Plaster enhances and decorates many of our historic and modern buildings. Decorative plaster, however, is not always easily identified. It can be modelled, plain, painted, polished, gilded, or hardened to look like concrete. It is important when caring for statuary and buildings that we are able to recognise, understand and conserve plaster. This book will address three matters.
1) The need to bring together the recent advances in plaster conservation with sound traditional methods of manufacture. This aspect will be illustrated with pictures of the finer aspect of plaster decoration: scagliola, rococo modelling, statuary and pressed or cast modelling from various ages and cultures.
2) The identification and understanding of the methods of manufacture of the many forms of plasterwork - an aspect neglected for over 60 years (the last book was updated in the 1930s).
3) Preventive conservation for both buildings and statuary will be a major part of the book with reviews of traditional sound housekeeping methods, modern surveying and analysis and an understanding of environmental science. This overview will be carefully researched and will address the threats of atmospheric pollution, uncontrolled environmental conditions, structural and material decay. Simple, economic and proven treatments will be specified.
This book aims to aid the revival of traditional decorative plasterwork. The text will be illustrated by examples of specific types of plasterwork and decay. Line drawings will be provided to clarify descriptions. Table, graphs and pictures will illustrate many of the survey and analytical techniques described.
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