Antiques and Collectables Article

This month, Diane Hollands tries her hand at china restoration and attends a weekend course at Oxford China Restoration Studio.

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Who is it suitable for?

A weekend course, ideal for the complete beginner, each is limited to four students to ensure individual attention. Longer and more advanced courses are available and advisable.

What do you need?

A soft, white apron, All materials and equipment are provided. Take along your own pieces to work on - it's really fulfilling to work on something that you will be able to enjoy, and satisfying to keep your first piece of restoration.

Where is the course held?

In a homely surrounds, the clean orderly Oxford China Restoration Studio, in Kidlington, is close to the 18th century Blenheim Palace in Woodstock and is easily accessible via the M4 and M40

Who runs the courses?

Jason and Micky are both professional restorers and tutors. Attentive and patient, they are commissioned to complete restoration for clients, and keeping their fingers on the pulse, they allow you to see genuine examples of restoration.

What does the day entail?

The day starts at 10 am and ends at 5pm, and literally disappears. I got so involved in my projects that I was reluctant and sad to leave at the end of the day! Refreshments and a very nice lunch are supplied, giving you a chance to recharge your batteries

What did you learn?

I worked on a plate, a dish and three Beswick horses - my favourite challenges. I prepared one horse by unsticking an earlier leg repair, cleaning, regluing and filling the break and sanding down the leg to get a smooth finish. I then mixed paint to colour the repair. I also modelled a replacement ear for the horse.

What are the best parts of the course

I found the course incredibly relaxing. The comfortable studio, graced by wind chimes outside and the calm nature of the work entailed, rendered the perfect atmosphere of learning a new skill.