Carola is a metal conservator, with a focus on archaeological objects, and 25 years experience working in the creative sector.

Carola graduated from West Dean College of Arts and Conservation with a Post Graduate Diploma in Conservation of Metals in 2020, and a Masters in the same specialism. Her BA was from Wolverhampton University in 3D Glass Design and Craftsmanship, which included glass casting, glass blowing and stained glass.  Carola is currently working for maritime archaeological company MSDS Marine, based at the Historic England conservation lab, Portsmouth (Fort Cumberland).

Following her BA Carola completed an apprenticeship in Theatrical Prop Making at Glyndebourne Opera House, developing a career as a prop maker, scenery builder and a senior project manager for commercial retail environments. Employers included English National Opera, The Royal Opera House, Selfridges, Liberty, Harrods and many UK arts festivals including Glastonbury Festival.

Carola’s interest in heritage led her to volunteer in the conservation department at Brighton Royal Pavilion in 2019, and she found that conservation was a perfect match for her existing and transferable skills.


Conservation internships and voluntary positions

Although currently employed at Fort Cumberland, Carola undertook several placements during her studies:

Brighton Royal Pavilion – Carola interned with the conservation team during Summer 2019.  Her main task was to assess, document, disassemble and treat the silver gilt banqueting suite, as well as assisting the collections care team. She worked autonomously, following a previously established treatment procedure to prepare the suite for an upcoming exhibition alongside items from the Royal Collection. Listen to Carola’s experience of working at Brighton Pavilion by clicking the link for ‘Voices of the Royal Pavilion’  podcast on the blog page.

Fishbourne Roman Palace – Carola received a Plowden and Clothworker’s bursary to complete a 2 month placement for CPD in 2021 where she assessed and treated archaeological copper alloy objects from the collection. She completed documentation for these objects and assisted in re-mounting the display. During her time she initiated a project to demonstrate conservation to the public and spoke to visitors regarding her work. While at Fishbourne she also assessed and treated a bronze age hoard for the Novium museum, Chichester.

Worthing Museum – Carola received a Plowden and Clothworker’s bursary to complete a month long  placement for CPD in 2021. During her time she assessed and treated objects from the archaeological metals collection, and created social media content for the museum’s social platforms. She continued to treat objects from the display during her MA studies, and has been chosen to treat and assess the Roman coin collection following a successful AIM grant.

Brighton Old Police Cells Museum – Carola joined the team under curator EJ Scott, during the museum accreditation process and during this time she helped with accession organisation, environmental monitoring, and display design.

The Regency Town House – Carola joined the interior restoration team for this grade 1 listed Regency property, working alongside heritage professionals to restore the interior to it’s original finery. Here Carola learned about paint analysis, plaster moulding and learned and applied wood graining techniques to the parlour and hallways.  was built in the 1820’s.

Awards and scholarships

During her Post Graduate year, Carola was selected by her tutors for the Arts Scholar’s Conservation Award,  the Sydney Sanders Trust Award and The BADA Harold Davies Prize for:

the best performing student, judged by the most complete comprehension and implementation of a range of skills required and taught’ and ‘who has made the most progress during the year, demonstrating the most improvement judged through the use of materials, analysis, studio practice and the reflection process.’

Following her graduation in 2020, Carola received a grant from the Anna Plowden Trust and The Clothworkers’ Foundation to gain further practical training or experience.


Gold lock rings

Gold lock rings: part of a bronze age hoard treated in 2021. On display

at the Novium museum, Chichester.


Carola lives in Brighton, UK. She takes on private sculptural commissions which are usually celebratory or commemorative pieces.

She describes her inspirations:

“I spent a lot of time in Italy as a child. The enormous churches punctured with romantic shafts of dusty light, the priceless reliquaries of forgotten saints, the smell of wax and incense and the sad-faced statues surrounded by candles and votives all made an impression on me.

As my travels continued, so did my interest in shrines, reliquaries and tokens. I naturally began to create my own reliquaries: containers for my memories – a stone taken from an Australian desert, a cheap ring bought in a market in India, a dried flower from my mother’s garden. Keeping each memory safe, I began to wonder why we collect objects and make shrines. I have tried to express and explore this impulse in my work – the desire to collect and make sacred these small things that symbolise memories or feelings.”