Over the Christmas holidays, a team of plasterers prepared the wall behind the chapel for the Fresco which is to be painted there at the beginning of March. Much more than slapping on a bit of plaster onto the wall, the whole process has been a complex work of art in itself.
The first stage which was begun just after Christmas was to key the background by hacking into the existing paint and plaster. This then created the suction and grip for the subsequent coats of lime (yes, all 2 tonnes of it!). Betwixt the different levels of lime were adhesive layers and mesh and the lime was mixed with fibres (in the old days they used horse hair) to bind the plaster together.
Finally there was a final skim with crushed marble to give the finish that you see. Over the next couple of weeks the lime plaster will settle and dry out. In this time the colour of the plaster will change and it will begin to radiate a warm luminosity. And then, towards the end of February, the iconographer, Aidan Hart, will be arriving with his team and begin work on the fresco which will take a further ten days. Thank you for your patience as we wait for our chapel to be transfigured!