Real Lath Art - Using Wood Over 100 Years Old!
Dan uses only actual laths, taken from actual old houses, for his lath art. This makes each piece of art an authentic, vintage piece, because the raw materials used to build it (even the frames, upon request) are sometimes over a hundred years old.
A lath is a strip of wood that is nailed to the stud of a wall. Each lath is affixed about a 1/2 inch away from the next. Then plaster is spread over the laths and smoothed. Before they started using drywall, this was the most common way to make the smooth finishing on a wall.
Because laths are no longer used (except in special reconstruction and restoration projects) the lath wood is difficult to find and takes a lot of time to prepare for artwork. All of Dan's lath art creations are used with real laths that came from old buildings and houses. During a teardown, the plaster is chiseled off the wall, leaving only the studs and the lathwork nailed to it. The laths are pried away from the stud, carefully so as not to break them, and then put in bundles.
We then spend time sorting through the bundles, pulling out the pieces that are too damaged to use, and cleaning all the loose plaster from the ones that can be used. Then we pull the nails out of each lath. This must be done with care, so the lath is not damaged more than it has to be.
Then the laths are sanded down and separated into sizes, so that the artist (Dan Engel) can choose which pieces to use for specific jobs.
Look through some of Dan's lath art creations or contact us to have one custom made.