17th Century Style Italian Columns



For this project, the client had in their possession two original 17th Century Italian Decorative Columns which they wished to copy and design a library after.

Exact copies of the columns were made with moulds. Moulds were made of one column and base, one capital, two cherubs, as well as for all of the original decorative moulding. The moulds were made using silicone rubber, polyurethane and fibers, and wood.

The columns were cast in reinforced plaster. The original column was a half circle laid flat against the wood. The client requested that the new columns be three/quarters, thus the column would wrap around the wood structure of the interior. Williams and Willson adapted the columns to fit these new desired dimensions. The client also requested that one of the columns be made to act as a hinge for a revolving hidden door. This column was constructed like the others, but had a partially hollow interior where a special metal hinge was installed.

The base of the columns, the capitals and the cherubs were cast in plaster.

The larger decorative moulding was cast in plaster and the more delicate moulding was cast in polyurethane. Many replicas of the moulding were cast and were installed around the entire room.

The colors and layers used in painting the cherubs were based on research and studies of the original. Oil paint and gold paint were used. Beneath the gold there was an under painting of yellow ochre and red ochre simulating traditional bole colors and intensifying the warmth of the gold. Williams and Willson copied these layering techniques when painting the copies.

Patinas of oil paint and stone paste were applied to the capitals, cherubs and moulding.

The main columns were painted in a marbling technique by a colleague.

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