Laura Stevens
After gaining a BA (hons) degree in fine art and a period of postgraduate study, I completed a three year indentured signwriting apprenticeship and then went on to start my own painting and decorating business in 1984, specialising in the careful decoration of historic and sensitive buildings. In 2006 I completed my MA in Heritage Management at the Ironbridge Institute (University of Birmingham). I have been a guest lecturer on the Conservation of the Historic Interior MA course at the University of Birmingham and lecture on the Context and Conservation of the Historic Interior MA course at Birmingham City University. I am a founder trustee of the Forest of Dean Buildings Preservation Trust and a trustee of The Friends of the Cathedral of the Forest.
Paul Humphreys
Vice Chairman
After dropping out of art school in the late 60’s tempted by London and all it had to offer I saw an ad in the Evening Standard for a studio assistant at Cambell Smith and Co. What followed was 11 amazing years being trained by and working for one of the finest decorating companies of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1979 I left to become a self employed decorator and gilder carrying on the traditional skills I had aquired and applying them to works on buildings such as The House of Parliament, The National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court and many more as well as large private houses and historic churches. In 1988 I was the co founder of Hare & Humphreys Ltd who to this day carry on the tradition of fine decoration, historic building conservation and restoration in many of the nations most important historic buildings.
Rosie Shaw
Honorary Secretary
I’ve been working in the conservation of historic interiors for over 5 years, after completing my PGDip in Historic Building Conservation at the Architectural Association in 2009 and before that my BA in Fine Art Printmaking at Brighton University. I specialise in Architectural Paint Research and lead on large, nationwide projects, though I also continue to work on practical site conservation, as my career began. I have a particular interest in historic pigments and have recently completed a course in recreating the medieval palette.
Karen Morrissey
Events Secretary
I am a decorative surfaces conservator and historic paint research specialist. I founded Karen Morrissey Paint Research in 2012, building on 15 years of experience as a senior researcher and project manager at a large conservation company. I am an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation (ICON) and proud to be an ICON PACR mentor.
Amanda White
Publications Secretary
With a background in Fine Art, I subsequently gained a Post Graduate Diploma and Master’s Degree in the Conservation of Historic Objects. Several years of short term conservation contracts followed, working in both museums and the private sector, where I gained a passion for historic interiors. Joining Hirst Conservation in 2010 has enabled me to pursue this passion and work in some of the country’s finest buildings. Most recently I led the on-site team recreating Pugin’s stencilled ceiling in the Strangers’ Dining Room at the Palace of Westminster, using bespoke zinc oil paints.
Michael Knights
Committee Member
I studied town and country planning at Hammersmith College of Design and Building and Trent University being elected Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in 1974. I worked in Berkshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire specialising in historic building conservation until 1985 when I became Museum Director of a new venture to preserve a 19th century working brewery in Burton-upon-Trent. This involved marketing, development and research, including presenting a BBC2 beer documentary. In 1990 I came to Norfolk County Council as historic buildings officer working with a small team of specialists on all building conservation issues. I completed a six month research project on wood tars as a timber preservative and linseed oil based paints. I have been a member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) since 1997, was national treasurer for ten years and regional chairman for six. I retired in 2010 but remain involved with planning and building conservation issues groups, trusts and organisations.