Plaster and decorative painting are allies in the world of decoration. Cast plaster ornaments have long been used in a myriad of ways to adorn simple surroundings with a touch of elegance or, outright opulence in the case of some public buildings and private residences. At Painting in Partnership, we often use decorative painting techniques to embellish such plaster elements, like in the picture below. The decorative finishes can be more subtle like in this picture or stronger, depending on the effect needed.
Chicago-based Decorators Supply, Co. has been manufacturing such plaster ornamentation for over a century and distributing it all over the world. In fact, the company was founded in 1883 and became one of the main suppliers of moldings for the buildings at the Columbian Exhibition in 1893. This giant World’s Fair attracted to Chicago scores of sculptors and artisans from all over Europe. This rich pool of talent helped Decorators Supply, Co. develop, over a period of four decades, a fantastic array of original carvings that are still used today to create all the company’s molds and casts.
This unique and rich artistic legacy of over 11,000 walnut and oak carvings is kept in a vault at Decorators Supply. Each carving is mounted on a piece of 3-ply board. They are catalogued and stored on wood trays that are stacked from floor to ceiling in the vault. I recently had the privilege of visiting this vault. It is truly an amazing sight! In 1896, William Grage Sr. joined the company as an office boy and he eventually became the owner of the company. The three current owners of Decorators Supply are third-generation descendants of William Grage. You can find more information on the company’s website.
A company like Decorators Supply is a partner to Painting in Partnership, in the world of painting and decorating. Their cast plaster ornaments give our decorative painters infinite opportunities to use their imagination to enhance the beauty of residences and public buildings we work on.
We are proud to count Decorators Supply Co. among our Trusted Partners.