PaperCity Magazine

March 2017 - Dallas

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74 I n the age of Internet startups, the acquisition of an 87-year- old artisanal plaster company seems an unlikely investment for a pair of Highland Park High School grads. But recently, Mark Marynick, 33, and Porter Fuqua, 30, inked a deal to buy historic Dallas-based Casci Plaster. "It's not a startup, but a restart," Fuqua says. A newly minted associate architect with his father's fi rm, J. Wilson Fuqua & Associates, he remembers visiting Casci as a child, looking on as his father sorted through plaster samples with clients. Decades later, Casci was still profi table — but stagnant. "It was sort of on autopilot when we bought it," Fuqua says. "We're new blood. And we can grow it." On a recent afternoon, Marynick, dressed in jeans and neon-orange Nikes, and Fuqua, in khakis and button-down shirt, escort a visitor through Casci's massive warehouse. It's a froth of white, with an inventory of more than 4,000 cast stone and plaster molds for cornices, brackets, corbels, mantels, and other decorative elements, some designs dating to the 1930s. Among them are columns from the Texas School Book Depository; delicate butterfl ies, bees, and woodland creatures commissioned by the Fort Worth Botanic Garden; an ornate domed ceiling with a design that originated from the Palais Garnier in Paris. Casci's seven craftsmen, including foreman Jesus Garcia, who has worked at the fi rm for more than 22 years, have stayed on; Garcia is also giving Marynick painstaking, hands-on lessons in the ancient craft. Casci's specialized tools come from AN 87-YEAR-OLD HERITAGE WORKROOM GETS A NEW LIFE. THE DIE IS CAST BY REBECCA SHERMAN. PHOTOGRAPHY PÄR BENGTSSON. The workshop at Casci Plaster

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