Hayles and Howe are lucky enough to have a highly trained and experienced workforce who have remained with the company for more than twenty years and who are keen to pass down their knowledge to our young apprentices. This ensures that the company maintains its high standard of excellence from the initial design to the finished product or installation.
Ornamental plastering is an Ancient Art that dates back to the first century, when it was crudely perfected by Grecian Artisans. The Romans made extensive use of these techniques to decorate the interior and exterior of their buildings, throughout the construction of the vast Roman Empire. The versatility and beauty of this art has been employed through the centuries to this day to decorate both ordinary homes and some of the worlds’ most impressive architecture.
Hayles and Howe have managed to follow on this grand tradition producing a full range of ornamental plaster products including ceiling roses, cornices, arches, columns, niches, and fire surrounds. These days most of the products are made in the workshop, the cornice is run on a bench and if needed ornament is added and then the whole piece is moulded in silicone rubber. The ornament is hand crafted either in clay or in Stucco (A lime plaster mix) by our highly talented sculptors. The moulds are then carefully filled using a general fine casting plaster mixed with water, reinforced with wood lath and either a hessian scrim or fibre glass matt, this is known as fibrous plaster. The company is proficient in restoring cornice in situ.
In the making of most of their products the company use a fine French gypsum plaster. There are many differing types of gypsum plaster and depending on the job requirements Hayles and Howe will research for and use the best available product/technique to suit the design and workshop requirements. For example if making a dado rail, which could be in a high risk area a harder plaster would be used than perhaps a normal French plaster that is used for manufacturing cornice.