Paul Ferguson ACR
I work on small scale objects or on-site projects. I offer consultancy to write condition reports and treatment proposals for use to prepare tenders. I also offer advice on matters of restoration and conservation.
During my long career I have worked on many projects large and small not only with frames but also furniture, architecture, fashion, pattern making etc. I have worked for individuals, companies, architects, interior designers, museums, listed buildings, churches, government buildings, stately homes and Royal Palaces.
Since childhood my interests have been in the arts and at 16 I left Grammar School to take a pre-diploma course at Luton College of Art and then on the diploma course at Kingston College of Art. These were the days before there were degrees awarded in the visual arts. After I finished college and following a few months travelling I was fortunate to be offered a job at Paul Levi’s framing studio in London as a trainee carver. Here I spent another five years learning the art of wood carving from the master carver Ted Desave who was of Huguenot decent; at Paul Levi’s we carved and restored frames for major galleries around the world.
I established my own business in 1978, trading as The Paul Ferguson Workshop, in Mount Pleasant, London WC1. I soon employed my first trainee and in 1980 moved to larger premises in Wren Street WC1. Here the business grew to nine employees, trained carvers and gilders and trainees. However, I found my time was filled by management and I was unable to use my primary skills, so through natural attrition the workforce slowly reduced. In 2008 the workshop moved to Leighton Buzzard, my hometown and within a couple of years I found myself working alone which I have enjoyed ever since. In 2012 the business was incorporated into Fine wood Carving & Gilding Ltd and in 2022 the company was dissolved and I gave up the commercial premises. I now work from my garden studio.
I was elected to membership of the Master Carvers’ Association in 1988 and between 1992 and 2017 I was elected annually to the office of Honorary Secretary. From 1999 to 2001 I was also elected President, the only time in the Association’s long history (founded in 1897) that the membership has elected the two posts to the same member concurrently. In 2007 I gained accreditation (ACR) with the Institute of Conservation. In the 2018 New Year’s Honours List I was awarded awarded the MBE for services to carving, gilding and conservation.
Trainee frame carver and restorer Paul Levi Studio, London