Furniture conservators or restorers are involved in the preservation and restoration of antique and modern furniture by using practical and scientific restoration techniques. They also advise on the storage and protection of the furniture.
The relationship between conservation and restoration is complex and depends on the purpose and utility of the piece. Conservation involves ensuring that items retain their original features; restoration may involve the use of new materials to protect and update existing features.
Furniture conservators or restorers may specialise in a particular type or period of furniture. There is scope to work in museums or in a private business, or be self-employed. Self-employed conservators must also manage their own marketing, financial and business activities. They may go on to work in the antiques sector and/or work in a consultancy role.
Work activities vary according to the particular piece of furniture being treated and the needs of the customer and will also depend on whether you are self-employed, working for a museum or heritage organisation, or employed in a private business.