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There’s a plaice for us. Somewhere, a plaice for us.


We went antiquing today and I bought was this attractive plaster cast of a fish.

One of my teachers in art school was the last of the old-time plaster casters, or so he told us. It’s a dying art. Incredibly important stuff, once. From the prosaic plastering-of-walls to medical casts of two-headed babies and bunions in the shape of George Washington. Those fabulous ornate ceilings, frames and gilt mirrors? Plaster — cast, carved and covered in gold leaf. Art students learned to draw from casts of great and famous sculptures and to sculpt from carving the stuff. Death masks, molds for ceramics, prototypes. Fresco. Gesso.

And don’t get me started on cement!

Anyhow, this is a modern cast of a Victorian cast from the British Museum. Presumably cast from an actual fish. It’s a plaice; a very tasty and popular flatfish. I’ve spent the whole day saying, “I’ve always wanted a plaice of my own” and “would you like to see my special plaice?” and “a woman’s plaice is in the kitchen.”

That’s twelve pounds worth of fun any day.

June 17, 2009 — 6:43 pm
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