The tradition of Spanish Porcelain
Tradition, Art & Prestige.
Spain is known for quality, handcrafting and excellence in the art of porcelain. With some of the leading brands in the industry including Lladro, Nao and Nadal all of which the world associates with culture and luxury.
Handcrafted artisan processes
From the initial sketches to the final firing at high temperatures, each step in the process is carried out by artists and artisans working under the attentive eyes of the creative design team.
Employing various techniques of modeling in clay or in plasticine, the sculptor creates the volumes and shapes of the sketch, making the most of its material before continuing in the more rigid support of plaster, in which all the details, textures and features that complete the original piece are engraved.
Once the modeling is finished the piece is divided into as many fragments as necessary for the work to be reproduced in porcelain. From each of the resulting fragments, a mold is obtained and filled with liquid porcelain paste in order to create the different parts of the figure. Expert hands then put the work together using porcelain past for adhesive.
The painters apply colours using techniques they have learned throughout many years of experience. With great precision, they give expression to the sculpture’s faces and gently shape the most intricate details.
Once painted, gloss sculptures are coated with a layer of varnish to give them the crystalline finish that is so characteristic of Spanish porcelain.
Finally the sculpture is put to the test of firing in the kiln. After twenty hours of firing at high temperature, the porcelain vitrifies, the varnish crystallizes, and the piece’s true colours which remained hidden up until now, are brought to the surface.
One of the most highly appreciated and differentiating elements in Spanish porcelain are the flowers. Each flower is made entirely by hand, following a very delicate process. Specialized artists set the petals of the flowers one by one, to ensure absolute perfection in the end result. This also means that each flower is unique and unrepeatable.
Sculptors, designers, painters, ornamentalists, flower artists... each one adds his or her skills, know-how and experience to the creation of a work of art of the highest technical and artistic quality.
In this way, a large team of expert craftsmen and artists contributes to the creation of each sculptures, making each piece an exclusive work.
Since its beginnings, Spanish companies within the porcelain industry carry a long standing artistic tradition and high international profiles while strengthening their contemporary image without forgetting their roots.
The sculptor draws his inspiration from many different sources: a combination of tradition and modernism including signature themes such as love, motherhood, romanticism, childhood and nature, as well as from direct contact with current tendencies in the art and design. Likewise, happening trends in the market also have a big influence, as does contact with different markets and sensibility towards their traditions.
The industry has never stopped exploring new forms which have resulted in extensive catalogue embracing a range from classical figurines in soft colouring and glazed finish to more sculptural pieces in gres or matte finish.
This diversity of products positions the industry at the forefront of market tastes, reinforced by collaborations with leading external designers who add their personal and artistic universe to the works in a fruitful creative exchange.
Thanks to the level of excellence in its creative processes Spanish porcelain is no longer just a sign of identity of a certain kind of product and has gone on to become a world brand with its own identity, capable of defining its own aesthetics and guaranteeing a level of quality sustained on the reputation of its products.
One could say that know-how is at the service of creativity. Starting out from the idea that one is only free to create when one is in full control of a trade, in the workshops the artisans reach places where the machine cannot go, bringing out the true potential of porcelain. The challenge is to be fully conversant with porcelain, to become one with it, in order to put it at the service of artistic expression. This level of excellence in its productive processes raises the value of the unique to the maximum, in turn advancing the culture of porcelain. This approach is completely justified with a proven commitment and responsibility with the continuance of artisanship.
The search for perfection also extends to the quality control that takes place once the process of elaboration of the pieces is concluded. The sculpture undergoes various tests to ensure that it fulfils the high standards of quality demanded by each brand.
Spain has expanded the art of porcelain with its own developments, with new techniques and processes which have revolutionized the world of ceramics.
The single-firing, the introduction of Gres, a palette of 4000 colours and ongoing innovation in decorative techniques such as the application of enamels and metal lustre, are good proof of the fact that research and innovation never stop.
This complex, laborious process is the only way of ensuring the standards of quality that differentiates Spanish porcelain creations from the coldly perfect results obtained using mechanical processes.
100% Made in Spain
Valencia is nicknamed the City of Porcelain. Figurines are made entirely by hand and absolutely no phase in the process is externalized.
Despite the modern facilities, The City of Porcelain recreates the spirit of old workshops where skills, know-how and creative style were handed down from masters to pupils in an intense and rewarding relationship.
Thanks to this work philosophy, the artists and their experience continue to be the industry’s core assets. Without them it would have been impossible, in just half a century, to overtake Europe’s most veteran decorative porcelain brands, whose origins can be traced back to the 18th and 19th centuries. On this road to perfection, one of the greatest merits of this industry has been to surround itself with the best sculptors and artists who have the ability to convey any idea to a material like porcelain.
The industry is in continuous evolution and is the expression of everything good and beautiful about life. Sometimes from an aesthetic viewpoint and other times addressing universal values, it is a reflection of our desires, of our affinities, of our way of understanding the world. That is why it has millions of lovers from different cultures, races and beliefs and why its pieces are so widely appreciated in homes all over the world.
This creative belief in universal messages and shared emotions has evolved naturally and been instrumental in creating even closer bonds with its customers, in a mutually rewarding experience. The ability to address the traditions and spirituality of the most different cultures with special sensibility has been a constant. Each sculpture is conceived from a profound admiration for traditions that pose a truly gratifying challenge for its artists.
Today offering creations of superlative value and artistic quality carrying on the inheritance of a centuries- old tradition the industry is committed with the mission of maintaining and furthering this tradition, both in The City of Porcelain as well as through live demonstrations by its artists in countries on the five continents.