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J.Hugh.L.Beattie Portraits, Military & Civil. 
 
Learning an old craft a'new. 
 
During renovations on my cottage, first built when George III was a young man, I have had to learn to use lime plaster. In East Anglia many of the older houses are not only plastered with lime but because this ancient version of concrete is so malleable, it is used for relief decoration, called Pargetting. 
Pargetting can be just a repeated pattern or complex figurative work, but on the houses around Essex and Suffolk they tend to be folk symbols, historic characters and simple shapes. 
So as I had some scaffolding against my cottage I turned my hand to a little bit of symbolism. My work is a little on the rustic side, but all the same it makes a great impression on the end wall and I hope it will beguile and confound the observant walker when passing for generations to come. 
For this small roundel, the process took about three ‘sittings’ over the course of a week, because the plaster is too wet at first to apply the final finish. The craftsman must continually smooth and fill all the elements until there are no jagged elements. This first attempt was a very satisfying revelation to me, and I am thus looking for a new project. 
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