Pauline Ashley is pretty sharp at solving glass puzzles

If ever you drop a crystal wine glass or break a piece of your best china, Pauline Ashley is useful to have around.

A professional china and glass restorer, she has spent three months working as a volunteer at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Among her tasks: to select, from over 1,000 fragments of glass excavated from 7th century Beit Shean, enough pieces to assemble a window; to reconstruct an incomplete 4th century bottle from the site of a glass factory in late-Roman Palestine; and to repair a 19th century emerald-green Islamic glass lid broken into at least 50 fragments, many of which were missing.

Mrs Ashley, who recently returned to her Hertfordshire home, tells People: "The time just flew by. It was a wonderful experience. I loved being in the museum environment with such appreciative and nice people.

"Sadly, even though I have an open invitation to go back at any time, my three months had to end. But I am longing to return whenever I can find sponsorship, and I still have the warm glow of satisfaction from my achievements so far."

    Last updated: 10:43am, January 20 2011