About Kate Gill Conservation
Kathryn (Kate) Gill works as a Consultant, Practitioner and Lecturer in Textile and Upholstery Conservation on a freelance basis.
Kate teaches and lectures on a number of conservation programmes and delivers courses for professional conservators in practice in the UK and overseas.
Following training in the conservation of textiles and upholstery at the Textile Conservation Centre (TCC), England in the 1970s Kate Gill moved to the USA to set up the upholstery conservation section at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA). After seven years at the MMA as Senior Conservator (1984 – 1991), Kate returned to the UK to take up a post of Senior Conservator and Lecturer at the TCC, University of Southampton where she worked for eighteen years until the TCC’s closure on 31 October 2009. During this period she combined practical conservation (textile and upholstery treatments) with teaching and research.
Kate is an accredited conservator (ACR); a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation (FIIC); a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
Kate’s main research arises directly from her key area of expertise, the conservation of upholstered furniture, as well as textiles and dress. Kate has a particular interest in researching and replicating objects she encounters as a conservator in order to better understand and communicate the materials and technology of their original manufacture.
Recently completed projects include the replication of a set of rare thread-wrapped coat buttons that proved to be of a previously undocumented form. The associated publication demonstrates how knowledge creation was achieved by a dialectical process of manual discovery, comparison with published sources, and evaluation and adjustment ‘in the hand’.
Ongoing projects concern image-based documentation and exploring ways of communication the information. Other projects have included the use of portable X-ray units as a tool for examining and documenting fragile artefacts at historic sites, an evaluation of couching techniques in supporting tapestry woven panels.
A large proportion of Kate’s object-focussed research on textile and upholstery conservation has been published. The majority of Kate’s published works appear under her given name ’Kathryn Gill’. Kate’s work has also been presented at national and international conferences and through lectures and workshops on conservation courses.