Making a blue plaque

Exeter Civic Society’s blue plaques are produced by Leander Architectural, a firm that has been making plaques for a wide range of organisations and heritage bodies for more than 140 years, using traditional techniques supported by modern technology. These images follow production of┬áthe plaque to Charlie Brewer and Mary the pigeon over a period of four days in December 2017.

The wording of the plaque was passed to Leander who supplied a draft layout for approval, using a template they had stored for Exeter Civic Society. The approved design is projected onto a plate at the same size as the final plaque and prepared for etching to produce a raised impression of the design.

The etched plate is placed face upwards on the bed of a frame and damp sand is poured over it.

Once the frame is full it is tamped down and a sand mould is produced with an inverted copy of the design.

The mould is closed and a high-silicon aluminium alloy is poured into it. The molten alloy is allowed to cool.

The plaque is removed from the sand mould, excess sand is brushed off and it is prepared to receive the final coatings.

Leander’s paint finish is made up of an acid etch primer, undercoat and two thin acrylic top coats.

The lettering is then rubbed down and highlighted by hand in enamels resulting in the finished plaque we can all admire.