Curriculum: Compostion of plaster and Gypsum
3 coat system: scratch, brown and finish
Types of Lath
Expamples of decorative work-rosettes
Scagliola and other finishes
Students used plaster of Paris and plastic take-out food containers to make their own rosettes.
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.