Slideshow shadow

Boston Valley & Homer Laughlin China – Two American Ceramic Manufacturers

October 23, 2014 in Uncategorized by Tricia Herby

The Homer Laughlin China Co. was recently featured in NPR’s American Made Series as an excellent example of an American manufacturing company that has been in constant operation since it’s founding in 1873. Many people know of Homer Laughlin’s Fiesta pottery line, fewer are aware of the companies deep history in developing the first major whiteware manufacturing plant in the United States. This whiteware is now a standard of excellence for many hotel and restaurant operations who are the primary consumers of this product. Boston Valley is proud to have two connects to Homer Laughlin: first our shared history as a long-standing American ceramic manufacturer; and second our use of rejected Homer Laughlin whiteware as a raw material in our clay mixture. Previously fired ceramic material, known as grog, is one component of the terra cotta clay recipe. Boston Valley purchases rejected pieces and scrap from Homer Laughlin, grinds the pieces up, and mixes this with our own recycled material to add to our clay mixtures. This industrial recycling process provides LEED credit opportunities for owners and architects interested in green products!

Plates, cups, bowls and other dinnerware rejected during Homer Laughlin's QC process are shipped to Boston Valley to be ground up and put into terra cotta clay recipes.

Plates, cups, bowls and other dinnerware rejected during Homer Laughlin’s QC process are shipped to Boston Valley to be ground up and put into terra cotta clay recipes.

Fully Custom Prototyping in Boston Valley’s ARCH Design Lab

October 13, 2014 in Boston Valley ARCH Design Lab by Boston Valley

Boston Valley Terra Cotta’s ARCH Design lab is milling custom dies that will be used for our prototype extrusion press.

boston valley terra cotta, arch design lab, prototyping, architecture

The plastic dies are easy to mill and allow the team at Boston Valley to produce prototype panels and blocks quicker and more efficiently.

boston valley terra cotta, arch design lab, prototyping, architecture

Boston Valley Terra Cotta – Resilient Company, Resilient Product

October 8, 2014 in #ConsiderTerraCotta, Uncategorized by Boston Valley

Looking at pictures of Boston Valley Terra Cotta today, you would never guess that it came from such humble beginnings. Now a company that is a worldwide manufacturer of architectural terra cotta for restoration and rain screen installations, Boston Valley was once a simple brick manufacturing facility.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta, circa 1930, architectural, historic, terra cotta

Boston Valley Terra Cotta circa 1930

 

Boston Valley Terra Cotta, circa 1930, architectural, historic, terra cotta

In the pictures above, you can see the original building that was built in 1889. The Krouse family later bought the factory when it was a clay pot manufacturer in 1981. Andrew Krouse and his four sons took the clay pot factory and quickly turned it into a global competitor for architectural terra cotta and ceramics. The first restoration Boston Valley completed was the Guaranty Building in Buffalo, New York. Thirty-five years later we are a growing company that has been awarded contracts for some of the most notable buildings around the globe. Many new products have been introduced to the construction industry but very few have been able to surpass terra cotta in terms of longevity. It is a resilient material with the ability to withstand severe climates and UV exposure. 

The Krouse family takes great pride in making not only an exceptional product, but making sure our family values extend to the health and safety of all our employees. We are very proud to say we have several employees who have made Boston Valley Terra Cotta their career. We look forward to providing durable, sustainable, and beautifully designed products to the construction industry for the next thirty-five years.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta, architectural, historic, terra cotta

Boston Valley Terra Cotta Today

Digital Modeling on Excelsior Hotel Restoration Project

September 17, 2014 in #ConsiderTerraCotta, Boston Valley ARCH Design Lab, Boston Valley Terra Cotta by Boston Valley

The Excelsior Hotel in New York, NY is a landmarked building on the Upper West Side overlooking the American Museum of Natural History and the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Boston Valley is working to restore its stately exterior using our digital modeling and 5-axis routing capabilities.

The basic form of the column capital in the photo below was routed in plaster and our craftsmen subsequently carved the detailed scrolls and leaves onto the form with clay and plasticine. This reduced the time required to produce this mold.

Digital Modeling, Excelsior Hotel, NYC, Architectural Restoration, boston valley terra cotta

The original terra cotta blocks atop the Excelsior Hotel.

 

Our use of Rhino on this project has assisted in understanding how the complex units such as engaged columns fit into the facade, or the sculptural quality of the decorative shield panels at the window spandrels.

3D assembly, Digital Modeling, Excelsior Hotel, NYC, Architectural Restoration, boston valley terra cotta

A 3D assembly drawing of the window surround

 

3D assembly, Digital Modeling, Excelsior Hotel, NYC, Architectural Restoration, boston valley terra cotta. Engaged column condition with water table

Engaged column condition with water table

 

3d Software Enables Twisted Columns Restoration @ Carmelite Monastery

August 28, 2014 in #ConsiderTerraCotta, Boston Valley ARCH Design Lab, Carmelite by Boston Valley

The Carmelite Monastery of St. Louis, Missouri will be receiving newly restored custom twisted columns. The 16 unique supports are currently being manufactured here in Orchard Park by Boston Vally Terra Cotta.

Custom terra cotta architectural restoration, Carmelite Monastery, Boston valley Terra Cotta, ARCH design lab, 3D rendering

Column assembly, cornice and base.

This project was the first of its kind here at Boston Valley Terra Cotta. The project has been bid entirely for our new 3-D software and machining processes. To preserve the existing structure, the columns are split in half and will be assembled on site. The team did this in such a way that there are as few custom column sections as possible. This reduces machine and manufacture time, increasing factory throughput.

Custom terra cotta architectural restoration, Carmelite Monastery, Boston valley Terra Cotta, ARCH design lab, 3D rendering

Twisted column, split into 4 components.

Take a look at this short clip of the 5-Axis CNC Router in full 5-Axis action on a twisted column section:

Custom terra cotta architectural restoration, Carmelite Monastery, Boston valley Terra Cotta, ARCH design lab, 3D rendering

CNC model of column base assembly @ Boston Valley Terra Cotta.

White Satin Glaze Approved For 250 Delaware Project

August 22, 2014 in #ConsiderTerraCotta, Delaware Court Building by Boston Valley

Boston Valley has received glaze color approval for the 250 Delaware Avenue project from the project’s architectural firm Diamond Schmitt and owner Uniland Development. The white satin glaze will be used on all terra cotta blocks, returning this building to its original finish. Previously, the blocks had been repaired and painted numerous times throughout their years of service.

250 Delaware Avenue, buffalo, NY, architectural restoration, custom white glaze, terracotta, Boston valley terra cotta

Mock up for color approval of 250 Delaware Project

The glazed blocks shown in the mockup (above) will be part of a column assembly. This assembly surrounds the windows and doors on the first two stories of the newly constructed building.

3D drawing, 250 Delaware Avenue, buffalo, NY, architectural restoration, custom white glaze, terracotta, Boston valley terra cotta

250 Delaware Project: 3D drawing of the mock up units.

250 Delaware Avenue, buffalo, NY, architectural restoration, custom white glaze, terracotta, Boston valley terra cotta

Base detail of 250 Delaware Project.

250 Delaware Avenue, buffalo, NY, architectural restoration, custom white glaze, terracotta, Boston valley terra cotta

Column and base detail of the 250 Delaware Project.

See more posts here (or select “Delaware Court Project” from the ‘Projects” menu to sort your view) to follow along with the progress of the 250 Delaware Avenue project.