With the many uses of the workshop, there is nothing it does quite as well as acting as a R&D refuge for scagliola. What is scagliola? I'm glad you asked. Scagliola is an artificial marble made from pigmented plaster. Wet gypsum plaster is mixed with pigment to make veins via various techniques. It is made in a mould or made and then wrapped around a core or put on a wall backing. At this stage it looks muddy and blurry. It is only after sanding it down and polishing it that it starts to take on that shiny and hard look that is so reminiscent of marble.
I have spent my life restoring and making scagliola in places like Buckingham Palace, the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. and many others with the multinational company I created, Hayles & Howe. I Recently retired from the position of CEO, but there is still a back and forth between us. You can visit them at http://www.haylesandhowe.com.
Here I will show you some pictures of the inside of my workshop and some of my work with scagliola.
Here I am outside the workshop. This is where is spend most of my time at Beaver Palace. Sometimes I'm fixing parts of structures, making ornamental plaster, doing external plaster work that I am hired to do, or, my favorite, making scagliola.
Like the dome, the workshop is made of partially recycled materials. (see the beer can siding.) I use the onion top as storage and the back has a built in fireplace and chimney. I was inspired by the architectural styles of the middle-east and when mixed with my own designs and with the constraints of practicality, a perfect work space for me was born.
There are large windows on both sides that let in the perfect amount of natural light. It contains two lathes, lots of shelves, tools, a craft table and a rotation of pigments, containers, sculpting knives, toolboxes and more.
If you want to learn how to make scagliola, how to aquire some, or just to learn more, visit themagicofscagliola.com