Anthea Laing
Furniture & Textiles
| 1997

Anthea Laing has been practising and teaching Upholstery for some 30 years, starting early 1984. After a couple of years part-time apprenticeship she set up on her own and progressed to City and Guild Teaching Qualifications and an Hons BA in Furniture Restoration and Craftsmanship at High Wycombe. Anthea has been based at her Studio/Workshop in Berkshire for nearly 20 years. She undertakes a wide variety of commissions – recovering and restoring anything from stools, chairs, chaises, sofas, bed heads etc. She particularly enjoys returning furniture which is in a sorry state to its former glory. She also provides a service in loose covers, caning and rushing. During term time she teaches upholstery classes two mornings a week in village halls

While researching her dissertation on Conservation of 17th Century Seat Furniture she visited the Textile Conservation Department at the V & A and subsequently persuaded them to give her a part-time internship for 6 months working with Derek Balfour, the Senior Upholstery Conservator. Further funds were required to make this possible and this is where QEST marvellously stepped in. They provided £4000 to compensate for time spent away from the bench. She was taught the rudiments of upholstery conservation – cleaning, dyeing textiles, supporting and netting fabrics and subsequent storing. She was also given the chance to examine some of the collection and this was invaluable. The experience has enabled her to have a wider approach to dealing with pieces requiring special treatment. QEST has enhanced her professional development and skills.

QEST awarded Anthea the Scholarship in 1997 and she has been working as an upholsterer to the Antique Trade, country houses, and a very large number of private clients. Over the years she has prepared countless pieces for Antique Fairs and collections of fine furniture. Last year she was one of the artisans from QEST fortunate enough to be invited to take part in the renovation and redecoration of Buckingham Palace's Summer House and re-upholstered two armchairs from the 1950s. She continues to teach and to mentor past trainees. Discussions are in hand about another exciting project but it is too soon to say what this might involve.


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0118 930 5123