Pipe organ at the Goodson Chapel, Duke University Divinity School by Richards Fowkes & Co

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culpture to crafts, and everything in between, we are always eager to learn about the many ways in which our customers are using our molding and casting products. Hand-built pipe organ company, Richards Fowkes & Company used several of our products to fabricate the finials for their most recent pipe organ commission for the Goodson Chapel at Duke University Divinity School in North Carolina.

Founded in 1988 in Ooltewah, Tennessee, Richards Fowkes & Company has been hand-building incredible pipe organs for churches and universities around the country. Founders Bruce Fowkes and Ralph Richards have brought together a group of talented American and European craftsmen to build these ambitious organs in the traditional manner and methods of historic northern European instruments.
Although all of the casework is hand built and hand carved from wood, the over 60 ornate carved finials that embellish the casework are made from Townsend Casting Resin. First, several master prototype finials were hand carved from oak. Then, Knead-a-Mold (the light blue material shown) was applied onto the carved finials so that an exact replica could be made. Because Knead-a-Mold picks up very minute detail, the texture and grain of the wood was captured beautifully in the mold. Once the mold was made, Townsend Casting Resin was poured into the mold and allowed to cure. The resin cured to a bright white color and was then post finished with a variety of dyes and paints that matched the natural golden brown color of the oak.

Photos show some of the completed cast resin finials incorporated onto oak framework.
The finished pipe organ is 27′ tall, has 30 stops, and approximately 1700 pipes. The largest pipe is 16′ tall and the smallest is 1 1/2″ long and the diameter of a soda straw.

To learn more about Richards Fowkes & Co and to see more of their work, visit www.richardsfowkes.com
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