Plaster craftsmen: The condition of the plaster in the house was a bit of a mixed bag. Some was in excellent condition and just needed a thin skim of fresh plaster to clean it up (The Moroccans call this piŠe as it involves picking small holes in the plaster to help the new layer stick to the old). Unfortunately a lot of the plaster was in very bad condition and needed to be replaced completely. You might often see craftsmen tapping the walls with their knuckles. If it sounds solid then the plaster is good, if there is a hollow noise the plaster could be poor.
As well as restoring the plaster on the walls there was a lot of carved plaster to be repaired. In some places the plaster just needed 'touching up'. However in some places the plaster was so badly damaged that it had to be taken off the wall and started from fresh. The method the craftsmen use is as follows: First the area is prepared by applying a large amount of new plaster to the area. Then a template is made of the original design (usually made with a piece of paper that had been salvaged from the building site, very little goes to waste in a restoration project). Once the template has been drawn and cut it is held against the area in question. Then the craftsmen use cement in a muslin bag and pat the template, leaving an outline of the design on the plaster. The design is then carved with a small chisel. Once the design has been carved it is usually painted black or grey in places.