Finding Balance In Life Through Lessons Learnt From Porcelain

Let's be real: life can be cruel, unfair, and unforgiving. It is no wonder that 35% of all Australians suffer from high levels of stress, anxiety and depression, and this is more prevalent in youths and young adults entering a highly uncertain working world. However, every coin has two sides, as the world is also filled with enough good and wonder to go around. The key is to find that tricky balance, which is an elusive task since balance is such an intangible and abstract idea.

Lladró Together Couple Sculpture, a new release of 2024 pushes the envelope of finesse and grace with an intimate anatomical sculpture of a couple balanced on the edge of a wooden base.

Here are some lessons about life and finding balance learnt from the art form of porcelain:

1. Creating support systems

Many of Lladró's pieces could not have been created without the right support. For example, Tea in the Garden's (top left) elaborate flowering branches required an entire porcelain support structure to support it inside the kiln. The supports are designed to shrink at the same rate as the entire piece when fired, a feat possible through Lladró's decades of craftsmanship. Winged Fantasy (top right) required large porcelain supports for its wide wingspan as it dried before firing. In life, we have to make sure our support systems, like friends, family, and coping mechanisms, are appropriately positioned at the correct times to rebalance our hectic lives.

2. Learn from past wisdom

Many of Lladró's pieces take inspiration from Greek mythology, and one of them is of the infamous Icarus and his tale of flying too close to the sun. Lladró's sculptor Ernest Massuet designed the Icarus Sculpture by emphasising Icarus's yearning for freedom, determination and desire to push the limits. His story reminds us to balance our ambition and abilities so we do not breach our breaking points. This sculpture also shows the patience and skilful balancing of porcelain artisans, achieving a form that can stand delicately on the tips of only three points. 

3. Find your unique personal balance

No two porcelain pieces are exactly the same. This is because of tiny differences that manifest during the firing process in the kiln, giving slight variations in form, colour and expressiveness. This is why you might prefer one piece over another copy - they are highly personal and individualised. This is the same with balance in life: there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution. You have to create the balance that works only for yourself.

4. Trial by fire

Only through high temperature firing in the kiln can porcelain of wondrous strength and colour be formed, like in the Great Dragon Red Limited Edition above. The original retired in 2010, but is available in new Blue Enamel, Blue and Gold, and Gold variants.

Sometimes, regaining balance requires putting yourself in uncomfortable situations so you can learn, grow, and become stronger from the experience. This is the same with porcelain; by using their signature high-temperature single firing technique (1300° Celsius), malleable clay is transformed and vitrified into a sturdy, tough, and non-porous material, and the pigments are baked into soft pastel shades iconic to Lladró signature pieces or into their extensive range of colours. But that is not all - porcelain has to rest and cool down to room temperature naturally as part of the transformation, taking a few days. This parallels the rest you need after conquering a difficult situation; it lets your mind and body rest, reshape, and reflect to reform you into a better you.


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