Saturday Art: Lladro collections
The typically stately ceramic pieces that are made by Lladro have become well known in the world of decorator art, and found a niche in popular culture as well. The process and composition developed by three Lladro brothers appears in studios, jewelers and furnishings stores and attracts collectors throughout the world.
Though household objects may not be considered haute couture, things that decorate our lives and make us happy to have them are the normal household’s art and I’d like to let them have a place on the Art shelf. Lladro works have been featured in several sitcoms to represent everyday art appreciation, and are reminiscent of the Belle Epoque in their classical past times flavor.
The company was founded in 1953 by three brothers, Juan, José and Vicente Lladró, in the village of Almàssera near Valencia. Starting with items such as vases and jugs, it wasn’t until 1956 that they started producing the sculptures for which they are now most famous. Enthusiasm for the items produced by the Lladró brothers saw their small workshop expand several times until eventually they moved to Tavernes Blanques in 1958.
- 1962, the brothers open the Professional Training School at their site in Tavernes Blanques to share their knowledge and experience. It still operates today keeping alive the vision and philosophy of the brothers by imparting it to a new generation.
- 1969, on October 13, the City of Porcelain is opened by the Spanish Minister for Industry. It took 2 years to build and was designed to provide the best environment that encourages the artistic development of works produced. Currently over 2000 people work here.
- The manufacturing ingredients are kept under tight guard. The process is detailed in a number of Lladró publications and is fully on view for tour groups and individuals at the City of Porcelain. Lladró figurines are made out of an original blend of hard-paste porcelain, which gives the products their unique porcelain characteristics. The glaze ingredients also add to the look of the figures and are an industry secret.
The yearly new editions are often sought after, but classics find bidders going ever higher to obtain them as their scarcity increases.
(Picture courtesy of Sergey Shpakovsky at flickr.com)