Following the extensive prep work needed in creating our urn, the physical development can begin. First, a plaster model is fashioned in the required shape, so that a reverse plaster mould can be produced, allowing for the shrinkage that happens during and after the casting process. Once the mould is dry – often in several sections for intricate pieces – the clay is put into the mould, with close attention and control placed on wall thickness. Our ‘slip casting’ practice offers significant advantages over other, less consistent, methods (please click here to read an article explaining why).
When partially dry, the urn is then hand finished by our master craftsmen, to improve final quality, remove imperfections and correct defects using specialist tools. Following further dimensional checks, it is slowly dried to avoid cracking and sprayed with the required glaze with any appropriate finishes/textures, before kiln firing. Our specialist laboratory can artificially ‘age’ the urn, to ensure it matches the building upon installation.
After firing for over 24 hours, the urn is ready for final inspection, in line with tightly regulated quality control procedures, including the internationally recognised ISO9000 standards for quality management.
Next comes packaging and transport of the beautiful finished item – extremely important, as all the craftsmanship in the world comes to nothing if something gets damaged in transit. We experience zero transport damage, thanks to the care and time we spend making sure our terra cotta is packed safely and correctly, in high density polystyrene and sealed in heavy-duty plastic crates with one-inch thick wooden tops.
Because our sophisticated planning procedures match our production process with on-site schedules, even allowing for shipping, the urn will arrive at the construction site at the time and location it is required. We use a dedicated shipping partner and handle any transport documentation, for client convenience, so all that’s left is to fix the new urn in place of the old one and restore a great old section of architectural detail to its former glory.
To discuss an architectural terra cotta restoration or repair project, please contact us.