What is a Fluted Plaster Column?

Blog |November 19th, 2018

A column (also known as a pillar) is a structural element that is found in many examples of classical architecture from all over the world. Typically designed to be a large, elongated round support for structures stacked above it, it is typified by the addition of a base (properly called a pedestal) and a top-most part (called a capital).

The majority of columns typically have rounded shafts, but some rare examples feature square or hexagonal shafts. In classical architecture, they served the purpose of distributing the weight of a very heavy roof equally, or to otherwise bolster a freestanding structure against strong wind currents and earthquakes.

Early examples of columns were simplistic and practical, although later versions became more ornate and aesthetically oriented. Later on, columns served an additional role of being stand-alone aesthetics, not used or meant to support anything, but simply to act as nothing more than an objet d’art in its own right.

Today, columns still play an integral role in modern and revivalist architectural structures, but their role as indoor décor has become more pronounced of late. Used as book ends, as a means to display other pieces of art, or employed as flanking for fireplaces, doorways, or freestanding arches, artistic columns have remained a mainstay in aesthetics.

The most popular variety of columns available today are fluted types, which generally have a type of fluting or scalloping done on the shaft of the column, and may or might not possess an ornate capital or pedestal.

Typically patterned after Grecian Ionic or Corinthian columns, these plaster-made art pieces are excellent investments for the following:

• Aesthetic versatility – while not exactly considered a ‘true’ column, plaster-made columns are often incorporated into balustrades to add a touch of ‘classical’ elements to a modern structure. Aside from this, true fluted plaster columns can be used to flank things like fireplaces or doorways that add just the right touch of flair that contrasts the commonly minimalist themes of today.

• Affordable and durable – plaster is notoriously affordable, but it is a material that doesn’t stint when it comes to durability. Low-maintenance and long-wearing, fluted plaster columns are also a welcome addition to any garden or yard area.

• Excellent for restoration work
– modern plaster-cast fluted columns are wonderful for restoration work, and can be used in lieu of the more expensive marble or granite columns. While not as solid as the former two, in areas where there is no need for weight distribution or in applications where mere aesthetic restoration is necessary, they come in quite handy!

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