Architectural molding dates back to prehistoric times. Back then it usually had a purpose much more integral to the structural integrity of the building than today where its use is now more decorative. Moldings (sometimes spelled with a ‘u’ as in ‘moulding’) have historically been forged from stone, wood or other materials that were naturally available. Throughout the millennia different cultures adopted different architectural approaches to the use of molding. Some did not include it at all, such as the Persians. Others only accessed one or two options such as the Egyptians. It was the Greeks who began the serious employment of molding for ornamental purposes. People from around the world continue to flock to architectural ruins today, fascinated with remains that give off a hint of ancestry and pageantry. Nestled in the rubble can be seen some of the elegant moldings that still invoke a sense of wonder that surrounds the construction process as a whole.
Today, the moldings in architecture work to enhance the overall presentation of the design. It is the decorative component in building giving the structure its definition through the use of contours, edges and recesses along with the juxtaposition of cornices, bases, and jambs. Going back to the 1900s in America, most of this work was done by hand, even well into the 1950s. It was part of the craftsmanship that has since segued to the sophisticated molding that is now manufactured using everything from computer-aided design, or CAD, to computer-aided manufacturing, or CAM.
Today’s moldings are most often forged from specialty manufacturers that are trained in the manipulation of technology tools to transform light-weight, durable materials into beautiful architectural works of art. They can present in a repeated and rhythmic fashion aimed at enriching the final building design and adding to the overall order of the intended look, either indoors or outdoors.
That is not to say that molding still is not available in handcrafted form. Both are options and both serve the same purpose, to beautify a private or public building. If you are in the market for architectural materials including (but not limited) to molding items, we would like to invite you to contact the Midlantic Sales Group. You can rely on us!