lladro from spain -
exquisite spanish porcelain ...
lladro from spain - learn the interesting story about how this internationally successful company came into being, get to know how the popular spanish porcelain is made, read info on how to visit their famous factory in valencia, and view the latest figurine bargains ...
Thousands of people worldwide collect lladro from Spain, and it would be difficult to walk along the streets of any Spanish town without seeing a few pieces for sale.
The perfect gift, so many of their wonderful figures exist - elegant ladies with flower baskets, doves, nurses, elephants, shy women, bulls, card players, beagles ... the list is endless.
And this beautiful Spanish porcelain - with its delicate colours, and evoking sentiments that touch the heart - is truly one of Spain´s great success stories.
Yet, as little as 50 years ago, these exquisite collectors´ items had hardly been heard of!
So ... how did it all happen?
lladro from spain - three brothers
The whole success of lladro from Spain is due to the determination and skill of the three Lladró brothers - Juan, José and Vicente.
Born into an ordinary Valencian farming family, their creativity first showed itself in the 1940´s.
These were difficult times in Spain, and Juan - in need of money - took a job as painter in a tile and crockery factory.
José soon followed - but, they also found time to study part-time and develop their natural artistic skills at the local School of Arts and Trades.
Meanwhile, the youngest brother - Vicente - devoted himself to sculpture.
The boys built an oven in the courtyard of their parents´ house, and were soon trying things out for themselves.
They experimented with small, useful objects - ashtrays, vases, jugs - trying to sell them, for they had given up the factory job.
the company progresses
By 1958, the small company had outgrown the original family workshop and moved to a warehouse in the neighbouring Valencian town of Tavernes Blanques.
Demand for Lladró creations had increased, and a growing number of sculptors, chemists and decorators joined the team.
By 1960, the word Spain was incorporated into their logo - demonstrating that they had started exporting their works of art.
In 1962, the brothers opened the Professional Training School - to share their knowledge with others.
Today, the Grant Centre in The City of Porcelain continues this work, training talented youngsters.
In 1965, the first pieces of Lladró were sent to North America, where The Shepherdess captivated people from the start.
In 1984, the brothers brought three more family members into the business - Rosa, Mari Carmen and Vicente.
And, in 1988, the Lladró Museum and Art Gallery opened in New York.
lladró from spain- how it's made
Many know what lladro is and enjoy collecting it. But not everyone knows how it is made ...
The famous figurines start life as a sketch and, after it's been approved, a model is made in clay by a master sculptor.
This is 20% larger than the finished figure, to allow for shrinkage when fired.
The sculpture is analysed by master mould makers, who ascertain how the figure will be segmented.
The model is sliced into pieces, and technically-precise moulds are made by encasing the pieces in a plaster-like substance.
Sometimes, over one hundred moulds are needed to create a single lladro figurine.
The moulds are filled with a secret blend of porcelain-based liquid and, when hardened, they are removed, cleaned and inspected.
The lladro figurines are then reconstructed, using liquid porcelain to cement them together - every seam is hand smoothed, so that they are seamless.
Next, the figurine goes to the decorator - an artist of many years skill and a graduate of Lladró´s school. This is a difficult procedure as the colours - when applied - are colourless, not emerging until after the firing process.
The figurine is then fired in a kiln at 1,320 degrees Centigrade for up to 20 hours.
Once removed and cooled, the Lladró brothers and their team view it - they settle for nothing less than perfection.
If you're ever visiting that exciting city of Valencia, you may well like to visit the Lladró workshop/factory at the City of Porcelain in Tavernes Blanques.
It lasts about an hour-and-a-half, and booking two weeks in advance is advised.
The address, telephone, fax and email details are as follows:
City of Porcelain
Freephone from within Spain: 900 21 10 10
Rest of world: +34 963 187 008
Fax: +34 96 185 02 37
From Valencia, there are three ways of getting to the workshop:
- by taxi
- number 16 bus from Valencia
- Bus Turistic from Plaza de la Reina, Thursday, 10.30 am (April to October)
lladro figurine and statue bargains
If you're fortunate enough to visit the City of Porcelain, you're almost sure to find some bargains there.
But ... what about the rest of you?
Why not have a look at that famed online auction site - Ebay?... It's more-than-likely you'll come across several bargain porcelain pieces there.
Remember to check that you're buying from a top-rated seller with positive feedback. Also, find out the serial number of the statue, so that you can check prices from the Company's Website.