The story of the Master of Plaster Finishing System’s lime plasters begins almost 400 years ago with a man by the name of Christopher Kempster. Born in Burford – Oxfordshire, England – Christopher served as architect, stone mason, and plasterer throughout his storied career, working alongside Sir Christopher Wren for the tenure of both their careers. While providing materials for the building of famous structures such as Blenheim Palace, Oxford Colleges, Windsor Castle, Christ Church, Abingdon County Hall, St. James Garlickhythe, and many others Christopher is most well-known for his work on St. Paul’s Cathedral. Christopher’s legacy has been carried on from generation to generation following his death in 1715. Moving on to the mid-1900’s and the legacy of the 9th generation ancestor, Michael Kempster. Working from his studio in Essex, NY Mike has worked throughout the East Coast restoring some of this country’s most ornate and complex plaster interiors.
From the Willard Intercontinental in Washington, DC to Ellis Island in New York City – Mike’s body of work is astounding. As he began to see the plastering trades diminish with the onset of cheaper materials and labor, he decided there was a need for a true, authentic, lime plaster made readily available for other plasterers. Thus, he began to focus on his hand-crafted plaster formulations he had been using and working with throughout his career. Passed down for hundreds of years and improved upon with each succeeding generation, the MOP lines of plasters are truly one of a kind, exceptional materials with which to work. The firm moved from Mike’s original Essex, NY studio to the current manufacturing plant in Columbia, South Carolina when the effect of cancer took Mike’s life. The current owner, Kirk Dillon, a fellow plasterer who discovered Mike’s plasters in the late 90’s, took over the reins for MOP once Mike was unable to continue at the helm of the firm. After becoming close colleagues and friends with Mike, Kirk hated the thought of these formulations being lost with Mike’s passing.
Today the team of designers and expert plasterers that comprise the MOP team work hard to carry on the traditions of the Kempster lineage begun so many centuries ago – honoring the legacy and the passion of the true Master of Plaster, Mike Kempster. As Mike shared his passions for this fine art with us, we strive to share his legacy with the rest of the world.