Lladro is beyond a doubt one of the most universally recognized Spanish brands. And it is also one of the brands the world most associates with Spain, culture and luxury. From their early beginnings in 1953, Lladro creations have been inspired by artistic feelings, sustained by a continuous bid for innovation, and brought to fruition by a skilled manual creation process. Lladro sculptures are hand-made, so colors and forms may vary slightly from one sculpture to the next.
Process of Creation
Every Lladro piece of work is the result of a laborious artistic process. Sculptors follow their own inspiration but also perform, if the work requires it, a meticulous process of research and documentation. This is often the case with pieces or collections that reflect other cultures.
Every Lladro creation begins with an artistic inspiration. The sculptor then makes the first sketch of the new figure in clay, which is examined and approved by the Creativity Committee, made up by many members, one of whom comes from the Lladro family. The sketch, in clay, is reproduced in plaster to provide the first mold, which will in turn become the definitive mold for the porcelain figurine.
A mid-sized figurine may need between 15 and 20 molds and up to 300 for complex pieces. The fragments coming from these molds are joined by liquid porcelain paste to obtain an exact reproduction of the original model.
Once the figurine is reconstructed, the decoration process starts. In compliance with the sculptor's instructions, and the surface of the piece -so far smooth- it is carved with delicate motifs that will give it its final appearance. It is at this point that the face on the sculpture gets its expression and the tiniest details are delicately crafted. In addition, the figurine is painted and if it requires a glossy finish is later covered with a coat of varnish, which grants it that crystalline look that is so characteristic of Lladro.
Many Lladro sculptures display one of the most valued and differentiating features of the brand: flowers. Each one is fully made, petal by petal, following a very delicate process in order to obtain unique, unrepeatable creations.
The Test of Fire
Finally, the sculpture is put to the test of fire: it remains for approximately 24 hours in a kiln at over 1300 deg C. Porcelain vitrifies, varnish crystallizes and Lladro's true colors, so far hidden, come to the surface.
Once the crafting process finishes, the sculpture goes through several quality controls. Most pieces make their way successfully to the end of the process, and those that do not comply with Lladro's quality standards are destroyed.
A large team of craftsmen contribute to developing Lladro sculptures, making each of them unique: painters, ornamentalists, flower artists... All of them pool their knowledge and expertise to create a piece with the highest artistic and technical quality.
The City of Porcelain
Lladro creates all its figurines in the City of Porcelain, located in Tavernes Blanques (Valencia). The first buildings were opened in 1969 and with the company's global expansion they were enlarged to reach 100,000 sq. feet.
The City of Porcelain is a large area designed for artistic creation, with bright studios and workshops, within a large complex that also has sports facilities and spacious gardens.
The City of Porcelain is an open space for all those wishing to visit, thanks to a visitor's program which allows you to watch artisans working on site and to visit the Lladro Museum. Every year over 15,000 lovers of Lladro porcelain visit the complex.
Cleaning Lladro Sculptures
A feather duster or soft brush is the best way to remove dust from a sculpture. Do not use cloths as these may catch on the smaller parts and details and damage them. You can use soapy water to clean porcelain pieces if necessary, but be very careful to not damage it. Remove any accessories and any base before washing the sculpture. First, wet the piece and then clean it with a soft long-haried paintbrush dipped in water containing mild liquid soap. Rinse in water to remove all remaining soap.
Sources: Lladro's website and product pampnlets. Please contact us at 1-866-516-0907 with any questions about Lladro or to order by phone. Click Here to Shop for Lladro.