Chalk Plaster is a plain and decorative plastering business led by Ffion and Steven Blench. Fascinated by the history and traditions of their trade, their practice has evolved into an eclectic mix of historic restoration and contemporary design. Their Wemyss and Buckhyne scagliola side tables are created using pigments collected along the coastline of Fife. The scagliola technique is one of the most beautiful aspects of the plasterers’ craft, and first emerged in Europe during the 1590s as a way of producing imitation marble using gypsum plaster and pigment.
“These wild pigments are often more unpredictable than those produced commercially and introduce challenging but rewarding elements to the process. Every location offers a distinctive palette of colours and tones which is reflected in the character of the pieces we produce.”
A key part of their practice is the idea that decorative plastering is more than just a heritage craft, and that the same level of technical skill, ingenuity and imagination seen in historic buildings should be applied to the creation of contemporary interiors. The duo, who are based in Fife, are passionate about exploring and understanding materials, reproducing obscure patented plasters from the 19th century. As well as producing their own pigments, Chalk Plaster also use gypsum from recycled plasterboard and lime from oyster shells washed-up along the coast of the Firth of Forth in order to produce their own, hyper-local materials.
Buckhyne and Wemyss Side Tables, scagliola – gypsum plaster, gelatin, natural earth pigments from Buckhaven and Wemyss
beaches, finished with poppyseed oil and beeswax, 54.5 x 36 cm (diameter)