Callum Thorne Decorative Plasterwork

Ornamental Plastering

What is Ornamental Plastering?

Ornamental plastering is decorative and placed on interior walls and ceilings and made of wet plaster reinforced with hessian or fibreglass for strength. It is used for cornice moldings, ornamental work, and ceiling roses and arches, which are handcrafted and made in the workshop of Thorne Decorative Plasterwork before being fixed in position.

Ornamental plasterwork began to feature in many Australian homes in the early 20th century and has many different styles such as Georgian, Victorian, Federation and more recently art deco which was introduced around the early 1920s.

Different Styles Of Plasterworks


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Elegant and  formal in style Georgian mouldings tend to vary considerably. One of the main features of cornices of this period is that they projected down the wall and across the ceiling at equal distances giving balance to the room.

Ceilings often featured motifs such as swags, ribbons, garlands, husks and the Greek key patterns embedded into the cornices. Other decorative ornaments included dentils and egg and dart patterns.


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Cornice was very ornate in this period, even more so than the Georgian era and was decorated heavily with flowers, fruits and vines. Ceiling roses were also very popular in this era and was popular between between mid to late 19th centuries.


Federation style ceiling

Does the decorative plasterwork in your home feature Waratahs, kookaburras or lyrebirds? If so this style represents the federation era. Federation style was prevalent in Australia from around 1890 to 1915 and borrowed much of its ideas from previous architectural periods.

Art Deco

Art deco ceiling by ornamental plasterer Callum Thorne from Sydney

Bold, chunky designs are typical of this era. Cornices and mouldings were richly embellished with hard-edged, low-relief designs: geometric shapes, including chevrons and ziggurats; and stylized floral and sunrise patterns.