So what is Scagliola? It is a method of creating imitation marble or other stone. This example is a Attingham Hall in Shropshire and the columns are hollow wood covered by scagliola. Because they are hollow they sound totally different to marble columns when you tap on them. They are also warmer to the touch.
The Scagliola technique came into fashion in 17th-century Tuscany as an effective substitute for costly marble inlays, the pietra dura works created for the Medici family in Florence.
Scagliola is a composite substance made from selenite, glue and natural pigments, imitating marble and other hard stones. The material may be veined with colors and applied to a core, or desired pattern may be carved into a previously prepared scagliola matrix. The pattern's indentations are then filled with the colored, plaster-like scagliola composite, and then polished with flax oil for brightness, and wax for protection. The combination of materials and technique provides a complex texture, and richness of colour not available in natural veined marbles.
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