Saint Mary’s Church,Willimantic

Saint Mary’s Church required both paint and plaster investigative studies to assist in the plaster and decorative paint work that was needed.

A fire nearly destroyed St. Mary’s in 2013. What little was left of the plaster ceiling was stabilized, conserved, and repaired. There were places where the ornamental plaster could be cast so that replacement elements could be replicated. In other areas, the framing, lath, and 3-coat plaster was recreated. Traditional methods of running moulds were used for continuous, simple dimensional elements, with ornamental plaster section elements for cornices, column capitals, and other decorative elements applied as appropriate.

A new decorative paint scheme was required. Canning designers conceived a new scheme using period style and patterns using sacred iconic symbols. Gold stars on blue background represent the night sky visible on January 1, 1905, the day the first mass was celebrated in the church.

An original baptismal mural was salvaged and conserved, and a new, 17′ mural of Saint Mary and Child was created for the front nave ceiling.