Ornamental Fabrication

Supporting a rich heritage of decorative sheet-metalwork

While the use of metals as a building material goes back to Roman times, decorative sheet-metal fabrication really came to the fore when manufacturing techniques converged with the Victorian appreciation of ornamentation. Today, North America has a rich heritage of surviving ornamental sheet-metalwork, including pediments, decorative cornices, metal stamping of frieze panels, columns, roof finals, decorative urns, leader heads, pressed-metal ceilings (or tin ceilings), handrails, cupolas, steeples, domes and sculptural exterior statues.

When these architectural details need to be replaced or restored on historic structures–from public buildings to churches, historic homes to monuments, Heather and Little are able to work with architects and contractors to provide meticulously crafted historically accurate metal work. From a practical standpoint, they are durable, lightweight, fire-resistant and can be made to imitate other materials. Aesthetically they restore the original elegance and ornamental appeal of significant buildings—literally preserving history.

Decorative Stamped and Fabricated Sheet Metal

The skilled pressed sheet metal craftsmen at Heather & Little have a wealth of experience in restoring and reproducing historic profiles of architectural sheet metal elements. We can create long or short runs of your custom or stock stamped sheet metal design, using the metal best suited to your needs. Geometric forms, garlands, capitals, friezes, flora and fauna are all sources of inspiration.

Domes/Steeples/Cupolas

A domed roof, steeple or metal cupola is often the major focal point of a building. H&L has close to a century of expertise in ensuring that these architectural features are built to last, and have the style and distinction they demand. Sheet metal, decorative metal shingles or metal Spanish tiles are all variously employed as roofing materials depending on the project

Cornices

This specialized architectural molding is designed to be both practical and decorative, extending past the edge of a roof at various levels on a building. Sheet metal Cornice can be simple or complex, made up of multiple components including crown moulding, end brackets, frieze embellishments and or a dentil course. Our skilled artisans expertly cut, bend, and join these elements to create elegant and durable three-dimensional forms that appear solid from the outside.

Statues and Monuments

Properly restoring and replicating sheet metal statuary is a challenging undertaking, and requires many years of hands-on experience to get it right. H&L take exceptional pride in our sheet metal statue restoration, having re-created and restored numerous statuary across North America guided by existing work, drawings, historic photographs, as well as undertaking completely new designs.
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Ornamental Stamped and Formed Sheet Metal reimagined for Modern Aesthetic

Ornamental stamped and formed sheet metal elements can be reimagined for modern applications: a metal cupola on a government building, the new church steeple or dome, or unique metal stamping detail for a custom designed home.

Depending on the application, we work with the materials traditionally used in ornamental architecture : copper, stainless steel, brass, bronze, zinc, lead, aluminum and Corten steel (or weathered steel) employing time tested artisanal techniques together with new innovations in alloys, finishes and manufacturing.

Whether you need us to recreate a long-lost statue from an aging photograph, or help bring an architectural detail to life, H&L is ready to be your go-to partner.

Gould Memorial Library, New York
Decorative Stamped and Fabricated Sheet Metal

The Gould Memorial Library –once described as the most famous New York buildings you’ve never heard of– is considered one of eminent architect Stanford White’s masterpieces. This project called for a demanding combination of stamped elements requiring many moulds and dies to reproducing custom copper shingles for the 70-foot dome as well as other decorative elements.

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Lady Justice Statue at the Navarro County Courthouse, TX
Statues and Monuments

H&L has successfully restored and reproduced Lady of Justice sheet metal statues for courthouses throughout the United States, and with the help of the Texas Historical Commission and a grainy old black and white photograph, we were able to bring this Lady back to life.

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The Sun Tower, Vancouver, BC
Cupolas, Domes and Steeples

The 1912 Sun Tower is capped by a Beaux-Arts dome and cupola originally clad in a terracotta tile that had been painted to resemble aged copper. The owners and design team desired a true copper roof that replicated the existing tile. Since this product didn't exist, Heather & Little created, then installed custom-stamped copper tiles, perfectly replicating the terracotta profile.

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Toronto Club, Toronto, ON
Cornice

Creating the elegant sheet copper cornice was an exacting process involving hundreds of dentils. At first glance this doesn’t seem to be H&L metal work, but rather, terra cotta. Sheet copper work it is, however, which had to be laboriously finished before a special paint and sand finish could be applied.

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Preservation Consulting

And if you are looking for a second opinion on your project or have a particularly complex issue that needs a fresh eye, we’re here for that too. Tackling tricky challenges is our specialty and we welcome the opportunity to provide consulting advice, with the same exacting attention to detail we bring to all our commissions.
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