If you live in an older home that was built before the time where every process was mechanised, then you may enjoy some of the decorative skills employed by tradesmen and plasterers from "back in the day." The edge of the plaster ceiling in your living room is adorned with a cornice and may have an elaborate pattern as a way of adding character to the room itself. However, you're facing a significant problem with this ceiling, as you've recently had a flooding event. The water tank in your attic may have burst, and this has brought part of the ceiling down, together with some of that decorative cornice. What can you do to try and put everything back to its original condition?
While it is true to say that the skills involved with traditional cornice-making are less common these days, it is still possible to replicate the existing design using modern-day methods. To begin with, your tradesperson will need to determine what material was used when the original design was crafted, as it may, for example, have been made with lighter fibrous plaster.
Assessing the Task
When you first talk with a craftsman to discuss repair work to the damaged ceiling, ask them about their approach to this type of decoration. They may be able to make a cast of the undamaged area, so they can create an authentic reproduction. In most cases the cornice will be a more standard feature, rather than an individual or "one-off" carving, after all.
Work in Progress
Once they have made their assessment, they will be able to trace the pattern of the original, and they can then apply the special mould to setting plaster. When they have the finished result, they will then be able to overlay the cornice after they have finished repairing the plaster ceiling itself. They'll use special fittings to make sure that the job is well done, and you will end up with a perfect result.
As you can imagine, this is quite a specialist job and will need the right type of tools. It's not something that you should try yourself if you want the work to be first-class.
When all is said and done, you won't be able to tell that you had a plumbing disaster of any kind, but in the future, try to pay more attention to the condition of that water tank, just in case!