‘Gold gives to the ugliest thing a certain charming air, For that without it were else a miserable affair.”
- Jean Baptiste Moliere
What can be more eye catching or alluring than catching a glimpse of gold on a piece of art or jewellery? Often a delicate hint of shine and colour can be more effective than a piece with a whole golden moment. It is hard to explain our obsession with shiny things, particularly gold. The way it draws the eye can be used to highlight details or focal points of a piece be it in painting, sculpture or jewellery. However, often it can be over done to the point where the effect is lost. How an artist balances subtle and gaudy can truly make or break a piece. Of course its all up to taste, but what makes gold so appealing and how does Lladró use it to enhance their pieces?
Icarus Sculpture notice where your eye is drawn along the gold of the rope on his chest and arm.
Lladró uses a 24 karat gold metallic lustre on all its pieces with gold on them, the process of developing this lustre is in itself quite a specific procedure. However, very few if any of Lladró pieces are fully covered in this lustre. Instead the brand employs it sparingly to add both a sense of luxury and nuance to a piece.
When it is used it is often in combination with matt and glossy finishes so as to provide contrast in the small details like depth or texture in a piece that may not otherwise be seen. Take the Icarus Sculpture, the way in which the sculptor has decisively placed the golden lustre along the rope that entwines Icarus and his wings draws the eye along his body and down his wings, allowing us to fully appreciate the detail in the muscles on his chest and feathers of his wings. This gold accent of the rope adds to the overall tension in the piece highlighting Icarus’s physical strain through the tautness of the rope.
Attentive Bunny with Blue and Gold with the Klein Blue colour. Read more about Lladró’s Klein Blue collection.
Many of Lladró’s pieces have small touches of the gold, as these can add a sense of refinement, flare and luxury to the product. The sculptor must carefully balance between not enough as to be to little effect and too much where the product might also loose some of it’s subtly and simplicity. Such as with Lladró’s Attentive Bunny in Blue and Gold, with piece that is already eye catching such as this it would be easy to create a piece that is over the top. However, the stark contrast between both colours interact beautifully and the placement of the gold plays with ideas of depth and dimension giving this otherwise simple piece nuance.
Touches of gold are effective in adding that certain lavish yet sophisticated quality that Lladró is so well known for and gives their pieces a particular warmth and energy. As can be seen from as their many pieces have feature subtle touches of their golden lustre.