Our local plaster specialist, Plaster Supplies in Hamilton, was very helpful, and is able to custom make everything we need for Willowbrook. A veteran plasterer and designer himself, he was very excited about the opportunity to work on a period home, and was able to show us some of the 150 year old cornice moldings that he had in storage, which he hasn't had any call to use - until now! They are also going to make the 10 foot plaster ceiling dome for the foyer from our drawings. I imagine that it will end up looking something like the one above.
They had a lot of other nice Georgian period ceiling roses and plaster details...
The roundel below will be used in the Blenheim Suite
We will use the second from the bottom for quite a few other pediments.
The pediments for the main foyer will be made out of the same pattern as the cornicing for the foyer, shown below...
We have even found some period vent grills / covers, to go over the air-conditioning ducting...
All pictures on light blue background are from Ceiling Panels Australia's catalogue. Our local plasterer imports from them directly.
There are other plaster suppliers in NZ who also have some good cornices and roundels:
The least coloured shellac is produced when the insects are parasitic upon the kursum tree, (Schleichera trijuga). The raw shellac, which contains bark shavings and lac bug parts, is placed in canvas tubes (much like long stockings) and heated over a fire. This causes the shellac to liquefy, and it seeps out of the canvas leaving the bark and bug parts behind. The thick sticky shellac is then dried into a flat sheet and broken up into flakes. It is then mixes it with denatured alcohol on-site a few days prior to use in order to dissolve the flakes and make liquid shellac.
Shellac is often the only historically appropriate finish for early 20th-century hardwood floor, wall and ceiling paneling. From the time it replaced oil and wax finishes in the 1800s, shellac was the dominant wood finish in the western world until it was replaced by nitrocellulose lacquer in the 1920s and 1930s.
Multiple thin layers of shellac produce a significantly better end result than a few thick layers—thick layers of shellac do not adhere to the wood or plaster well, and thus can be peeled off with relative ease; in addition, thick shellac will fill in (and thus ruin) carved designs in wood and other substrates.
Shellac naturally dries to a high-gloss sheen. For applications where a flatter, more matte finish is desired, products containing amorphous silica, such as "Shellac Flat," may be added to the dissolved shellac.
Shellac naturally contains a small amount of wax (3%-5% by volume), which comes from the lac bug. In some preparations, this wax is removed (the resulting product being called "dewaxed shellac"). This is done for applications where the shellac will be coated with something else (such as paint or varnish), so that the topcoat will be able to stick. Waxy (non-dewaxed) shellac appears milky in liquid form, but dries clear.