Coade stone is a composition of clay fired in a kiln at a very high temperature to produce a versatile and highly durable sculptural medium that is impervious to both rain and frost.
Coade Ltd uses a unique formula to produce a ceramic body that is very duable and resistant to all weathering. The workshop untdertakes restoration and conservation, work as well as producing new coade stone pieces.
Coade Design takes on private commissions, both small and large-scale and works alongside architects, interior designers and landscape architects to create bespoke sculptures and objects that compliment and enhance both interior and exterior spaces.
The restoration and conservation team work on projects in some of the UK’s most prestigious houses to bring back to life badly damaged sculptures in both Coade stone and other mediums.
Coade stone was originally made in 1769 at the Coade factory in London, under the guidance of Eleanor Coade. She employed some of the finest artists and sculptors of the day to produce objects and sculpture for houses, gardens and public spaces. Its creamy buff colour meant coade stone blended perfectly with Georgian stonework. It was often used instead of stone and marble. However the Coade foundry closed in 1840 and the formula and techniques for making coade stone were lost.
After extensive research and experimentation Stephen Pettifer rediscovered the formula that produces coade stone of the same quality as the original Coade factory. Much of what attracted Eleanor Coade to this material remains relevant today. Using clay as the working medium enables very detailed sculptures to be created. Its quality stands out, especially compared to modern ‘artificial’ stone and the high temperature in the firing process makes it weather resistant.
Stephen Pettifer trained in sculpture and stone carving at The City & Guilds of London Art School. He has worked for English Heritage, The National Trust, Cliveden Conservation, Westminster Abbey, Museum of London and sculptors Anish Kapoor and Emily Young among others. He founded Coade Ltd in 2000, initially in London, before moving to larger premises in Wiltshire in 2005.