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Traditional Paint Forum Annual Conference

Paint on the Move

The Traditional Paint Forum is pleased to announce that, after the sell-out success of last year’s annual conference, we will be staging a two-day conference on 30th September/ 1st October 2016.

Addressing issues of conserving and preserving historic metalwork, be it industrial or architectural, is often complex and fraught with problems. We will be looking at these issues through the prism of industrial and transport heritage; its history, conservation, repair and restoration. The topic will be applicable to a much wider audience who work with architectural elements such as iron columns, roof structures, railings, windows and park furniture.

As a fitting backdrop to this topic, we are excited to announce that the conference will be at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley. The area is rich in decorative finishing history; enamelling was a large industry, Harris brushes are just down the road as was the Manders Paint and Ink Company. The museum is home to an amazing collection of transport and industrial heritage, from trams, cars and buses, to iron houses and wonderful enamel work on iron.

Throughout the first day of the conference, speakers include:

  • Curator of the BCLM will introduce their collection and local industrial heritage
  • Anthony Coulls, Senior Curator, National Railway Museum the Amazing Technicolour Scotsman (looking at the various colours it has been and why)
  • Helen de Saram, Conserator and Collections Manager, National Railway Museum Conserving a Restoration – taking the care of the object forward
  • Matthew Hancock, Conservator, Royal Armories discussing the use of XRF to analyse paint on heavy artillery
  • Geoff Wallis, G W Conservation, will be talking about the issues of conservation and restoring metalwork
  • Saskia Huning, Huning Decorations, and Helen Hughes, HIRC, will present a joint paper on the research and recreation of the first decorative scheme of Abbey Pumping Station
  • Any Questions – A chance for delegates to discuss their projects

A new feature of this year’s conference will be an ‘Any Questions’ section; attendees and members will have the opportunity to put questions to the forum.

At the end of day 1, we will be continuing the debate over a glass of wine (or two) and evening meal, set in the highly atmospheric Workers’ Institute at the museum. The price of the dinner is included in the combined ticket price and promises to be a highly memorable event in itself! Additional tickets can be bought for friends and colleagues not attending the conference, but how would like to catch up on the events of the day.

The second day will provide us with the opportunity to explore the museum; The BCLM have generously offered free entry to all delegates.

Throughout the day, we will be running ‘drop in’ demonstrations for delegates only. The demos are an opportunity to learn more about specialist techniques historically used on industrial equipment, including enamelling and sign writing.

Demonstrations will include:

  • Ian Hewitt of Heritage Painting will present a short talk on ‘Painting the Legend’, giving us an insight on the restoration of the Flying Scotsman. He will be undertaking sign writing demonstrations throughout the day and will be on hand to discuss both techniques and brushes.
  • Mike Dobby, Analystical Consultant, will be demonstrating analysis of coatings using a hand-held XRF machine.
  • Enamelling of metal was an important industry in the black country and is much in evidence around the museum of enamelling as a protective and decorative coating. Carol Griffiths will be taking a closer look at these techiques, with demonstrations of sifting enamel powder & use of stencils & firing, sgraffito in wet process dried enamel and wet packing a cloisonné design.
  • Following feedback on last year’s conference, we will be including a feature on brushes and paint manufacture.

Who should attend?

The issues surrounding preservation of industrial and transport heritage are readily applicable to a much wider field; from projects including metal railings and park furniture, to interiors and multi-media objects. Anyone working in the field of heritage asset conservation or those with an interest in transport will find this a valuable and educational event. Architects, engineers, surveyors, conservation officers, painters and decorators, conservators, builders, specifiers, owners and managers of historic properties, museum curators and transport enthusiasts. If you have responsibility for the maintenance of historic artefacts, then this could be the most important conference of the year for you. We are currently working to make this a CPD event – watch this space.


We are working hard to produce our final programme for the event: Please watch this space!


We have produced a range of ticket prices: both members and non-members are able to attend for single days but the combined tickets offer a great saving. Additional guests are welcome to attend our evening event only.

Becoming a member of the TPF offers reduced ticket prices and helps us to continue to provide an invaluable platform for the discussion of all things related to paint in an architectural context.


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