New York City has 8,250,000 people and 975,000 buildings.
It also has the only high school program in the country for hands-on masonry preservation, building conservation and green sustainable construction.
This blog offers a glimpse into that program.

The textbook developed from the curriculum and lessons: "Masonry History Integrity An Urban
Conservation Primer" is a free download at this web site:

The recent entries are in the LinkedIn Group: Masonry History Integrity & Urban Conservation.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Session #7 Plaster

Curriculum: Compostion of plaster and Gypsum

3 coat system: scratch, brown and finish

Safety precautions

Plasterer's Tools

Types of Lath

Expamples of decorative work-rosettes

Scagliola and other finishes

Masonry Preservation: Making/repairing rosettes

Students used plaster of Paris and plastic take-out food containers to make their own rosettes.

Some rosettes broke.

Students repaired...
and painted them.

History and Integrity:

Teaching a tradition is most directly personified by the life work of Earl A. Barthé, (1923-2010) a master craftsman in the plastering trade. Mr. Barthé was called “the Jelly Roll Morton of plaster.” His work was included in exhibitions at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Smithsonian. He was recognized for a $20,000 National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2005. He was a living example of the timelessness of a multi-generational skill, over 150 years old. Mr. Barthé’s great-great-grandfather started the family plastering business in 1850, and his son and a daughter will continue it.

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