Our design team received a call from a clockmaker who was inspecting the dials at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Blandford Forum. With scaffolding in place for other restoration work, this was an ideal opportunity for the 1882 clock dials to receive some much wanted attention.
Working from photos and measurements received direct from the church tower, we prepared a computer drawing of the existing dial numerals. Being in close contact with our site team helped us to accurately re-work the original design. All traditional dials have differences, in size, style and colour, as if bearing the signature of the original maker or architect.
Our gilding department produced a stencil mask from the computer file, not for their own use but to send to site. Meanwhile our clockmakers had prepared the copper chapter rings by cleaning and repainting with the most appropriate weatherproof materials. When this surface had cured, the masks were applied. Then began the gilding process, a centuries old method requiring gold size to be brushed on then left to harden for a set length of time so as to receive the almost impossibly thin real gold leaf. Not until all the gold has been applied was the mask carefully lifted, revealing a sparkling crisp chapter and minute marks image.