Sunday, December 20, 2015

Carved Moulding - Part III

This posting will be mostly pictures. This job has been consuming all my time. I have a helper, who is working hard, and I have been working 12-16 hour days, yet we still have a lot of work left to do.

Here are some pictures to show the progress so far.

Most of the moulding in this room was purchased, but I did carve and cast
some of the pieces. I also carved the columns.

The plaster walls are done in a fresco technique, as in, the colour is added to the plaster. The paint on the mouldings and the columns is milk paint. I prefer to use it, because it has a much more "old" look to it than modern latex paints. The secret to beautiful paint is that it is not uniform and sprayed or rolled on, which gives it a much more natural and slightly varied look. Not everyone likes this sort of approach, but I am happy that these clients do.

The main act to this entire project was to re-do this hallway. I forgot to
insert the card into the camera again when I was taking the "before" pictures
so this is the earliest shots I have. I have already added panel frames below the
chair rail, added a new baseboard cap and plastered some of the walls

Although I have been doing a lot of carving for this job, plaster casting of the carvings are what are actually going onto the walls. Below is a group of sets of lower corners.

10 of the 11 sets of corners needed for this project;
carving this many copies would have gotten boring

As of Friday, nearly all of the castings have been applied to the walls, the main thing that remains is all the straight moulding to connect the decorative elements together.

View looking into the library. To the right, one sees
the beginnings of the columns, as well as the
moulding over the arch 

The arched moulding was made by an old technique of making a form and passing it over the wet plaster to create the shaped moulding. I will feature that work in another blog if I can get my helper to take the pictures as I do it. I still have several more to make.

A close up of a large crest. These extensions are the pieces I carved whilst
exhibiting at the York Art Festival. The central section is the same as for
the smaller panels, except the outermost leaves have been removed.
Final cleanup of the attaching plaster still needs to be done.

Another section of wall is shown below.

Wall section to the left of the dining room; this
section has the nicest configuration with two
small fields flanking one large one.

Carving is the main focus of this project, and this weekend I have been busy with some more. The good thing about doing so much carving is that I am getting a little faster at it. Below are the elements which will combine to create the lower centre section to the large fields. I carved them individually because it will be easier to cast them without breakage, which has been a problem on some of the thinner segments.

The left-hand leaf and three linking segments

The same pieces, three hours later

Centre section and the right-hand leaf; ready for carving

All done and ready to make the moulds now

I did not show the two extension for the centre crest before, so here they
are, along with the pieces I carved this weekend

Stay tuned to see how these all fit together in the project...


  1. Wow, that is truly amazing.
    It is nice that your client appreciates the ideals of beautiful work.
    Merry Christmas

  2. Thanks Jonas, I am happy that they have enough faith to trust what i am doing, because they keep telling me that they have no way of envisioning what i am doing. Once part of it begins to come together, then they see what i am doing, and are happy.

    Happy Christmas to you as well.