It was built as a church school, then used by local artists but now the 3,000 square feet of internal space at Widcombe Old School in Bath houses a unique traditional artisan workshop and studio producing handmade and detailed plaster models of great architectural and historic beauty.
Timothy Richards and his craftsmen have established a style of work for which they are known through Europe and America and produce designs from Ancient Greece to the present day.
There’s a bread and butter element to this business too. Apart from the Timothy Richards models of Architecture the team also makes – under another company name – plaster statues, busts and models to supply the museum and heritage trade – including items for the Pump Rooms here in Bath.
Other customers include the British Museum, English Heritage and the National Trust.
Their existing range of over 50 pieces includes Egyptian, Roman, famous historic English character busts and Canova lions.
They can quickly develop a range of casts for any organisation planning special exhibitions – often using casts of existing artefacts.
Timothy is an artist with a varied background in which he made both model and historic replicas of real boats AND worked as a teacher of arts and crafts.
He got into this business 25 years ago after being made redundant twice in a row.
I couldn’t help wondering if these detailed miniatures of real three-dimensional architecture were helping people appreciate things they tend to miss in their busy lives.
Unless we are a tourist – we don’t often stand and really look at buildings.
Consumerism has taught us only to look in the shop window – never above.
The whole building models are fantastic. There is also a range of more modest houses – like Jane Austen’s in Bath and the William Herschel Museum.
The team do special commissions for private buyers or presentations and presents.
Timothy is not at liberty to name clients but they would seem to include people in the acting world, religious leaders, politicians and even the world of opera.
I couldn’t resist asking whether a model of Buckingham Palace had ever been asked for.
You can find out more about Timothy and his talented team on www.timothyrichards.com