to the Conservation department from time to time.

The main tasks will be as follows:

Client Services

  • Using Synergist system to manage clients and estimates, book jobs and generate invoices
  • Liaising with clients, sub-contractors and suppliers and managing these relationships
  • Running small workshop/site-based jobs from start to finish
  • Liaising with the Conservation Department to procure RAMS and site paperwork where appropriate
  • Purchasing tools and materials where necessary for site jobs, as requested
  • Administration and general office management tasks

Projects

  • Working together with the Head of Exhibitions to run larger projects, both at national and international level:
  • Creating and implementing project programmes and monitoring budgets
  • Booking travel, transport and accommodation for staff for national and international jobs
  • Liaising closely with staff and assisting with preparatory paperwork
  • Handling international shipping requests for kit and materials i.e. for sea or air freight
  • Assisting with documentation for tender applications; including collating paperwork, proof-reading documents and editing submissions

Skills and Requirements:

  • Proficient in Word and Excel
  • Confident planner and organiser
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Good communicator and problem-solver
  • Educated to a minimum of A-Level standard
  • Interest in Heritage & Museum sector useful but not essential

 

Job Type: Full or Part-Time (minimum 25hrs pw); working hours can be negotiated. Hybrid working may be available following probationary period.

Location: Mitcham, CR4 4NY

Salary: c. £25,000 per annum (full-time)

If you are interested in this role, we would love to hear from you. Please send a CV and covering letter to lauren.healy@plowden-smith.com and include Executive Assistant in the subject line.

 Closing date: Friday 12th August 2022, with a September 2022 start date.

Experienced Museum Mount Maker (three dimensional objects)

Reporting to: Managing Director & Head of Exhibitions

 

Job Specification

Plowden & Smith is a long-established fine art conservation and museum mount-making company, based in Mitcham, South London. The company’s two departments – Conservation and Exhibitions – run side-by-side to offer clients an all-round service for the long-term preservation and display of their artworks and objects.

We have an exciting opportunity for an Experienced Museum Mount Maker to join our mount making department, regularly working on high-profile international projects. Some recent examples include projects in London, Edinburgh, Germany, Denmark, the USA, India, and the Middle East.

You will need:

  • Proven experience of working on museum or gallery mount production for three dimensional objects (e.g. jewellery, firearms, ceramics, books)
  • Technical skills and ability to work in acrylic, metal (including brazing) and wood
  • Driving licence

You should have the ability to:

  • Talk to clients to discuss proposed mount designs and production methods
  • Work carefully, quickly and efficiently, handling irreplaceable objects with care and consideration
  • Work on large (heavy) statuary and architectural fragments
  • Work within a team, but also independently

It would be advantageous to have experience in:

  • Welding
  • Sketching/technical drawing
  • Paint spraying

Due to the nature of the work, although you will be based at our London workshop you are likely to be required to work away from the workshop (both nationally and internationally) for up to 6 weeks at a time. This may be required 4-5 times per year (per diem is paid for overnight stays).
Job type: Full-Time. This job will be offered as an 8-month contract with the expectation that it will be extended to a permanent post.

Salary: Between £25-35k per annum, dependent on experience.

To register your interest in this role, please supply a CV and a portfolio showing mounts you have produced with a short description of skills employed, to lauren.healy@plowden-smith.com and include Experienced Museum Mount Maker in the subject line.

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.