....................   Illustrated Architecture Dictionary



Any of a number of suitable surfaces for receiving plasterwork, as gypsum lath, metal lath, wood lath, masonry, or brickwork
Ornamental plasterwork

"Historically, ornamental plasterwork has been produced in two ways: it would be run in place (or on a bench) at the site; or cast in molds in a workshop. Plain plaster molding without surface ornamentation was usually created directly on the wall, or run on a flat surface such as a plasterer's workbench and attached to the wall after it set.

"Three decorative plaster forms in particular—the cornice, the ceiling medallion, and the coffered ceiling—historically comprised much of the ornamental plasterers' business.

"Ornament such as coffering for ceilings, centers for light fixtures (medallions), brackets, dentils, or columns were cast in hide glue (gelatin) or plaster molds in an offsite shop, often in more than one piece, then assembled and installed in the building. Decorative "enrichments" such as leaves, egg and dart moldings, and bead and reel units were cast in the shop and applied to the plain runs using plaster as an adhesive. Painting, glazing, and even gilding followed.
- David Flaharty, "Preserving Historic Ornamental Plaster"pub. on (online Nov. 2016)

A composition of gypsum or lime, water, sand, and sometimes hair or other fiber, applied in a pasty form to the surface of walls or ceilings in a plastic state and allowed to harden and dry
Portland cement

A hydraulic cement (cement that hardens under water)  made by heating limestone and clay in a kiln and pulverizing the result.  It is the most common type of cement in general use around the world. Named after Portland, an urban district of southern England.

In 1824, Englishmen, Joseph Aspdin patented Portland cement. Portland cement, as modern cement is called, is a mixture of limestone and clay, burned in a furnace and then pulverized. Impervious to water, it actually becomes stronger if submerged after it hardens. Samples of concrete taken thirty years after a concrete boat sank during World War I showed that the concrete had doubled its compressive strength.
Reinforced plaster

Materials such as cloth are included to strengthen plaster that is used, for example, in interior ornamentation.
Rubber molds

Typically used in reproducing plaster ornamentation.

Plaster Systems at Buffalo Plastering & Architectural Casting

Plasterwork imitating granite or marble

1. An exterior finish, usually textured; composed of portland cement, lime, and sand, which are mixed with water.
2. A fine plaster used for decorative work or moldings.

Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials such as metal, concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.

Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, it was common that plaster was used inside a building, and stucco was used outside.

Sometimes additives such as acrylics and glass fibers are added to improve the structural properties of the stucco.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2012
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