About

Our professional team is here to investigate, preserve and beautifully present your textiles, tapestries and costume to the very highest standards. We all are passionate about textiles, costume and all things fibre-based. Each member of our close-knit team is a highly skilled practitioner bringing different experience and expertise to the studio.

Dedicated to sharing our passion for textile conservation we are now developing a range of both professional conservation and maker’s workshops to run alongside the opportunities we already offer students and emerging conservators.

Our history

After many years as a museum based conservator, Zenzie left the V&A in 2003 to establish her freelance business from a spare room at home in Brighton. The business soon required more space so she moved to larger premises in central Brighton, allowing the business to expand with more staff and attracting more clients. First one and then two more studio spaces were acquired until in 2018 we developed a suite of rooms into a large, purpose designed conservation studio in New England House. With these moves, our expertise and facilities have grown and we have developed into one of the largest privately run textile conservation studios in the UK offering a wide range of conservation and display services.

Our studio

Our central Brighton studio has been designed as a flexible working space with a spacious main studio bathed in natural light. We also have a purpose built laboratory combining excellent wet and solvent cleaning facilities, a dedicated dye area and a paper conservation workspace. A separate staff room with library, a store and an office complete our conservation facilities.

The large work areas enable us to undertake grand scale treatments alongside smaller projects. We also maintain a separate workshop for the custom production of frames, display mounts and display cases. Our fully insured premises have high level of security to comply with Government Indemnity Standards as well as access to a large goods lift and two loading bays making collection and delivery easy.

Site work is a particular area of expertise; we are able to travel to you with our own scaffolding, lights and specialist site equipment to help care for your collection in situ.

Zenzie Tinker is more than just a conservation studio. We all came together through a love of textiles and craft and like nothing better than to share our expertise with the wider world. Find out more about Craft & Create.

Our team

Zenzie Tinker ACR

After a BA in the History of Design, Zenzie completed an apprenticeship in textile and tapestry conservation under Ksynia Marko in 1988 followed by the Museums Association Certificate in Textile Conservation in 1991. Zenzie worked as a conservator and senior conservator at the Museum of London and the Victoria & Albert Museum specialising in costume until 2003 when she left London to set up Zenzie Tinker Conservation in Brighton. Zenzie has served as an accreditation assessor for ICON for ten years and was also conservation advisor on the Heritage Volunteer Committee for the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) until 2015. She is currently Advisor to the Royal Courts of Justice Legal Dress Collection where she is responsible for the care and display of the collection. She has researched, taught and published widely on the use of adhesives for textile conservation.

Hazel Arnott

After a BSc in Archaeology from the University of York, Hazel undertook an apprenticeship in hand embroidery in 2002 at the Royal School of Needlework. In 2007 she completed an MA in the Conservation of Textile and Tapestries in Historic Interiors from the Royal College of Art/Victoria & Albert Museum in association with the Historic Royal Palaces. After working for the National Trust, Hazel joined Zenzie Tinker Conservation in 2009 staying for two years before working in Australia. Hazel returned to the UK in 2014 and rejoined our team.

Camilla Close-Brooks

Having previously studied and worked in fashion and costume design, and upholstery, Minny completed a BA in Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts in 2011 specialising in textile and paper conservation. Since joining Zenzie Tinker Conservation in 2011 she has expanded her expertise and abilities and is particularly interested in conserving mixed media objects. Minny is currently on maternity leave.

Ania Golebiowska

Ania graduated with an MA from the Faculty of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 2014. During her studies Ania undertook several internships overseas including one at Zenzie Tinker Conservation in 2012. Ania returned to join our team in 2015 following her graduation and relocation to the UK.

Mira Karttila

Following an MA in History from the University of Tampere, Finland, Mira trained as a teacher before pursuing her interest in textile conservation at the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. After internships in Paris and Denmark Mira graduated in 2011 and worked as a textile conservator for the National Board of Antiquities, Helsinki. In 2015 Mira completed a one year, ICON/HLF funded internship at Zenzie Tinker Conservation and has remained with us as member of our team.

Geoffrey Major

Working in fine art conservation for more than 40 years, Geoffrey trained as a paper conservator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia and both the Bodleian Library and Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Geoffrey was Senior Paper Conservator and Head of Conservation at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra where he worked for more than 15 years. In 2000 he established a private conservation practice in Sydney specialising in modern and contemporary art. Geoffrey joined us in 2009 bringing a broad range of fine and decorative arts conservation knowledge. Geoffrey specialises in mixed media objects, modern paintings and works of art on paper. He also designs and builds bespoke museum cabinets and exhibition display mounts in our conservation workshop.

Rachel Rhodes

Following a degree in History of Art and Design and a career in Museum education, Rachel graduated from the TCC in 2007 with a MA distinction in Textile Conservation. She was awarded the Woolmen’s prize for outstanding achievement in her year. Since graduation she has spent time working as a freelance textile conservator, in the UK and abroad and spent 3 years at the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. Since coming back to the UK Rachel has returned to Zenzie Tinker Conservation, as a freelance conservator.

Jamie Robinson

Jamie joined our team in October 2016 after completing a one year HLF/ICON funded internship at The Bowes Museum where she was able to pursue her interest in costume conservation. Jamie gained her undergraduate degree in Fine Art and History of Art from Edinburgh University in 2010 before studying towards her Masters degree in Textile Conservation at the Centre for Textile Conservation, University of Glasgow, graduating in 2015. She has undertaken a number of short placements and contracts in both museums and private studios, including Zenzie Tinker Conservation, and is delighted to have returned to our team.

Christobel Sambrook ACR

Chris graduated from Lincoln College Conservation and Restoration Studies course UK in 1981. She then worked as a conservator and senior conservator for more than 20 years at Hampton Court Palace working on the Royal Collection specialising in the conservation of tapestries, state beds and furnishings. During 1990 Chris spent a year as an intern at the Rocky Mountain Regional Conservation Centre, Denver, Colorado USA working on textiles and ethnographic material. She joined Zenzie Tinker Conservation in 2005.

Gerry Warner

An experienced arts and heritage veteran, Gerry joined the team in April 2020 fresh from looking after communications at National Trust property Knole. Previous roles included Marketing Manager for Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft and Web Officer for Sadler’s Wells, as well as over 10 years in TV production and the music industry. An English Literature graduate and an avid crafter, she has also written books about knitting, focusing on adapting mid-20th century knitting patterns.