photo: Artisans Consortium International
Ahh they don't build things like they used. The glory days of European architecture make the cheaply built mega-mansions of late a difficult pill to swallow. For a glimpse of what once was you need only jaunt over to Italy to see the stunning ancient architecture built in the glory days of Venetian society. The Artisans Consortium International (ACI), a group of classically trained plaster artisians is bringing this ancient green art of plastering to some modern buildings.Lime plasters have been used throughout history and now they're going up in buildings across the country thanks to ACI. ACI has done projects at Lennox Mall in Atlanta, the Southwest Terminal at the Tampa Airport, and at homes throughout Georgia and Florida to name a few. For the artisans, plastering is more than just covering walls, it's an artform that makes the surface an artistic statement by itself. These plasters are naturally sustainable, made with materials like Italian slaked lime, crushed marble dust, quartz aggregate, and water. They're produced without plastics and harmful chemicals in keeping with traditional plastering methods. It's applied by the individual artisans and it's supposedly more durable than the painted wall. Some of the plaster finishes can even filter harmful formaldehyde to improve indoor air quality.
Lime plasters can be seen all over Europe on interiors and stunning exteriors. Polished plasters were actually created in Venice to mimic marble without the weight.