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Joe Pattison

From a career in sculpting and modelling in various mediums, Joe Pattison turned to lime plaster as his preferred material, and taught himself the skills of freehand pargeting.

Nowadays he is usually found up on scaffolding applying his skills in this ancient craft, creating reliefs like leaping hares, pheasants, green men or friezes of entwined grapevines or ivy.

Pargeting is the art of decorative lime plasterwork on the exterior or interior of buildings, usually timber framed houses, and can be produced by stamping, combing, moulding or freehand modelling. It all began during the reign of Henry Vlll who recruited Italian craftsmen to decorate the exterior of Nonsuch Palace. Sadly, only drawings remain of what was a wonderful building.

Over the years, pargeting became a widespread architectural feature in the UK, especially on the grander houses of wealthy wool merchants, but fell out of favour during the last hundred or so years. It is now mainly, but not exclusively, confined to East Anglia where a handful of craftsmen and women still practise this art.

As well as applying the decoration directly to the wall in the traditional way, Joe also produces bespoke pargeted panels using traditional materials and techniques, framed in new or reclaimed timber. These are commissioned by clients all over the UK and Europe.

His inspiration ranges from Medieval woodwork through Jacobean design to the works of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement.

Examples of Joe’s work can be seen on his website.

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