Venetian plaster was developed by stuccoists working in Bavaria, Germany inventing a new type of decorative internal plasterwork, called scagliola. This was composed of gypsum plaster, animal glue and pigments, and was used to imitate colored marbles and pietre dure ornament. Sand or marble dust and lime, were sometimes added to these forerunners of Venetian plaster.
Soon after Italian artists, combining it with modelled stucco decoration, introduced the sgraffito technique, also known as graffito or scratchwork, back to Germany further refining the durabillity of these now so called Venetian plasters.
These Venetian plaster techniques were practiced for 100s of years by European artists adding layers of contrasting lime plaster were applied and a design scratched through the upper layer to reveal the color beneath.
The 17th century saw the introduction of different types of internal plasterwork. Stucco marble was an artificial marble made using lime (sometimes with gypsum), pigments, water and glue to the Venetian plaster. Stucco lustro was another a form of imitation marble (sometimes called stucco lucido) where a thin layer of lime or gypsum plaster is applied over a scored support of lime, with pigments scattered on surface of the wet plaster.
In the last decade, an American invented term Venetian Plaster has been assigned to a wide range of techniques; many having little or nothing to do with one the other besides superficial surface similarities. Other terms include Stucco Veneziano, Italian or Venetian stucco, Marmorino, Scagliola, Sgraffitto, Marezzo, American scagliola, Spatolato. Tradenames include Tadelakt, Kurra and other commercial stucco brands.
The actual Venetian plaster process is a finishing technique using thin layers of plaster applied with a spatula or trowel. The plaster is then burnished to create a smooth surface with an illusion of depth and texture in the Venetian plaster.
In America, Venetian plaster describes a variety of different techniques and materials used to create the polished stucco finish. The English word for plaster is not related to the material which makes normal plaster and actually comes from old French word "plaister" which means gypsum.
Plaster is not used in most Venetian plaster formulas except the Scagliola finish, the basic Plaster mix is gypsum, sand and lime or sometimes just the gypsum and sand.
Whereas Stucco is a traditional mix of lime and sand and more modern stucco is the mix of lime, cement and additionally sand.
If you need plaster artisans, trained in Europe in the Venetian plaster and Italian plaster arts, we can bring to your home, business, or commercial project an unmatched level of beauty, elegance, and sophistication. Whether it is the polished brilliance of smooth Venetian plaster, cool sparkling Marmorino, or heavily textured Venetian plaster with an old world or old wall feel.
Give us a call. 917-415-6215.
Give us a call. 917-415-6215.