Professional profile for Ian and Michael: As leaders and within the early founders of the fields of architectural paint research (paint scrapes & paint cross-sections), historic paint analysis, lead paint / historic interiors research, and known simply by their joint name, ‘Crick-Smith’ since 1995; Ian and Michael have been providing a valued unique paint analysis, conservation and research service to the heritage sector for many years. Ian since 1983 (ICON accredited 2000), and Michael from 1985. Since 1993 they have worked for many clients and employers on many high-profile projects, including the St Pancras Midland Grand Hotel, Kenwood House, Kew Palace, Osborne House, Bletchley Park, the Glasgow School of Art, Willow Tea Rooms and Royal Household/Crown Estate Properties. They also specialise in the research of maritime history and vessels. A variety of projects for a variety of clients and employers.
After they terminated a 10yr joint initiative with University of Lincoln, the Crick-Smiths re-established Crick-Smith Ltd 1st August 2017. They now focus their work on paint analysis, architectural paint research, conservation of historic paint schemes, wallpapers, gilding / decorative finishes. With completion of 600+ conservation projects between them, for a range of clients/employers since the early 1980s. They now provide you, the client, with the information to inform your projects and decision-making, ensuring your project meets the highest possible standard of achievement and fits your own budget & timescale.
Historic paint analysis, architectural paint research, pigment analysis, lead analysis, wallpaper, renders, mortars and material analysis, combined with archival evidence tell the story you need to know to achieve accurate, practical and achievable results. The very best, high quality service for your project!
With backgrounds in conservation and archaeology, re-enforced with degrees in Conservation and Restoration, Ian and Michael completed 11 years of internationally recognised research at the University of Lincoln. Renowned through their consultancy, the Crick-Smiths understand what is required and to what level, so that you are not commissioning unnecessary and expensive work.
When you commission Crick-Smith you get the "Crick-Smiths".
All supported by Alfie J Russell.
Ian and Michael continue to undertake research and conservation for a wide variety of clients, employers and sites, materials and substrates; from historic houses and royal palaces, to industrial, military, public buildings, universities and colleges, bridges and vernacular properties. From ships of all shapes and sizes to military artefacts, including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, HMS Namur, HMS M33, WW2 tank landing craft LCT 7074 and Ocean Pride PZ134 a Mounts Bay Lugger.
The Crick-Smiths said:
“Our main research tool is architectural paint research, sometimes called paint analysis or paint scrapes, although it is far more than analysing paint. By taking numerous samples from historic painted surfaces, analysing all of the layers in each and relating that to archival evidence, we are able to identify the history of that historic space. We can identify dates for alterations, repairs, remodelling, periods of neglect or disaster. This builds a complete picture of the history, used by our clients to inform decisions on the most suitable treatments and periods to preserve or recreate.”
ICON (Institute of Conservation) is the representative body for professional conservators & restorers working in the UK. Conservation Register, in association with English Heritage, provides information on professionally accredited conservators & restorers working in the UK & Ireland. PACR have demonstrated to assessors that they have the appropriate knowledge, practical skills & sound professional judgement. Ian has been an ICON member since 1986.
Crick-Smith has carried out projects on a very impressive range of English Heritage properties.
Crick-Smith carry out their research in a highly professional and thorough manner, in site meetings and in reports, which are very well presented and clearly argued. In connection with Kenwood House, their contribution expanded into ongoing involvement in discussions over the consequences and implementation of their research.
Dr Jeremy Ashbee, Head Properties Curator, English Heritage Trust
Crick-Smith gave a seminar on their work to Historic Scotland in 2009 which was very well received. They are active in promoting their field via ICON and the Traditional Paint Forum and maintain good rapport with the heritage conservation sector. I have found their reports to be well laid out and present readily verifiable findings.
Dr Michael Pearce, Consultant, Historic Environment Scotland
The National Trust, (for England, Wales & Northern Ireland), has used the services of Crick-Smith for paint research on a wide variety of projects since 1996. Their depth of knowledge and detailed documentation contributes significantly to the overall understanding of the decorative history of our properties. Crick-Smith's professionalism ensures that the project objectives are clearly defined, the work is completed on time and within budget.
Christine Sitwell, Paintings Conservation Adviser, The National Trust
It was a great pleasure to work with Ian & Michael during the historic colour analysis project at Brodick Castle. 'they' .. interacted well with visitors during the sampling and became a point of great interest rather than being viewed as an obstruction. The information was comprehensive, well researched & presented. The high quality photomicrographs of the samples are particularly helpful to bring the historic colours to life.
Kinlay Laidlaw, Lead Surveyor, National Trust for Scotland
(Crick-Smith's) report.. which I've now had a chance to read... is thorough, informative and exemplary!
Dr Michael Turner, Government Historic Estates Unit
We have worked with Crick-Smith for several years, in particular on developing colours for the Covent Garden Market Building. Here they have been instrumental in the site analysis of historic paint colours on shed structures, shop fronts, and advising on period colours suitable for redecoration. They bring technical, and historical knowledge to the projects combined with a creative understanding which has been of great value.
Peter Riddington, Director & Architect, Donald Insall Associates
Crick-Smith are great fun to work with, both personable and approachable in their approach to conservation. Understanding historic sites is more than a mere vocation for them; they’re clearly compelled to seek out evidence for the places our ancestors once knew, and they don’t stop looking!
Dr Jonathan Foyle, Built Heritage Ltd
Crick-Smith produce clear detailed reports of their research, providing archive information and images. Photographs are included with a concise summary of each decorative scheme revealed during analysis, describing types/colours of paint, primers and substrate. Detailed analysis of paint sections follow with photos showing the layers of magnified paint. Advice is then given on the nearest available matching colour and type of paint to the historic paint revealed by the research.
Judy Allen, Architect, Julian Harrap Architects
We approached 'Crick-Smith' initially to provide an analysis of wallpaper and paint as part of a programme of restoration. They produced a thorough and authoritive dossier, with detailed supporting photographs, including fascinating cross-sections of paint strata. As a document it is indispensible.
Ian and Michael are a pleasure to work with and it was interesting to learn from in the process. I would approach them again without hesitation, and I recommend them unreservedly.
Rebecca FitzGerald, Farringford House, the Isle of Wight Home of Tennyson
Crick-Smith has undertaken a number of commissions in relation to projects under my direction.
I am impressed by the range of skills Crick-Smith possess, the care and attention to detail and the quality of the finished result. Their communication is also excellent so that options are presented and discussed before a final decision on any treatment is made.
Rodney Melville, Rodney Melville & Partners
We are happy to endorse the specialist services of Crick-Smith. Their input over the last 15 months to our restoration of the fire damaged Glasgow School of Art has been invaluable. Their forensic approach to paint analysis impressed us. Their undoubted expertise in the field and creative thinking lead to a full understanding of the type/sequence of decorative finishes. Easy to collaborate with; a pleasure and education. We are grateful for their input and recommend them to other parties.
Malcolm Mitchell, Page \ Park Architects, Glasgow
We have engaged Crick-Smith for the analysis on a variety of projects. Most recently the HLF funded restoration of St Mary's Lighthouse Whitley Bay. Crick-Smith came to site, took samples and reported on the historic paint colours, make up and substrate materials. This enabled us to specify the repairs and sympathetic new decorations. We received added value in understanding the historic paint materials and the techniques of the period when the Lighthouse was built.
David Beaumont,, Beaumont : Brown Architects
I have worked with Crick-Smith on four projects ranging historically fom the 17th to 20th Century. In each project Crick-Smith provided paint analysis and wallpaper investigations. In each case I have relied and trusted their detailed and extensive historical and technical knowledge. It would be true to say that the collaboration process has uncovered fresh approaches and given new insights providing each project with a creative dimension.
Robert Harrington, Robert Harrington Architect
We have worked collaboratively with Crick-Smith on The Restoration of Bletchley Park, phased conservation 2013-15. The detailed paint analysis identified the appearance of the exterior and interior of the huts and wartime Spider Blocks and to integrate new elements of design such as building services to blend with the wartime character of the site. We very much value the contribution that Crick-Smith brought to these projects and would welcome the opportunity to work with Crick-Smith again.
Janie Price, Kennedy O'Callaghan Architects
We launched the RETROSPECTIVE paint collection of genuine colours from the 1960 and 1970s. During the selection process it became clear that Crick-Smith, not only had the research & technical ability to carry out the project, but, that they had very clear ideas about the process - this was reassuring to us as we needed the work completed within a tight timescale. We also felt they fully understood the commercial implications of their work.
David Mottershead, the Little Greene Paint Company
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