Angelique and me outside of the dome at Beaver Palace
Me holding the Askins Award
My dome and workshop at Beaver Palace Studios
From what started as a series of projects involving working out of a shed and a wheelbarrow, I started my interior design career and eventually created the now multi-branched corporation Hayles and Howe. I have represented them many times at the Preservation Trades Network Workshop (PTN) and this year I won the Askins Award for my work with scagliola and plaster. Throughout the years I have taught many apprentices this interior design inspiration, and taken on many life changing projects. Not the least of which was marrying my beautiful wife Angelique and building a place we could call home in the hills of central New York State.
Beaver Palace Studios
The entrance to Beaver Palace
After working for the Ministry of Public Building and Works, Ancient Monuments Dept. as a student architect, I became interested in old plaster techniques.
In the 1960s, I learned largely through trial and error about scagliola, and since then, I have probably restored and created more scagliola then anyone else in the world. I have taught the technique too at the European Centre for Crafts Preservation in Venice and at the Edward James Foundation in England. I have made or restored scagliola for at least four Royal families around the world, and many state Capitol buildings in the U.S.A. These include places like Buckingham Palace, The Capitol Building in Washington D.C. and many, many others.
When I am not visiting family in the U.K. or biking around various parts of the world, I keep myself busy working on my home and work space, Beaver Palace. There is always something to be built or fixed, some farm animals to be fed or some quality time to be spent in the workshop making scagliola or some plaster ornament.
This is the place that I call home, and it has been a perfect location to write "The Magic of Scagliola." you will be seeing a lot of this place in my book where I show you how I use my workshop and tools to make the "magic" of scagliola come alive.