craftsmanship & expertise

Our technical ability in the matching of detail, blending of clays and moulding of clay bodies is well known within the industry. We understand how fired clay improves with age, and weathers to produce subtle nuances of shade and colour.


 

Many restoration projects start with broken, eroded or missing terracotta pieces, which require meticulous surveys of the colour, finish and detail of the original building. We pride ourselves on then recreating the construction methods often used centuries ago to match the clay pieces.

The bespoke nature of our products means that selection of shape, colour and finish is not restricted to a standard range. With proven durability, terracotta is resistant to the effects of weathering and atmospheric attack, and the ease by which it can be shaped makes terracotta one of the most versatile building materials available.

The diverse use of terracotta in our prime markets of the UK and USA is testimony to this versatility, and is just as valid for today’s modern designs as it was for the classical buildings built 100 years ago.

Architectural Terracotta is a fired clay product from a prepared blend of clay. The clay body is slip cast or hand pressed into moulds forming hollow blocks ranging from simple ashlar to highly decorative units.

It is load-bearing, durable and fire-resistant. The through-body terracotta colours are typically earthy such as red, buff, tawny and grey.

The application of a glaze to a terracotta block forms a hardwearing, colour fast surface of either gloss, eggshell or matt finish. This product is known as Architectural Faience.

 

Get in touch to find out how we can help with your restoration project.

 

the impressive cv's of our highly skilled team include the following prestigious restoration projects (whilst at shaws of darwen):


royal albert hall

One of the countries finest and best loved Grade 1 Listed buildings. The brief was to create a new south porch which would replace the existing terracotta to the highest of standards. 

The jewel in the crown of the Royal Albert Hall’s recent development was the new south porch which had to match the existing grade I listed building and required the manufacture of over 8,400 meticulous, decorated, load bearing terracotta blocks. The skills to design, sculpt and replicate these blocks, and the performance of their team on the project was absolutely first class.
— David Elliot, Chief Executive, The Royal Albert Hall.
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License- CC-BY-SA 3.0

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License- CC-BY-SA 3.0

Photo by Lukemain.

Photo by Lukemain.


the london coliseum

Home of the English National Opera, this Frank Matcham designed, Grade II theatre required 4600 no new terracotta blocks to the façades and tower, along with replacement Atlas figures and lion sculptures.

Photo by Andreas Praefcke.

Photo by Andreas Praefcke.


Wrigley building, chicago

Over 15,000no moulded and highly decorative blocks were required for this iconic Chicago landmark.

Photo by Raymond Tambunan.

Photo by Raymond Tambunan.


South Kensington Tube Station

Another of architect Leslie Green's many famous underground stations. The corroded steel frame meant that almost 90% of the blood red faience facade had to be replaced.


BAttersea power station

Clad in Faience made in Darwen, we retain the original glaze recipe from 1927 and the services of the skilled glaze operative who produced the faience tiling in Turbine Hall B.

Photo by Michael Collins

Photo by Michael Collins

Photo by Michael Collins

Photo by Michael Collins

Photo by Michael Collins

Photo by Michael Collins


Harrods Department Store

Our team have worked on this famous building continually for over twenty six years, recreating the terracotta to the facades and roof areas.

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License- CC-BY-SA 3.0

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License- CC-BY-SA 3.0


Air W1, quadrant 3 development, london

One of London's major city centre redevelopments, over 9,500no faience blocks were created to revitalise the former Regents Palace Hotel in London.

Photo by Paul Riddle.

Photo by Paul Riddle.

Photo by Paul Riddle.

Photo by Paul Riddle.

Photo by Dan Dubovitz.

Photo by Dan Dubovitz.


Natural History Museum

Regarded as one of the finest terracotta buildings in the world, this famous Alfred Waterhouse building has required continuous work over many years. Our sculptors have worked on both the external and internal facades.

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License- CC-BY-SA 3.0

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License- CC-BY-SA 3.0

Photo by Valérie75.

Photo by Valérie75.

Photo by Dmitry A. Mottl.

Photo by Dmitry A. Mottl.


Blackpool Tower

During the 1960's the intricate terracotta entrance areas were severely damaged by the timber coverings and illuminous lighting. Our craftspeople recreated the highly decorated replacement panels pieces and arched areas.


Hoover Building, London

Iconic Art Deco Building of 1933 by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners, required replacement black, blue and orange faience.

Photo by Ewan Munro.

Photo by Ewan Munro.